Expert Publishing Blog

Amazon

Why Is Amazon So Weird?

There isn’t a company that more directly affects book publishing than Amazon. The e-commerce giant’s tentacles are firmly wrapped around all publishers, just waiting to tighten when its terms are deemed a speck below satisfactory. And in recent years it has taken a further jab at publishers by being largely responsible for the self-publishing boom...

author, indie author, self-publishing, indie publishing

Why Fiction Authors Benefit from Indie Publishing

Independent publishing has changed the way authors look at the industry, with many questioning whether it’s worthwhile to play the waiting game and pray for the payoff from a traditional publisher, or instead take their fate into their own hands. There are clearly benefits and pitfalls to either choice. What authors need to seriously...

ebooks, sales, publisher

A New Take on Ebook Windowing

Ebook windowing is a technique designed to prevent ebooks from cannibalizing print book sales. The original thinking went something like this: release a new title in print format only, thereby preventing e-cannibalization. The result? Frustrated consumers. If you’re an ebook reader, there’s nothing worse than realizing a digital edition doesn’t exist for that new...

e-reader, ebook, e-reading, tablet, e-ink

No, I Don’t Want a Bigger E-Reader. I Want an Even Smaller One.

There’s been some discussion lately around large-screen e-readers. Michael Kozlowski of Good E-Reader launched an Indiegogo campaign for a larger-than-normal e-reader—13.3 inches—and TeleRead offered a couple different takes (here and here) on the hefty price point Kozlowski is proposing: $699. I should say up front that I don’t use e-readers as often as I’d like...

ebook, ebook design, e-reader, ipad, kindle

Some Tips to Make Your Ebook Look Great

In my previous post, I offered a few ideas on how to make ebooks feel unique by taking advantage of some visual design cues. But I neglected to mention one crucial step: test, test, test your EPUB and MOBI files on multiple devices and apps. A simple example: try using a very light blue...

Should Publishers Rely More on Data or Instinct?

Data Vs. Instinct – The Publisher’s Dilemma

It might as well be time to address the elephant in the room. The pachyderm that is causing fear, uncertainty and doubt among authors, agents and publishers is the prospect of how data, and reading data in particular, may affect the creative process of writing, editing and marketing books. My starting point shall be...

The Author's Three-Step Test for Sellability

The Author’s Three-Step Test for Sellability

When it comes to choosing a social media channel for marketing, how often do we consider the channel’s selling potential? If our marketing goal is to build loyal fans and sell more books, a social media channel’s ability to actually sell books should be at the top of the list. And when it comes...

The Lost Art of Indexes in Ebooks

The Lost Art of Indexes in Ebooks

When was the last time you used an index in an ebook? Maybe the better question is this: Have you ever used an index in an ebook? One of the challenges here is that most ebooks don’t have indexes—the result of the misguided notion that text search is a better solution. Every so often...

How to Choose the Best Social Media Channels to Sell Books

How to Choose the Best Social Media Channels to Sell Books

Confused by all the differing opinions about social media? You’re not alone. There is a whimsical idea gaining ground in the author community that social media is an a la carte menu and that you should just choose a channel you like and stick with it. The truth is, social media is a marketing...

Why I’m Not on the Amazon Echo Bandwagon… Yet

Why I’m Not on the Amazon Echo Bandwagon… Yet

I almost bought an Amazon Echo last November. It was on sale for $129 and I figured it was too good of a deal to pass up. Amazon promised two-day Prime delivery, but they got overwhelmed by all the orders and, like many others, they botched mine and said I might receive it by...

8 Reasons Why People Buy Books

8 Reasons Why People Buy Books

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been reporting on observations that Jellybooks has made about readers after collecting data about when, where and how they read. Do readers rant or rave about books? Do they read fast or slow? Do they even finish the books they begin reading? One of the more interesting phenomena...

The Benefits of an Amazon Giveaway for Kindle

The Benefits of an Amazon Giveaway for Kindle

Amazon Giveaways are now available for Kindle ebooks. No, I’m not talking about KDP Select free promos. I’m talking about Amazon Giveaways—contests hosted by Amazon on Amazon.com which until now have only been available for print books and other physical products. But now you no longer need to have a print edition to run...

Self-publishing, authors, books, ebooks

How to Make Ebook Design Count

I got into the ebook development game when a typesetting client was seeing terrible results from their machine-made ebooks. Content was garbled and the books were ugly. It was impossible to open a book and tell what you were reading. So it became my mission to create ebooks that were nice-looking individuals, just like...

These Are Authors’ Biggest Social Media Mistakes

4 Mindsets That Could Doom Your Social Media Marketing Efforts

When it comes to the potential for selling a book, not all social media channels are created equal. Some are definitely wired for selling, while others are not. Some contain a variety of commerce tools that naturally lead people toward a sale, and some do not. Add your audience demographics and the culture of...

How Does Age Affect Reading Behavior?

How Does Age Affect Reading?

Last week I explored how reading behavior differs between men and women. The analysis was based on observations that Jellybooks made as part of reading analytics studies with publishers that recorded how people read ebooks. This week, we will take a closer look at how a different factor impacts reading: age. Do books have...

A Vision for Making Ebooks More Engaging

A Vision for Making Ebooks More Engaging

I’m convinced we’re still in the very early stages of ebook evolution. The current print-under-glass model works great for some books, but long-form digital content has so much more potential. The market will ultimately move beyond the only option readers have today of consuming dumb content on smart devices. Content enrichment is one way...

Ebook Sample Subscriptions and Automation

Ebook Sample Subscriptions and Automation

Each time I finish a book, I end up going through the same inefficient process: I head to Amazon and a couple other sites to look for other titles on similar topics that might interest me. I usually find several candidates, and then I go through the equally inefficient process of requesting samples of...

How “Send to Kindle” Can Help Neutralize Amazon

How “Send to Kindle” Can Help Neutralize Amazon

Publishers that sell ebooks direct to consumers typically do so in EPUB format. That’s because most publishers are still wedded to the false sense of security DRM provides, and EPUB offers a popular DRM solution. Contrast that with Amazon’s format, MOBI, in which Amazon is the only company that can apply and manage the...

Books That Don’t Start Strong Will Lose the Reader

Start Strong or Lose Your Readers

In the first post in this series, I introduced the notion of the “Internet of Bookish Things” to describe how ebooks were now nodes on the Internet that could record how books are being read. And in last week’s post, “Reading Fast and Slow – Observing Book Readers in Their Natural Habitat,” I began...

How to Pick the Best Ebook Format

How to Find the Best Ebook Format

As a book designer, I understand the desire to mirror a book’s print design with its ebook counterpart. But as an ebook reader and developer, I know that print publications are different enough from their digital versions that one design does not always fit both purposes. In this and following posts, I’ll discuss how...

What’s Your Mobile, Snackable Content Strategy?

What’s Your Mobile, Snackable Content Strategy?

Last week I highlighted some of the more interesting findings reported in a document Google published called Micro-Moments: Your Guide to Winning the Shift to Mobile. This week I want to focus on a couple other important points in that document, as well as provide an example of how publishers need to leverage the...

marketing, authors, books, sales, social media

The (Real) Future of Publishing

My seven-year-old is a voracious reader. Long gone are the days when I had to read something to him or hope that he missed the inappropriate language spray-painted on a street sign. Now I’m in the process of teaching him that not everything he reads is true or completely accurate. And the same can...

Why It’s Time to Focus on IP Rights

Why All Publisher Assets Begin with Intellectual Property

Copyright, intellectual property (IP) and licensing might not sound like the most colorful of subject matters, but that should certainly not deter from their importance, especially within the publishing industry. Some may consider these areas of the market as being less flexible or less prone to change than others, but in light of recent...

All About the Internet of Bookish Things

The Internet of Bookish Things

The Internet of Things, or IoT for short, is one of those buzzwords that is making the rounds in Silicon Valley. Earlier this month, many of the electronic gadgets on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas were connected cars, autonomous drones, Internet-connected thermostats (Nest) and others. Sensors and Internet connectivity are...

Independent Publishers in a Modern World

Final Thoughts: Independent Publishers in a Modern, Optimized World

When we presented our analysis of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) factors amongst independent book publishers more than 16 weeks ago, we began a journey that I hoped would be eye-opening to the participants and Digital Book World readers alike. What we’ve learned on our way has certainly been enlightening—a chance to view achievements, challenges and...