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Wikipedia tightens its terms of use to prohibit unobvious payola editing
June 17, 2014 | 8:08 am

Over the last few years, a number of minor scandals have come to light concerning wiki editors who were paid by publicity firms to edit articles in Wikipedia. Now, the Wall Street Journal reports, the Wikimedia Foundation has changed the encyclopedia’s terms of use to require that anyone paid to edit an article must disclose that arrangement. This comes only a week after a coalition of major PR firms announced a pledge not to edit their clients’ Wikipedia pages surreptitiously. This is a good move by Wikipedia; the only thing that surprises me is that it had gone...

Apple, eat this: Google snatches BrandZ brand crown
May 22, 2014 | 10:25 am

I'm an Android fanboy. You noticed? I just can't resist the urge to knock holes in the brickwork of walled gardens, and short-circuit reality distortion fields. Not to mention losing trust over anti-trust convictions. So when I see news that Google has knocked Apple off the top slot in the Millward Brown BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking, it makes me come over all warm and fuzzy. According to Millward Brown's own communication on the subject, "Google has overtaken Apple to become the world’s most valuable global brand in the 2014 BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand ranking,...

Some content marketing options – with a bunch of ebook sites you may not have heard of
May 7, 2014 | 10:25 am

content marketingEbooks are consistently bundled under content in marketing circles, through the same skewed categorization that dubs advertisers as "publishers." And of course, this means that any eager self-publisher busy promoting their wares is engaged in content marketing. Hence the infographic below. Courtesy of BlogMost, a tutorials, tips and tricks site, this breakdown of "Smart Ways To Combine Content Marketing With SEO" gives one of the best guides to different venues for various types of content that I know. And there is also a big cluster of venues for "Ebook Submissions" that includes many unknown to me, as well as a few...

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...