STM Publishers Beware: The Hunt Is on for Plagiarized Images
August 31, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Plagiarism in the scientific community is not new, but has become a recurring theme in the past few years due to a few scandals both in STM journals and in publications that are more general. Why now? I can offer a few explanations. For one, there is greater pressure in the academic community to publish…

Alas, Why? - The Problem With Big Publishing Rejection Letters
May 4, 2017 at 9:06 am

One would think well-educated, literate people, such as those who are attracted to and working in book publishing, would be able to write a rejection letter without using the dreaded “alas” word. But it’s always there, in letters written by veterans and rookies alike. I’d like to suggest we break the pattern and either use…

How Book Publishers Can Navigate the Death Squeeze
March 1, 2017 at 5:34 pm

The 2016 publishing sales data shared by Author Earnings at Digital Book World reminded me of all the times I have been the sad-sack tasked with managing the “death squeeze.” I went through it in the consumer photo business, the paper atlas business, and then the CD-ROM mapping software business. Each of these industries relied…

Benefits of Mobile Reading on the iPhone 7
February 1, 2017 at 1:52 pm

I upgraded to the Apple iPhone 7 for Christmas and have already doubled my reading time. And most of that doubling is because my reading is now truly mobile. Let me offer some personal examples. My wife likes to shop. A lot. I do not. While she was shopping at Goodwill last week, I read…

Another Way Digital Could Complement Print Books: Print-to-Digital Highlights
January 25, 2017 at 3:49 pm

As I’ve said before, the publishing industry needs to get beyond the current “print or digital” mindset and instead explore ways for one to complement the other. Plenty of industry stats show that most readers are comfortable with either format and many prefer the convenience of switching between the two (e.g., reading the news digital…

If You Build Better Metadata, Readers Will Come
November 29, 2016 at 10:26 am

Creating or aggregating content and actually getting readers to see it are two sides of the same coin. Without both content and a reliable way for people to find it, the motivation to create or house such content becomes less. One feeds the other. So, how do content aggregators and authors find that sweet spot…

Amazon Rapids And the Dumbing-Down of Reading
November 7, 2016 at 11:46 am

At first I thought it was an SNL parody about ebooks for kids. We’re so addicted to info snacking, seemingly less able (and interested) in focusing on long form reading, so let’s create a new platform that helps foster even shorter attention spans for our kids. Amazon Rapids is nothing more than a series of…

Taking Book Search and Discovery to the Next Level
October 17, 2016 at 9:03 am

How are you helping consumers find the perfect book for their needs or interests? If you’re like most publishers, you offer a search function on your site. Visitors simply type in a topic and relevant titles from your catalog are displayed. This is pretty similar to how search works on Amazon. In both cases, book…

Google Experiments With Book Discovery…And Fails
October 3, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Even though you probably never stray from the Kindle reader app I’d like to encourage you to expand your horizons. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on Apple’s iBooks and Google Play, for example, to explore other platforms and keep Amazon honest. After all, Amazon’s need to innovate diminishes if ebook platform competition…

How Publishers Can Cure “Ugly Sample Syndrome”
September 20, 2016 at 11:38 am

What if publishers could sell more books by learning the secrets of selling chicken sandwiches? In my hometown of Atlanta, GA, Chick-Fil-A is the dominant fast-food restaurant chain. Started in 1967, the company’s annual sales now eclipse over $6 billion. In addition, their stores generate more revenue per restaurant than any other fast-food chain in…