self-publishing

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How Publishers Can Have Better Websites

“When you compare the online traffic of a news website against that of a publisher’s website, who do you think gets the most visitors?” DBW blogger Rob Eagar asks. “To almost no one’s surprise, it’s not even close: the news sites get much more traffic.” Both groups, though, create massive amounts of content that...

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Jeff Bezos: ‘I Don’t Recognize This Amazon’

In the aftermath of the New York Times’s expose of Amazon’s white-collar working conditions, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sent a memo to Amazon employees acknowledging that the “anecdotes” in the article displayed “shockingly callous management practices.” Yet while Bezos doesn’t refute any specifics in the Times report, he says that its overall portrait of...

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Nerdist Launches Collection on Inkshares

Inkshares, a crowdsourced publishing startup, announced that Nerdist, the Chris Hardwick-founded website, podcast network and YouTube channel, has launched a collection on Inkshares. The collection will be published under the Nerdist name and will be targeted at the Nerdist audience. According to the press release, “authors in the Nerdist collection will also have opportunities...

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Why Publishers Are Wrong About Social Media

In his latest blog post for DBW, Rob Eagar writes that he sees “too many publishers placing too much importance and assigning dubious grades to authors based on the strength or weakness of their social media following.” According to Eagar, there is little correlation between the amount of social media followers an author has...

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Where Does Book Publishing Go from Here?

“This is not a zero-sum game and it isn’t simple,” writes Mike Shatzkin. “It’s Rubik’s Cube complicated.” In Shatzkin’s latest deep dive, he analyzes a slew of factors that are propelling the publishing industry into rapid change, including the return to agency pricing, declining ebook sales, the rise of subscription services, and, perhaps biggest...

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Digital Disruption: When, Whether, Whence?

Is the worst of the digital transition over? Some expect mostly smooth sailing for publishers in the next few years, while others say more change is coming that few are prepared to weather. Rather than referee that debate, Digital Book World is putting it under the microscope. Our latest issue in the “DBW In...

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New Data, Same Slow Ebook Market

Ebooks grew modestly in 2014, a year that saw a 4.6% uptick in revenue overall, according to new full-year figures from the Association of American Publishers (AAP). But while the nearly 1,800 U.S. publishers who participated in the AAP’s latest survey say their ebook sales rose 3.8% on balance last year, the bigger story...

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What Best-Seller Lists Can Tell about Authors’ Potential

This is the first post in Digital Book World’s new “Databox” column. Learn more about it here. Publishers have long sought out authors with the potential to reach wider audiences if brought under their own roofs. Especially in genres where ebooks have performed well, like romance and sci-fi, list growth often depends in part on how...

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Don’t Expect Better Sales Data Soon

Some have questioned whether recent figures showing trade ebook sales hitting a serious slump in January 2015 is the product of agency ebook pricing’s return. Those questions are valid, and they’re likely to remain unanswered. Even though Amazon has restored versions of agency pricing in its agreements with four of the Big Five publishers,...

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London Shines a Light on the Role of Book Fairs

With the new venue of Olympia, this year’s London Book Fair was of particular interest. I had a word with myself an hour in, acknowledging that publishers hate change, so stop moaning that things weren’t where you expected them to be. Thereafter (and a slightly confusing numbering system aside), it was a great event....

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Why Ebook Developers Should Share Tools

One possible reason why many tools for ebook developers are “still decidedly sub-par,” as digital production expert Laura Brady sees it, is the lack of runaway growth in the market. With print and digital production practices sometimes shakily finding a balance, ebook developers are often left to choose among limited resources to produce high-caliber work....

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Using APIs to Publish More Efficiently

“Application programming interfaces, or APIs, aren’t easy to talk about,” writes Bibliocloud Founder and CEO Emma Barnes. “You can’t have a debate about whether or not APIs are a good idea. That would be like arguing over whether the Internet is a good idea.” APIs are already deeply enmeshed in the digital publishing ecosystem,...

Reedsy Adds Author Platform Tools

The self-publishing services platform Reedsy, which launched in November last year, adds tools for authors to develop more robust web presences for connecting with readers. According to a press release announcing the new features, Reedsy now lets authors “integrat[e] Goodreads fans, Amazon portfolios, social media accounts and personal blog posts into a single webpage.” Originally...

IPR License Expands Licensing Opportunities for Self-Published Authors

Related: Tom Chalmers of IPR License on Why Publishers Must Boost Investments in Rights Departments [Press Release] IPR License and Digi-Rights® announce promotional rights and licensing campaign for self-published authors New service aimed at helping US-based self-published authors generate additional domestic and international rights and licensing sales London England UK and Bloomfield Hills, Michigan USA...

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When the Indie Math Doesn’t Add up

There’s little argument that most self-publishing platforms offer authors a far greater share of the income from their work than traditional publishing contracts often do. But there’s usually more to the equation. One key variable no route to publication can ever guarantee is sales. And in many cases if authors find they’re unable to...

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The Trouble with Indie Math

The self-publishing platform Lulu.com recently published this infographic drawing on data from the latest report based on the Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest Author Survey as well as from the Author Earnings project: Lulu’s intent is to tout the benefits of going indie—and indeed, the service makes a lot of good points, many of...

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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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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...

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Where Does Apple Go from Here?

Nearly 70% of Apple’s revenue in the most recent quarter and the entirety of its growth came from the iPhone, leading one observer to remark that the tech company “is now as dependent on the success of one product line…as Microsoft once was with Windows.” Pointing to the experience of Microsoft, at one time...

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Simon & Schuster Sweetens the Deal for Authors

It’s no secret many authors aren’t convinced traditional publishers offer them contract terms worth signing for. Over the past two years, Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest have tracked some of that dissatisfaction in our annual Author Surveys. Enter Simon & Schuster’s North Star Way imprint, which the publisher bills as a more “client-centric...

Simon & Schuster Offers Expanded Author Services in New Multimedia Imprint

Simon & Schuster rolls out a new imprint designed to “offer authors an expanded suite of profile-building, ancillary services that extend beyond the boundaries of traditional publishing,” according to a statement released today. The imprint, called North Star Way, will focus on wellness and self-improvement nonfiction, delivered in a variety of multimedia formats in addition to...

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Authors Recalibrate for Tight Book Market

Slow money is better than no money, or so it appears from the 2015 Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest Author Survey. Authors in this year’s sample who self-published their work were more likely to be satisfied than their traditionally published counterparts by more modest earnings. One reason why, writes Dana Beth Weinberg, who...

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Authors Playing the Long Game in a Tough Book Market

In the 2014 Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest Author Survey, we noticed low satisfaction scores for sales, marketing and earnings among the authors in our sample, leading us to speculate that there was a gap between authors’ expectations and the realities of the book market, where it is very difficult to sell a large number of books....

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How Authors Balance Risks and Rewards

When authors sign contracts with publishers, exactly what is given and what’s expected in return? What do publishers and indie authors do that makes some of them successful and others less so? The results of the 2015 Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest Author Survey are in, and they lay the groundwork for a...

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Mobile Moves to the Center

How the mobile boom is driving a number of trends in a digital landscape where ebook growth has stalled, a full recap of Digital Book World 2015 conference coverage, Amazon reassures authors on Kindle Unlimited, data on authors' earnings and much more.

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Talking Ebooks with Apple and Amazon

Leaders at the two biggest ebook retailers to take the stage next week at Digital Book World 2015, Smaswords increases output, sizing up supply-and-demand in the digital market, Scribd raises $22 million, what's next for Nook and more.