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Should authors use Snapchat to target a younger audience?
March 28, 2014 | 10:30 am

snapchatSnapchat may get some bad connotations when thinking about the social media platform, but a number of brands have seen past the poor stigma and leveraged the platform for their benefit. Young adult authors and publishers may consider doing the same. For those who don't know about Snapchat, it's an app that allows users to share photos and videos that last anywhere from 1 to 10 seconds before it disappears. The negative attention to the app had to do with sexting. In this article on Brand Driven Digital, Nick Westergaard gives Snapchat a look and explains why it matters. Here's why young adult...

Substance B: A New Offering from BB eBooks
August 27, 2013 | 7:24 pm

Substance BThere's a rule of thumb in marketing that it costs five times more to attract a new client than the price of retaining an existing one. So retaining clients seems to make good sense. (Hint to indie authors: This applies to you as well.) One good way to retain clients is to offer new services. New services that are low-cost are a bonus. New services that help clients market themselves? Priceless! BB eBooks has just added Substance B, a marketing solution for its clients that hits both the "low-cost" and "helps clients market" buttons. The basic service, which is free to BB...

Do promotional campaigns for libraries actually work?
August 6, 2013 | 2:46 pm

A great promotional image for libraries caught my eye, courtesy of Facebook, and set a train of thought going: The above was the result of a competition hosted by German publishing giant Springer's Springer LibraryZone, with the lucky winner Miguel Correia of the Institute of Accounting and Administration of Lisbon (ISCAL) in Portugal. "Wow! I wasn't expecting this! Thank you, Springer and all the people who voted for my quote," Miguel said in his reply on Facebook. "To all librarians out there: live long and prosper!" Note the complete openness to digital media and ebooks, with no distinction drawn between print and...

What’s the hoo-hah about Libboo?
August 6, 2013 | 2:03 pm

Another self-publishing support platform, Libboo, seems to be getting quite a bit of pick-up lately, with a fairly laudatory writeup in The Bookseller's digital offshoot, FutureBook. In a piece called "Testing Libboo - an author's view," self-published author Russ King describes his experience with Libboo, an "advocacy marketing" platform which "empowers you with behavioral data about your readers. A first-of-its-kind dashboard with real-time analytics offers insight into how, where, and why your book is shared online." "I joined Libboo during their beta phase," relates King. "As a reader, I enjoyed earning high quality free books and chatting with the authors. As an author,...

The Mystery of the E-Book on the Subway Poster
June 24, 2013 | 3:15 pm

e-booksI'm all for creative marketing from the indie folks—it's a crowded market, and you want to stand out, no? What I don't understand? Spending money on this marketing without taking steps to make sure it's effective. Take today's little case study: I was on my way downtown and saw my first ever e-book subway poster ad. The poster was the little half-size kind they mount up at ceiling level, not unlike the Swatch ads shown in the photo above. A given subway car might have 10 to 15 of these per side, and often someone will rent out a whole car for a...

Diminishing returns dawn for self-publishing?
May 21, 2013 | 4:36 pm

self-publishing This is as much a thought piece and a kickoff for discussion as a fully fleshed-out article, but it goes like this: Is the end of the golden age of self-publishing already in sight? Part of the reasoning behind this comes from the dawn of the dot-com era just over a decade ago, when Internet companies were racing to build their public profile prior to going public. I used to do a lot of this stuff in Hong Kong, back in the day when page views rather than "friends" or retweets were the key metric; and with the prospect of high-rolling...

What do readers owe authors?
April 4, 2013 | 10:15 am

Two great reads came into my inbox this morning, one via Book Riot and one via email, from a blog called Picky Girl, which I have not read. The subject? Reader responsibility. Do they have any? Does being a 'reader' obligate one to perform certain tasks on behalf of the author? It was an interesting dialogue. Picky Girl (aka Jenn) began with an author tweet that read 'I am VERY happy you found my novel at the library, dear reader ... but do realize that if only libraries buy books, authors don't eat.' [caption id="attachment_82572" align="alignright" width="246"] THIS IS HORSESHIT[/caption] After her initial irk...

BlackBerry 10 promo campaign features Neil Gaiman
March 7, 2013 | 10:54 am

Neil Gaiman "The new BlackBerry Z10 is designed to keep you moving," reads the copy on the website of a new promotional campaign for the recently-launched smartphone. "So we've given it to three people who never stop. These incredibly talented and ambitious people are always looking for the next exciting challenge." Yeah, that's pretty corny. But I was certainly surprised to learn that one of the three people involved in the Z10 campaign was the author (and longtime TeleRead favorite) Neil Gaiman. (The campaign's other two artists are the singer-songwriter Alicia Keys, and the filmmaker Robert Rodriquez.) But here's the interesting bit: As the promotion's website explains,...

For a free e-book, just tweet
March 5, 2013 | 9:51 pm

free e-bookWe've been writing quite a bit lately about book publicity tactics, which is probably why a recent tweet about a Pan Macmillan promo caught my eye this morning. The promotion couldn't be easier: You post a pre-written tweet about a new Richard House series called The Kills, and then the first book of the series (there will eventually be four, and the first is titled Sutler) is automatically downloaded onto your computer, tablet or smartphone. (I just gave the promo a test run myself, and was surprised when I was offered my choice of a Mobi or EPUB file.) The Kills, as the book's...

Book Promotion: What Works, What Doesn’t
March 5, 2013 | 11:02 am

book promotionThanks to Nate over at The Digital Reader for alerting me to this great blog post by author Lindsay Buroker. Buroker runs through a number of Amazon 'tricks' which, for various reasons, are losing steam as powerhouse author tools. Some tools, such as tagging and keyword manipulation, never worked that well anyway because people don't tend to search for books using those methods. Others, such as freebie promotions, are less potent than they used to be because of Amazon's restrictions on these practices. So, what was Buroker's perhaps surprising conclusion? She points out that authors should not lose heart when these things...

Can smartphone game Tip or Skip entice ‘showroomers’ to buy goods in physical locations?
July 31, 2012 | 7:34 pm

tip or skip“Showrooming.” While I can’t say I’d heard the specific term before, it’s easy to understand what it’s talking about—the practice of using a physical store as a “showroom” where you can examine something and then go buy it online. This is one of the trends many pro-agency pricing comment submitters noted in their comments to the DoJ, though in the DoJ’s response it was largely referred to as “free-riding.” As I mentioned the other day, a lot of people do “showrooming” in bookstores with their Kindles. However, it’s also long been a popular activity on smartphones for general-purpose...

Writer Ewan Morrison decries social media promotion for e-books, failure of ACTA passage
July 31, 2012 | 6:19 pm

I had never heard of this Ewan Morrison person before blogging that story quoting him the other day, but all of a sudden it seems like he’s coming out of the woodwork everywhere. I saw a mention on the E-Book Community Mailing List of a column by him on The Guardian. It says it’s third in a series, but I’m not sure what the other two are because there aren’t any links to them there. In this column, Morrison basically pooh-poohs the idea of social networking to sell self-published books, pointing out that if you’re spending 80% of...