digital marketing


What Code Is Revealing About Readers

There’s a brave new world in book publishing, and it’s being shaped by and around audience insights. Not only are publishers becoming more adept at using data to work smarter, but code and algorithms are also getting better at gathering information and executing tasks without the help of humans. At Jellybooks, we recently developed...

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Screwdrivers, Hacksaws and Other Ebook Production Tools

Every ebook developer has a favorite set of tools, but according to one expert in the space, not every ebook developer remembers to ask why they use the ones they do. As Keith Snyder puts it, “On deadline, we choose the devil we know.” But one largely neglected software, in Snyder’s view, is a...

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Do Amazon’s Book Review Policies Meet Authors’ Needs?

A self-published author says a review she posted on Amazon for a fellow writer’s book was removed because, according to the e-tailer, she knows the author personally. The author, Imy Santiago, has challenged that assertion with Amazon’s customer review moderators, which she says Amazon told her it determined based on her “account activity.” Reviewing...

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Do Standards Help or Hinder Innovation?

Many trade publishers fall asleep at the mention of standards. Support for EPUB3—just to name one—is still far from universal, and there are few signs that that’s changing quickly. But outside trade publishing, standards arguably garner more urgent attention from digital content developers, distributors and their partners. W3C, a web standards group, secures the...

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Focused Book Marketing in a Fragmented Market

“The key change authors and publishers need to embrace—and it’s a change that’s both an opportunity and a challenge—is that the book discovery landscape is fracturing,” Goodreads co-founder and CEO Otis Chandler says. Some see that shift leading to readers exercising more control over how content is curated and discovered. For publishers, Chandler explains,...

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How to Work with Influencers to Drive Book Discovery

Ask authors and publishers about the biggest challenge they face, and chances are the top answer you’ll get is book discovery. Yes, it’s been the No. 1 issue in the industry for years, but it’s getting increasingly difficult. Millions of books are now published every year. Mass media, already the preserve of the rarified...

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HarperCollins Tries Mobile Marketing with Shazam

“We need to be more ambitious about who our audience is,” digital strategist Molly Barton exhorted publishers at the Digital Book 2015 Conference at BookExpo America earlier this week, urging them to look for readers in unlikely places. Now HarperCollins announces a mobile marketing partnership with Shazam, which first came to prominence an app...

HarperCollins Shazam digital ebook mobile marketing discovery readers

HarperCollins Partners with Shazam on Interactive Mobile Marketing

HarperCollins and Shazam team up to offer mobile users access to interactive multimedia content, including “author interviews, special offers, videos, playlists and more,” according to an announcement the publisher released today. The Shazam logo will now appear on certain HarperCollins print and digital titles, and readers who scan their devices across it will automatically launch a...

Discovery Challenges Mount in a Reader-Driven World

Editors and imprints are steadily losing the ability to dictate how their content is curated and discovered, says Canelo co-founder Michael Bhaskar, speaking at the International Digital Publishing Forum’s Digital Book 2015 conference at BookExpo America in New York City this morning. That power, as Bhasksar sees it, has devolved to readers. Or, at...


Customer as King: How to Get an Audience

I often stress in my posts here that the consumer runs the publishing business. It’s always sad when you hear those in the industry patronizing or criticizing the customer, even if it’s just a defensive response to readers failing to show enough interest in publishers’ own output. That the customer holds all of the power is clearer...

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Twelve Publishers Submit to SEO Analysis

Like one of the main things it seeks to improve—discoverability—search engine optimization can be something of a moving target for publishers. Still, marketing experts like Murray Izenwasser and Peter McCarthy have shown there are ways to solve key pieces of the SEO puzzle without much technical expertise, time or investment. Now, Izenwasser puts that...

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BookBub Expands Discount Ebook Service to India

The email book marketing start-up BookBub launched in India yesterday, the company’s third international expansion after rolling out its service in Canada in January this year and the UK in September 2014. In order to help connect English-language titles with more Indian readers, BookBub also introduces support for Flipkart, the e-tailer considered to be India’s biggest online...

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Why There Might Be (Much) More Disruption Coming

One digital publishing expert recently back from the London Book Fair perceived a “collective sigh of relief” that the print-digital market is finally stabilizing. But it might be too soon to take comfort. According to Gareth Cuddy, CEO of the newly rebranded Vearsa, “for anyone to think that the digital disruption book publishing has...

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Penguin Random House Revamps Web Presence

Most publishers, it’s been noted, don’t have especially strong relationships with their readers. Penguin Random House unveils a unified consumer-facing website designed to change that—in the words of CEO Markus Dohle, “one author, one book, and one reader at a time.” Like other recent editorially driven discovery efforts, the new site combines information on...

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Audience Research Needn’t Be Costly or Time Consuming

The line between “conventional wisdom” and “misconception” is often thin, blurry and easy to stumble over. As the book marketing world sharpens its digital chops, misconceptions tend to result from insufficient experience with, and incomplete understanding of, a particular tactic. In my experience, it’s that holistic sort of nuance that makes all the difference. This...

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Cheerios: Now with Ebooks

Since 2003, Cheerios has stuffed some of its cereal boxes with children’s books published by Simon & Schuster, through a program called “Cheer on Reading.” Now, that program takes a digital turn with help from BookShout. The ebook distribution service is providing Cheerios boxes with special codes offering select free ebooks by some of...


Publishers Finally Taking the Reins on Web Marketing

By the end of the London Book Fair last week, I had spoken to over 100 publishers, most of them mid-sized, (by going booth to booth—and yes, my feet are tired) as well as a handful of distributors, and I’ve noticed that for the first time there is nearly universal agreement on the following...

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Video Marketing for Publishers: How, Whether, When?

Video may have killed the radio star, but its impact on the book world is still buffering. Book trailers are by now a familiar if limited presence in the marketing landscape. And while some publishers have built video into their marketing and content offerings, those experiments are still in their early days. So what...

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Pressing Pause on the New Streaming Platforms

Two similar apps recently took the social media universe by storm: Meerkat and Periscope. Both allow you to live-stream video directly from your mobile phone to the web. The real difference between them is that Periscope is from Twitter Inc. while Meerkat isn’t, but Meerkat launched first and received $12 million in funding. If...

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It’s Not (Just) about Discoverability

The Five Stops on Your Customer’s Journey In the course of planning and developing a direct-to-consumer (D2C) strategy, it can be easy to lose sight of how the technical components fit into the broader strategic picture. So let’s zoom out for a moment and return the focus on customers—the people who are (or will...

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Three Ways to Engage Millennials on Social Media

“Authenticity is key,” said Huffington Post Teen Editor Taylor Trudon about engaging with young readers on social platforms, speaking at a conference hosted by Publishing Perspectives in New York City this morning, called “Designing Books for Young Readers.” Striking a tone that digital natives perceive as authentic doesn’t always come easily to book publishers. Social media marketing is nothing new in publishing...

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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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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...


What We Talk about When We Talk about Mobile

What exactly do we mean when we talk about mobile strategies for digital publishers? There’s one quick and easy answer. It involves posting regularly to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and their brethren so that people with smartphones can follow your publicity trail. True enough. But as I moved deeper into research on my report on...

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Looking Beyond Sales in Direct Bookselling

Why direct-to-consumer retail is about more than just driving revenue for publishers, a new argument on behalf of enhanced ebooks and playing the long-game in digital publishing, the unsung potential of foreign rights sales, used ebooks in Europe and much more.

Finding New Paths to Digital Readers

Paper Lantern Lit's co-founders on building a "story experience" tailored to digital readers today, inside Apple's ebook pricing appeal hearing, Google doubles down on e-commerce, Amazon updates Kindle iOS apps and much more.

Doing More with Data

The need to improve data-driven publishing tactics grows more urgent, announcing finalists for the 2015 Digital Book Awards, Scribd adds Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ebooks, linking websites and social media book marketing and more.

Hachette Takes Bookselling to Twitter

Hachette partners with Gumroad on a direct sales platform for Twitter, Wattpad and Amazon face off on fan fiction market, Addr picks up where Readmill left off on social e-reading, Kobo crowdsources innovation and much more.

Hachette Joins with Gumroad to Sell Books on Twitter

With the ink on its new Amazon contract barely dry, Hachette opens up a new distribution channel outside the e-tailer’s ecosystem. Partnering with the e-commerce platform Gumroad, which earlier this year launched an iOS app to help authors sell their books direct to consumers, Hachette rolls out a pilot program letting readers buy select titles inside their Twitter feeds. One irony...

How Publishers Can Regain Leverage

Author and 'New Yorker' contributor Ken Auletta on whether publishers can--or should--up their clout in Amazon negotiations, unfinished business for Authors United, Kobo sizes up the global ebook market and much more.