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Publishers Getting Left Behind on Mobile

Did you feel it? Did you feel the change? If you’re in the publishing world there’s a chance you didn’t. One reason for that could be you’ve been existing on the industry’s shifting sands for a while now. Maybe you’ve grown so used to change that it doesn’t even phase you anymore. But I...

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HarperCollins Expands Spanish Offering

Continuing to widen its international profile, HarperCollins launches two new divisions devoted to Spanish-language publishing. With HarperCollins Español and HarperCollins Iberica, the publisher plans to increase the volume of titles available for Spanish-language readers worldwide. The first of those is to be a translation of Harper Lee’s forthcoming Go Set a Watchman. HarperCollins CEO...

Penguin Random House Launches Site for Parents of Young Readers

[Press Release] BRIGHTLY: NEW ONLINE RESOURCE INSPIRES PARENTS TO RAISE LIFELONG READERS EMAIL PROGRAM AND SITE LAUNCH POWERED BY PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE New York, March 9, 2015—Today, Brightly (www.readbrightly.com), a new online resource that encourages parents to raise lifelong readers, launches as a Penguin Random House initiative. Brightly aims to provide moms and dads...

HarperCollins Increases Spanish-Language Output

[Press Release] HarperCollins Publishers Expands Spanish Language Publishing Forms HarperCollins Español and HarperCollins Iberica New York, NY (March 9, 2015) – HarperCollins Publishers today announced the expansion of its Spanish-language publishing efforts with the creation of HarperCollins Español and HarperCollins Iberica. Utilizing the existing framework in the Americas and Spain, the company will increase...

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Getting to Know What Readers Go After

While “understanding searchers’ intentions and aligning marketing content with their queries” is fairly common outside the book world, according to marketing expert Peter McCarthy, it’s not yet a major part of publishers’ search engine optimization (SEO) practices. But identifying readers’ interests is in some ways easier than many might believe. That research starts with...

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Researching Reader Intent to Fine-Tune Book SEO

There is one aspect of search engine optimization (SEO) that doesn’t get nearly as much play in the publishing business as it does elsewhere: understanding searchers’ intentions and aligning marketing content with their queries, usually by crafting landing pages. In this post, I’ll look at how book publishers and authors can better reach readers through...

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European Court Rules Ebooks Aren’t Goods

Ebook readers in the European Union will soon have to spend more. An EU court deems ebooks “electronically supplied services” rather than products, preventing them from being taxed at the lower rates print books can. The standard value-added tax (VAT) rates in EU member states varies, but in Luxembourg and France, it’s 17% and...

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Why Small Publishers Must Go Global, Too

Traditionally, being a global publisher has meant being a big publisher. Sandy Grant, CEO of the Australian publisher Hardie Grant, says until recently, independent publishers “often saw ourselves as unable to compete with the multi-nationals for global distribution and thus for global authors.” Especially now that ebooks have leveled off, the need for publishers...

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How Duplicate Content Dooms Book Marketers

No matter their size, virtually all publishers struggle to allocate limited marketing resources to many deserving titles. Sometimes that means taking a few shortcuts. One of the most common can also be the most dangerous to discoverability: recycling bits of marketing copy that leads to them appearing in multiple places across the web. “Relevance,...

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Penguin Random House Still Sweeping Ebook Best-Seller List

Even as we’ve looked for signs of renewed agency ebook pricing impacting best-selling ebooks (and found few), and remarked on the continued power of media tie-ins to shape the rankings, the real story is a rather old one: the ongoing dominance of the world’s largest trade publisher, Penguin Random House. During the last holiday season, Penguin Random...

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Your Content Is the Problem. Your Content Is the Problem.

…Your content is the problem. Content is what drives the Internet. And relevant content is what drives search results. Having superbly written, deep, descriptive, and most importantly, relevant content is the key to creating a thriving web presence. Duplicate content, however, will shoot all of your high-flying search engine optimization (SEO) efforts right out...

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Why Print Still Matters

E-reading may be growing in popularity, but most publishers today know to expect more incremental gains than ebooks first met with during their early boom years. In the meantime, print books are doing just fine. A recent study of authors’ publishing choices and outcomes finds that “despite the focus in much current debate on authors’...

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Why Authors and Readers Still Want Print

Some of the biggest book industry events and trends of the past few years, including the closing of Borders bookstores, the rise in popularity of tablets and e-readers and the exponential growth in the number of ebooks (as well as of digital-only authors and publishers) could easily give the impression that print is becoming...

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Barnes & Noble Spins off College Division

The bookseller announced yesterday it will separate its retail and ebook businesses from its college books business, with plans to set the latter up as a standalone education company by the end of August. That raises the question of whether Barnes & Noble’s plans for Nook Media have changed. While the company has said...

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How Authors Can Build Content Communities

Digital technology is changing the way we read, but it’s also changing the way we write. How can authors take advantage of this? A friend of mine who writes crime fiction is interested in how this might happen. She is a bit worried about it, too. I told her how impressed I am by...

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Barnes & Noble Splits off College Division to Form Standalone Company

[Press Release] Barnes & Noble to Separate College Business from Retail and NOOK Digital Businesses Will Create Two Highly Focused Companies with Different Growth Profiles and Enhanced Flexibility to Pursue Independent Operating Strategies NEW YORK, NY – February 26, 2015 – Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), today announced the filing of a Registration...

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When Discoverability Arrives Too Late

‘Discovery’ and ‘discoverability’ are the twin watchwords of book marketing today, and for good reason. In an intensely competitive market, ensuring the right mechanisms are in place to allow readers to find what they’re after—and to recommend something similar to what they’re after—is critically important. But those efforts may still fall short in some...

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The How and Why of Inbound Book Marketing

Discoverability, SEO, keywords, rich metadata—get these things correct and success is yours, right? Wrong, I’m sorry to say. Discoverability isn’t nearly enough. Discoverability relies on someone actively trying to discover something, which comes only at the end stage of the buying process. You need to catch people much earlier—long before they even know they...

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‘The Girl on the Train’ Extends Lead as Best-Selling Ebook Prices Creep up

Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train is settling into its fourth week at the top of the Ebook Best-Seller List, seemingly immune from the game of musical chairs other best-selling titles appear to be playing. Many of those, including Wild, Gone Girl, American Sniper, Unbroken, and the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy—all three titles of which hit the top 25 for the first time...

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What Are Authors Worth?

If many authors today are better at figuring out exactly what their publishers are worth to them than the other way around, it’s largely out of necessity. One reason few publishers can assign a dollar value their authors, according to marketing expert Murray Izenwasser, is because they tend not to factor authors into the...

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Amazon to Publish First Batch of Kindle Scout Titles

Amazon rolled out its crowdsourcing initiative Kindle Scout in October last year, and now the first ten of 21 titles selected through the program for publication under the company’s Kindle Press imprint are due out a week from today. The authors of those projects chosen to date each receive a five-year contract, $1,500 advance and 50% digital...

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Android, Apple and Ebooks

Apple’s success with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus has been extraordinary by any measure. And after bundling the iBooks app with iOS 8 late last year, Apple reported bringing in 1 million new customers a week through the holiday season. But the extent to which those gains indicate an increasingly Apple-dominated ebook universe...

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Android, Apple and Mobile Ebooks: A Roundtable

After Apple released its most recent financial results earlier this month, several online outlets jumped to publish headlines like this one on TechCrunch: “Apple’s iPhone Overtakes Android in U.S. Sales for the First Time Since 2012.” That headline was rather breathless by comparison with the report the article draws on, which notes that iOS...

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HarperCollins Expands Bookmate Offering

Many of the leading ebook subscription services are growing, both in terms of content and reach. Amazon brought Kindle Unlimited to Mexico and Canada less than two weeks ago. And earlier this month, Scribd added 10,000 digital comics to its subscription-based platform. Now Bookmate brings its total catalog up to 250,000 titles after adding...

HarperCollins Expands Subscription Ebook Partnership with Bookmate

[Press Release] Bookmate expands deal with HarperCollins Agreement will increase Bookmate’s English-language catalogue to 250,000 titles 20 February 2015: Bookmate, the subscription-based social reading service, has today announced the expansion of its deal with HarperCollins Publishers. The agreement, which expands the deal struck in October 2014, will add a significant number of books from...

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Kindle Unlimited Payouts Low Despite Growth

The total sum Amazon reserves for Kindle Unlimited authors is growing alongside the subscription program, which arrived in Mexico and Canada last week. But the size of the individual payouts authors receive every time their titles are borrowed isn’t keeping pace. Publishers Lunch puts that figure at nearly $1.38 for January, about 5 cents...

direct-to-consumer ebook publishers

The Business Case for Publishers Going Direct

Many publishers agree direct-to-consumer strategies are critical for building a brand identity and connecting with customers in novel ways. In other words, the marketing case for going direct is pretty widely understood. But fewer publishers are as convinced they can establish revenue streams on their own that are substantial enough to compete with the...

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To Go Direct, Publishers Must Mean Business

The arithmetic of publishing is fairly straightforward: Sell plenty of books at as high a margin as you can manage, and don’t spend all that margin on overheads. To make that sum work, there are a number of levers a business can pull in order to improve its fortunes. You can increase the retail...

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For Publishers’ SEO, Divide and Conquer

Book publishers wanting to optimize their web content to drive discovery should approach it as a battle waged on two fronts: the elements they control, and the ones they don’t. Off-site content, like book reviews, fall into the latter category, but what marketing expert Murray Izenwasser calls the “mechanicals” of publishers’ own sites can be tailored to...