spotlight

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...

data, metadata, books, sales, bookstores

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,...

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...

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...

The All-in-One Subscription Model

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...

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...

Print Primacy Vs. Digital Diversity?

Print Primacy Vs. Digital Diversity?

No matter what the trend in ebook sales, digital publishing continues to evolve. New resources have allowed for the development of products that complement and expand the publisher’s mission. Editors have had to give ground to producers and software developers, as new assessment modules, learning objects, multimedia tools and social medial...

Why Authors and Publishers Should Embrace Automation

Why Authors and Publishers Should Embrace Automation

Publishing houses have long complained about feeling the squeeze as the industry evolves. This is the reason they cite for lower advances, slashed marketing budgets, taking on less manuscripts and an overall drought of available resources. The industry has changed, which is old news, but what hasn’t is the approach to...

Exploiting the Full Potential of the EPUB3 Format

Exploiting the Full Potential of the EPUB3 Format

If you are a publisher of books that are not strictly narrative, are your ebooks a mirror image of your print books? Or have you taken advantage of the capabilities that the EPUB3 format provides to offer readers an enhanced reading experience? Ebooks, in rudimentary form, have been around since the...

publishers, sales, retail, genre fiction, apps

The Right Tool for the Job

“What you have to understand about us,” says every publisher ever, “is that we are a little bit different. We’re not like everyone else.” I talk to a wide range of publishers about their workflow and processes, and it’s true that each publisher’s route to market is crafted to suit their...

Who Cares How You Read? Just Read.

Who Cares How You Read? Just Read.

There has been a lot of press lately about data that looks like it’s pointing to declining ebook sales and surging print sales. There has also been some chatter about the inferior experience of reading ebooks. The biggest point, though, that I think gets lost in some of the print book...

Mechanical Sympathy Makes Rights Data Easy

Mechanical Sympathy Makes Rights Data Easy

The way I drive, sometimes, you wouldn’t think I believe in mechanical sympathy. But I can assure you I do. Mechanical sympathy is the ability to have an awareness of and empathy for how a machine works, as well as the capacity to adjust your engagement with that machine to help...

The Benefits of Implementing a Rights Management System: Part I

The Benefits of Implementing a Rights Management System: Part I

Introduction What is the revenue potential of licensing at your organization, and how well are you capitalizing on it? Through my work providing rights solutions for MetaComet Systems over the last 16 years, and as the former co-chair of the Book Industry Study Group’s Rights Committee, I have learned that the...

Book Fairs Becoming a Key Meeting Place for Technology

Book Fairs Becoming a Key Meeting Place for Technology

In a month in which a number of rights and licensing deals will be cemented, announced and lauded, it seems to me very appropriate that Digital Book World is focusing on the importance of rights solutions. October has long been synonymous with the Frankfurt Book Fair (FBF), and this continues to...

The Evolution of US Digital Innovation in Publishing

The Evolution of US Digital Innovation in Publishing

The United States has been at the forefront of digital publishing since the field’s inception. And now, as digital is fully integrated into our daily publishing lives and the industry continues to expand the format of books and data analytics, the US market continues to lead. While there has been a...

Authors Are the New Gatekeepers to Large Audiences

Authors Are the New Gatekeepers to Large Audiences

For decades, the gatekeepers to reach large audiences of book consumers have been retailers, publishers, libraries and national media outlets. These organizations hold the keys to reaching millions of readers. But access to their audiences is limited unless one purchases paid advertising, hires a publicity firm or undertakes an expensive, time-consuming tour...

Social Media Marketing Is Backwards: Strategy Vs. Tactics

Social Media Marketing Is Backwards: Strategy Vs. Tactics

There are more than 200 social media networks, and more hit the Internet daily. No wonder authors are confused about how to approach this behemoth. The social media information highway is crowded and noisy. There are more than 30 billion pieces of content shared on Facebook every month, and according to...

Taste-Test Your Books: The Secret Sauce to Boost Sales

Taste-Test Your Books: The Secret Sauce to Boost Sales

The publishing business is one of the few industries with the audacity to create a lot of new products without testing them on consumers first. Imagine running a restaurant and never taste-testing new recipes before serving them to customers. Or imagine automobile companies trying to sell cars without test-driving the vehicle first....

Social Media Marketing Must Be Relevant

Social Media Marketing Must Be Relevant

We often confuse relevance with creativity. Relevance is not about being cutting edge or participating in the latest fad. When it comes to social media, relevance is about delivering the right message to the right person at the right time through the right channel. Sometimes it’s actually easier to understand relevance...

This Is How You Use Facebook to Sell Books

This Is How You Use Facebook to Sell Books

I read the recent DBW piece “Why Facebook Cannot Help You Sell Books” with surprise, and I respectfully disagree with its contentions. I’m pretty much the definition of a midlist author: I write full-time, I’ve hit a few Amazon best-seller lists over the last couple years, and readers seem to enjoy...

How Publishers Need to Rethink Marketing

How Publishers Need to Rethink Marketing

There have been two enduring realities about the marketing publishers have always done for their books. Marketing copy, starting with the descriptions of books publishers created for all purposes, was done by somebody with real knowledge of what was inside the book. The conviction has always been that intimate knowledge of...

Social Media Marketing Must Be Audience-Specific

Social Media Marketing Must Be Audience-Specific

Social media marketing functions best when audience dictates channel and message. Today, though, much of our marketing efforts are backwards. We think a channel such as Facebook will deliver an audience, but a channel merely delivers a message to an audience we have already built. Your audience is a critical asset,...