Blogs

5 Ways Publishers Can Develop Business Foresight

Last week at the Professional and Scholarly Publishers Conference -- an event hosted by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and Professional & Scholarly Publishers (PSP) in Washington D.C. -- keynote speaker Joseph Esposito posed a question that all publishers, not just those in the professional and scholarly segments, are struggling to answer. That question…

Many Questions, Few Answers in Latest Author Earnings Report

First published in 2014, the second edition of the controversial “Author Earnings Report” was released this week. Written by the mysterious “Data Guy,” the report claims that traditional publishers, particularly the Big 5, have experienced a significant slump in ebook sales on Amazon in 2015 while indie-published authors surged ahead. According to Data Guy, “The…

How to Earn Repeat, Large-Volume Book Orders by Optimizing the Post-Sale Process

Negotiating a large, non-returnable sale of your books to a corporate buyer can be a euphoric event. As you leave the premises you may celebrate with large smiles and high-fives. But unforeseen by many publishers are the various post-sale emotions experienced by the buyers, especially if this is their first time dealing with you. Their…

Other Staff Bloggers
Ebooks & Digital Media

First published in 2014, the second edition of the controversial “Author Earnings Report” was released this week. Written by the mysterious “Data Guy,” the report claims that traditional publishers, particularly the Big 5, have experienced a significant slump in ebook sales on Amazon in 2015 while indie-published authors surged ahead. According to Data Guy, “The…

Last week Penguin Random House U.K. announced the launch of a new direct-to-consumer site that combines the content from its best-known brands, Ladybird, Puffin, and Penguin. The new site comes a little less than a year after Penguin Random House relaunched its U.S.-based website, with the goal of becoming a destination for readers and a…

Google recently published a document entitled Micro-Moments: Your Guide to Winning the Shift to Mobile. You can download the PDF here. It’s a quick read and worth a close look. I’ve long felt the publishing industry is too focused on simply delivering the print experience on digital devices, something often referred to as “print under…

Sales, Marketing & Data Intel

Negotiating a large, non-returnable sale of your books to a corporate buyer can be a euphoric event. As you leave the premises you may celebrate with large smiles and high-fives. But unforeseen by many publishers are the various post-sale emotions experienced by the buyers, especially if this is their first time dealing with you. Their…

As Book Business’ year-end trendspotting survey indicated, direct-to-consumer marketing and bookselling will be top-of-mind for all segments of the publishing industry in 2016. It’s clear from these results, as well as the slew of newly-launched consumer-facing sites, apps, and newsletters that publishers are eager to learn how consumers find books, why they buy, and how…

Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram may be the marketing platforms that earn all the buzz, but here’s a fact: Your email list is a more valuable direct-to-consumer marketing tool than all of those social media sites put together. The power of your community exists in your list -- those people who have actively…

Business Strategy

Publishers who 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, where Amazon is the only company who can apply and manage mobi’s DRM’d files…

At the end of 2015, Democrats and Republicans in Congress surprised nearly everyone by coming together to pass the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA. This law, which replaced what was known as No Child Left Behind, or NCLB, embodies the federal government’s education policies and sets guidelines for billions of dollars in federal spending.…

Last week I highlighted some of the more interesting findings reported in a document Google published called Micro-Moments: Your Guide to Winning the Shift to Mobile. This week I want to focus on a couple of other important points in that document as well as provide an example of how publishers need to leverage the…

Printing & Manufacturing

Negotiating a large-quantity book sale is a little like playing poker, requiring both hard and soft skills. To be good at it you need practice and experience. You also need a little chutzpah, the creativity to recognize alternatives, the ability to assess odds, the willingness to take calculated risks, and the confidence to bluff when…

Large-quantity book sales require input from multiple decision makers. In order to sell your book, you need to build consensus.

A recent article in The Washington Post explained why most students prefer print textbooks over their digital equivalent. There's no disputing the fact that print still dominates the textbook sector. That article correctly identified the "what" but I'm not convinced they thoroughly uncovered the "why" behind this phenomenon.

News

Remember the excitement surrounding the launch of Amazon’s Kindle eight years ago? It was a clunky device, even by 2007 standards, but it was revolutionary. One of the original Kindle’s breakthrough features was the ability to download books via cellular network. The e-Ink display and extremely long battery life also led to its popularity despite…

In a trendy coffee shop called Elixr, on a side street off of Philadelphia’s toney Rittenhouse Square, there is funky décor, loud music, strong coffee, and, by the door, a small vending machine. From this machine, for two dollars, one can purchase not cigarettes or candy or any of those other typically unhealthy vending machine wares, but, instead, a short story.

 

It is the time of year when we are awash in “Best of” lists, and many worthy publications have put forth their recommendations for the best books of the year that is about to pass us by. A friend of mine professed herself overwhelmed by the lists, and asked me if I would curate them for her.  Here, for Julie and for the rest of you, is my “best of the best,” a list of books I think you should find a time and a place for in your busy schedule.