Expert Publishing Blog

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...

The Real Future of Publishing

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...

The Optimized Publisher: HTTPS

The Optimized Publisher: HTTPS

For the final factor of our multi-step evaluation of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) factors, we will be turning to security. In May of 2015, The Washington Post provided a timeline of the history of Internet security, ranging from Cold War communication strategies of the 1960s to hacking car navigation and other vehicle systems in...

Who Has the Balance of Power over Data?

Who Has the Balance of Power over Data?

Who has access to the data that can best predict how readers will spend their money? Who has data on how people read books—how far they get, how many they buy, how often they buy, whether their purchases cluster around certain dates? Who has the permission to contact readers by post, email or text—to...

The Growth and Effectiveness of Interactive Ebooks for Learning

The Growth and Effectiveness of Interactive Ebooks for Learning

Technology continues to revolutionize the way we go about our daily lives, and every generation benefits from enhanced learning experiences in their youth and beyond. Chalkboards have become smartboards, homework is accessible through online portals, and tablets have become a legitimate tool for education in the classroom. Furthermore, home learning has been significantly changed...

What Macmillan's Acquisition of Pronoun Means

The Optimized Publisher: XML Sitemaps

I would like to turn your attention to the Doodle Track Car, an award-winning toy that allows kids to draw a line (or print out their own racetrack) for a little racecar to obediently follow. Without the line, the car is lost. With the line, the toy will go anywhere you draw it to...

What Goes into a Successful Marketing Plan?

What Are the Ingredients of a Successful Marketing Plan?

Today’s readers and book buyers are savvy. Ads are not enough to get a potential customer’s attention, and being bombarded daily with emails, texts, posts, tweets, shares, images and videos makes it incredibly easy, and more likely, for people to ignore ads. In fact, people are going out of their way to avoid ads,...

Who’s Afraid of Reader Analytics?

10 Industry Predictions for 2016

When trends become clear—from self-publishing to writer events to the boutique model of the industry to the re-growth of print sales and large publisher consolidation—I regularly point out in the office that I predicted them two or three years ago. Given that I’m generally met with bemused looks, I thought I would make an...

How Publishers Can Use Their Authors to Boost Sales

The Optimized Publisher: Author Amplification

“Call me Ishmael.” “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” “It was a dark and stormy night.” These are the opening lines that have turned writers into authors and kept many a reader glued to the books and statements made by their favorite wordsmiths (Well, maybe not that last...

Why Publishers Must Use Direct Sales

Why Publishers Must Use Direct Sales

If you were writing a business plan to set up a new consumer goods business, which of the following two strategies would make most sense? Strategy 1: Identify a market which, while mature, has publicly suffered of late, with a series of high-profile failures, and whose future is uncertain. Agree with these high-risk target...

A Brief History of Sales Channels

A Brief History of Sales Channels

One definition I‘ve seen and like of a “sales channel” is “a method of distribution used by a business to sell its product.” The digital age we are currently in has certainly spawned a multitude of new sales channels, yet they still fall into two basic categories, whether you’re doing B2B or B2C: direct...