Amazon

Is Self-Publishing Coming of Age in the Digital World?

Is Self-Publishing Coming of Age in the Digital World?

Erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey began life as a humble, self-published ebook, unable to satisfy the tastes of traditional publishers. Within a few years it had achieved domination on a global scale, spawning a series that has sold more than 125 million copies. E. L. James’s personal story has become a tantalizing fantasy...

The Four Horsemen and the Future of Publishing

The Four Horsemen and the Future of Publishing

Scott Galloway is a clinical professor at the NYU Stern School of Business, where he teaches brand strategy and digital marketing. In 2012, Professor Galloway was named “One of the World’s 50 Best Business School Professors” by Poets & Quants. He is also the founder of Red Envelope and Prophet Brand Strategy. Galloway was...

Digital Book World

The Four Horsemen and Publishing’s Future

Scott Galloway is a clinical professor at the NYU Stern School of Business, where he teaches brand strategy and digital marketing. In 2012, Professor Galloway was named “One of the World’s 50 Best Business School Professors” by Poets & Quants. He is also the founder of Red Envelope and Prophet Brand Strategy. Galloway was...

Why Amazon Is Doubling Down on Lobbying

Why Amazon Is Doubling Down on Lobbying

Amazon nearly doubled its lobbying expenditures in 2015 versus the previous year, spending $9.4 million dollars trying to sway Congress and executive agencies. The jump puts Amazon’s lobbying efforts in the same league as other tech giants like Microsoft and Facebook, and reflects how the company’s expanding business interests have raised the stakes 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...

How Amazon Could Open ‘Profitable’ Retail Stores

How Amazon Could Open ‘Profitable’ Retail Stores

A Wall Street Journal story has propelled a rumor that Amazon will open 400 or more stores in malls into industry discussion. Nobody really knows whether it is true and, as I write this, Amazon has not commented for the record. If it is true, then I certainly am guilty of one wrong prediction....

Books That Don’t Start Strong Will Lose the Reader

Books That Don’t Start Strong Will Lose the Reader

“In the first post in this series, I introduced the notion of the ‘Internet of Bookish Things’ to describe how (e)books were now nodes on the Internet that could record how books are being read,” writes Andrew Rhomberg in a blog post for Digital Book World. “And in last week’s post, ‘Reading Fast and...

Digital Book World

Sleeping Through a Revolution

Jonathan Taplin is a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, and Director of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab. He began his entertainment career in 1969 as tour manager for Bob Dylan and The Band. In 1973, he produced Martin Scorsese’s first feature film, Mean Streets, which was...

How to Pick the Best Ebook Format

How to Pick the Best Ebook Format

“As a book designer, I understand the desire to mirror a book’s print design with its ebook counterpart,” writes Kevin Callahan in a blog post for Digital Book World. “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...

Mike Shatzkin: Publishing ‘at a Fragile Moment’

Mike Shatzkin: Publishing ‘at a Fragile Moment’

The Digital Book World Conference + Expo is right around the corner, taking place March 7th-9th in New York. And to find out more about some of the programming that’s scheduled, as well as some insight into the state of the book publishing industry, we sat down with Mike Shatzkin, CEO of The Idea...

A Look at How Three Publishers Are Doing It

A Look at How Three Publishers Are Doing It

The publishing industry has encountered plenty of change in the past decade, most acutely due to the consumers’ mass adoption of digital content, which has been widely reported. Accordingly, the old stalwarts have been forced to adapt in a competitive environment, and this has opened up opportunities for smaller, more agile publishing groups to...

Why Ebook Markup Is a Sign of a Publisher’s Health

Why Ebook Markup Is a Sign of a Publisher’s Health

“I see the presence and proper use of semantic markup in the production process as one of the signs of the health of a publisher,” writes Joshua Tallent in a blog post for Digital Book World. “While this may not have been as true just 10 years ago, the publishing world has changed considerably...

Reading Fast and Slow – Observing Book Readers in Their Natural Habitat

Observing Book Readers in Their Natural Habitat

“In last week’s post, I introduced the notion of the ‘Internet of Bookish Things,’ and how (e)books were now nodes on the Internet that could record how books are being read,” writes Andrew Rhomberg. “In this week’s post, I will begin the exploration of what we can learn using this new ‘superpower.’” “One of...

The (Real) Future of Publishing

What Is 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...

Playster Capitalizing on Oyster’s Shutdown, Scribd’s Reduction

Playster Capitalizing on Oyster’s Shutdown, Scribd’s Reduction

Playster, which bills itself as “the all-inclusive, global media and entertainment platform,” came out of beta in December, entering the ever-changing field of ebook subscription services. What distinguishes Playster from similar efforts, though, is that “inclusivity” the company touts: users can bundle ebooks, audiobooks, movies, music and games all under one service. With Playster...

Why It’s Time to Focus on IP Rights

Why It’s Time to Focus on IP Rights

Copyright, intellectual property 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,” writes Tom Chalmers in a blog...

All About the Internet of Bookish Things

All About 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

Independent Publishers in a Modern World

When we presented our analysis of Search Engine Optimization 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...

There Is Revenue That Publishers Are Preventing Themselves from Getting

There Is Revenue That Publishers Are Preventing Themselves from Getting

In a blog post, Mike Shatzkin writes: “In our Logical Marketing work with partner Peter McCarthy over the past couple of years, helping publishers with the next-phase challenges of digital marketing, we have identified three specific cross-functional opportunities that exist in every publishing house that are especially difficult for the biggest ones to address...

How Publishers Are Squandering Their Data

How Publishers Are Squandering Their 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...

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Announces Kindle iOS App Updates

Amazon today announced three new updates to its Kindle iOS app: • Native Social Sharing – This feature makes it easier to recommend a book to a friend or discuss a line from the book. Readers and senders can recommend the book or share a quote from the book with whomever they want. Readers can also choose...

Amazon Has Won the Self-Publishing Market

Amazon Has Won the Self-Publishing Market

Penguin Random House, the largest book publisher in the world, is chopping off its self-publishing arm. The company said Tuesday that it has sold Author Solutions—the self-publishing author-tools platform that it bought in 2012—to an unnamed affiliate of US private equity firm Najafi Companies for an undisclosed sum. Whether driven by sinking profits or...

What Goes into a Successful Marketing Plan?

What Goes into 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,...

10 Industry Predictions for 2016

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

How Publishers Can Use Their Authors to Boost Sales

“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...

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...

All About Footnotes in Ebook Design

All About Footnotes in Ebook Design

In previous posts we have been discussing the important parts of the front matter of an ebook. Now we will switch to discussing the back matter, starting with the topic of footnotes and endnotes. Footnotes are an important part of non-fiction writing. They allow authors to cite sources, refer to more information on a...

Amazon Bottlenecks Frustrating Indie Publishers

Amazon Bottlenecks Frustrating Indie Publishers

With publishers in the throes of the holiday season, where purchases can make or break the bottom line, some are experiencing critical issues with their biggest retail partner: Amazon. Supply chain hiccups have left the biggest titles from some publishers out-of-stock and unavailable for purchase at the all-important retailer. Several publishers, wholesalers, and distributors...

The All-in-One Subscription Model

The Future of the All-in-One Subscription Model

Self-publishing is easier than it has ever been, but in the current marketplace earning money for the books you’ve written now comes with a whole new set of challenges. Most authors and publishers are finding it difficult to get their books to stand out in a market that’s only getting more and more saturated....

Why Publishers Need to Be Mobile-Friendly

Why Publishers Need to Be Mobile-Friendly

Can you imagine life without a smartphone or tablet? Before 1994, access to the Internet was limited to desktops and laptops, confining website commerce to the home and business. Believe it or not, the first micro/mobile browser made its debut that year. And 13 years later, how we all use the Internet changed immeasurably...

10 Ways Publishers Can Beat Amazon

10 Ways Publishers Can Beat Amazon

Recently, I’ve been talking to people in the book industry about a new program my company is launching that allows individuals and organizations to retail ebooks and audiobooks like the big three do: Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble. One of the most common questions I get asked, though, is, “How can anyone compete...

Is Amazon the Lion That Will Eat You?

Is Amazon the Lion That Will Eat You?

Recently, I’ve been talking to people in the book industry about a new program my company is launching that allows individuals and organizations to retail ebooks and audiobooks like the big three do: Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble. One of the most common questions I get asked, though, is, “How can anyone compete...

How Digital and Print Publishing Must Coexist

How Digital and Print Publishing Must Coexist

Digital has signaled the end of print publishing, has it not? This is what we’ve heard every year since what feels like the dawn of time. But while traditional publishing is certainly challenged by the digital revolution and changing consumer habits, there is actually a huge opportunity here, and the approach should not be...