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Posts tagged marketing

How Amazon Employees Sell Their E-Books
July 1, 2013 | 2:01 pm

AmazonBy Moe Zilla There was a startling announcement on Monday. An Amazon employee is selling a book about their life at the company. But if you purchased it as a Kindle e-book, he’d also mail you a free print version of the same book! It’s the first time I’ve seen a print book relegated to the “bonus” give-away when purchasing a digital e-book—and it turns out he’s not the only former Amazon employee who’s come up with some new twists on Kindle e-books… This offer was described at unusualPromotion.com, and a press release claims it “marks the beginning of a turning point in the Book...

The Seattle Public Library breaks a world record with its jaw-dropping book domino chain (video)
June 29, 2013 | 4:28 pm

libraryI don't believe I've ever seen an actual book domino chain in person. I'd never even seen a video of such a thing until earlier this afternoon. But apparently enough of them have been created over time that an actual Book Domino Chain World Record holder exists out there, somewhere. And yet that person (or that institution, as the case may be) had its world record stripped away roughly four weeks ago by none other than the main branch of the Seattle Public Library. Officially known as the Central Library, the building became architecturally famous worldwide back in 2004, thanks to its...

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...

YA author Elle Casey discusses the transition to full-time
May 30, 2013 | 3:11 pm

Elle CaseySelf-published young adult fiction author Elle Casey recently wrote on the Kindle Boards about making the transition from a part-time to a full-time self-published and self-supporting writer. I asked her to share some more details with the TeleRead audience about how this happened. TeleRead: How did you ramp up to the point of being able to support yourself by writing? Did you plan out any kind of timeline, or did it simply happen? Elle Casey: I didn't plan anything. When I started, I just had the goal of one stranger buying my book and liking it. After that, I had a goal of...

British horror writer A.N. Donaldson on the hard road to acceptance
May 29, 2013 | 11:27 am

A.N. DonaldsonBritish horror writer and lawyer A.N. Donaldson released his richly crafted and very unsettling novel Prospero’s Mirror, which chronicles the last days of the celebrated ghost story writer M.R. James, in April this year, in print and e-book editions from Endeavour Press. I talked to him about the difficulties of getting its peculiar strengths accepted by a publisher, and how the print and digital releases complement each other. TeleRead: Has e-publishing helped you produce a distinctive work that might otherwise never have been picked up by a print publisher? A.N. Donaldson: E-publishing has certainly proved a life-saver for my book Prospero's Mirror....

Review: Star Dispatches eReads
May 28, 2013 | 11:00 am

Star DispatchesI've written before about the Toronto Star newspaper's new-ish eReads program, Star Dispatches. But I've never written about it as a subscriber—I signed up two weeks ago, and am pleased to report that, in my mind at least, the service is a big hit! The program is simple. A dollar a week gets you a new e-book every Friday—you can download it right from the email into the app of your choice (PDF for reading on the computer, or your choice of EPUB or Mobi for iBooks, Kobo or Kindle reading). As a subscriber, you can also access the library of past installments...

Six Book Publishing Lessons From Open Road Media
May 23, 2013 | 1:00 pm

Open Road MediaLaura Hazard Owen of paidContent brings us this great story about Open Road Media, an e-only publisher that specializes in backlist republications of titles which were not yet available in e-book form. Along with the history lesson on the history of this unique publisher, the article offers six 'lessons' other publishers can learn from what Open Road has done. The lessons include having a marketing plan, playing nice with retail partners, using video for effective promotion, being flexible to changes in the market and in the marketing plan, and knowing when to use good ol' paper. From the article: “The speed of what’s happened...

Self-Publishing Social Media Saturation: Is it already here?
May 22, 2013 | 1:15 pm

self-publishingEarlier I wrote about the possibility that the new channels of e-book marketing might soon be saturated by the efforts of a new generation of publicists, agents and book promoters—once these had mastered social media and other techniques for getting their message in front of readers—to the detriment of indies or individual self-publishers. Now it seems this is happening before my eyes. To the right is a screenshot of my Hootsuite Twitter feed for the hashtag #pubtip, which as many self-publishers know, is a well-regarded search term for advice and tips for authors, originally started by literary agent Rachelle Gardner in...

Barefooot Books Pulls its Books from Amazon
May 22, 2013 | 12:15 pm

An independent children’s publisher has decided to cut ties with Amazon. Barefoot Books has pulled its books from the online retail giant, claiming that it wants to focus on more grassroots types of campaigns, it said in a press release on Digital Book World on Tuesday. Among the issues with Amazon that Barefoot faces is Amazon heavily discounting its books, and Amazon often selling its books before Barefoot has even received advanced copies from the printer. “As entrepreneurs, we admire Amazon and its ground-breaking accomplishments. However, Barefoot’s commitment is to diversity and to grassroots values; to ‘small is beautiful’,” Barefoot’s co-founder and CEO...

Ted Heller comes out without a jacket
May 22, 2013 | 10:15 am

Ted HellerAs already noted in TeleRead, author Ted Heller has recently been bemoaning his woes as a self-publisher in Slate. He's now followed up with a further bulletin on his tribulations as an e-reader, first run on The Weeklings and also aired since on Slate. In particular, he cites the demise of that mobile billboard, the book jacket. Heller takes issue with the fact that Kindles and their ilk never show others your reading choices. "The Kindle tells you nothing about the book that’s being read and therefore nothing about the person reading it," Heller observes—though I'd object that this comes down...

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...

Self-publishing author Ted Heller doesn’t like the process. That may be because he’s doing it wrong.
May 16, 2013 | 11:23 am

Self-publishing is not for everyone. It’s not for the impatient. It’s not for those dreaming of great successes. Self-publishing is one of the hardest gigs to get into—that has been proven by hundreds (if not thousands) of authors who have self-published books. That’s not to say you cannot have great success, or even quick success, if you self-publish. It just won’t happen for most. Ted Heller recently wrote an article for Salon complaining about his own self-publishing experience. Heller had three previous books published the traditional way. When his latest book West of Babylon, didn’t get a bite, he decided to go the self-publishing...

David Gaughran on traditional media exposure for self-publishers
May 13, 2013 | 5:00 pm

David GaughranAfter reading my review of David Gaughran's self-help guide to visibility-raising for self-publishers, Let’s Get Visible: How to Get Noticed and Sell More Books, Gaughran himself got in touch with me and outlined some of his views on traditional media exposure and self-publishing. As I noted in the review, traditional publicity venues didn't feature much in his book, and Gaughran explained to me why. With his permission, I'm reproducing his remarks, which may help other self-published authors still further with their marketing choices. “Right now ... there are very, very few paths to success outside Amazon, and I felt the book had...

Review: “Let’s Get Visible: How to Get Noticed and Sell More Books” by David Gaughran
May 12, 2013 | 11:00 am

Let's Get Visible This book had me diving into my current e-book projects within the first few minutes of opening the review copy, looking at how to improve the preview, feedback hooks, tagging, category choice, etc. And by the end, I had a whole checklist of sites to visit, tweaks to make, programs to sign up for. That's how useful it is. Irish author and self-publishing proselyte David Gaughran has turned himself into quite an advocate for the e-publishing revolution. Advocate is putting it mildly; I wouldn't like to be the publisher or vanity press on the receiving end of a diatribe like this....

Scott Turow and the Publishing Marketplace
April 8, 2013 | 4:00 pm

Scott TurowI've seen at least four stories today on the Scott Turow editorial in this week's New York Times (for example, here and here). Turow's editorial was a mishmash of all sorts of trending stories, offering his comments on used books, libraries, the Kirtsaeng decision, Amazon, and who knows what else. He has been derided, and rightly so in my opinion, for taking a somewhat extreme and out of touch view of the current marketplace. But what I think often gets lost in this knee-jerk reactionary stuff (both on the part of the originator and the various respondents) is that these pieces often do...

The Media and the Barbell Problem
March 23, 2013 | 8:55 am

I read a great article today by Matthew Ingram where he explains the current difficulties facing the news media as a 'barbell' problem--entities on either side of the barbell are going to be just fine, he argues. It's the people in the middle who are going to get squeezed! Ingram's theory is this: If you are a top gun, like, say, the New York Times, you'll be fine, because you have both resources to fund new ventures and cash flow to wait it out until you see which of those ventures stick. Similarly, if you are a small-town paper--the other end of the barbell--where "forces...

The Growing Pains of Read an E-Book Week
March 18, 2013 | 12:19 pm

Read an E-Book WeekRich Adin, a professional editor, has a thoughtful essay up about Read an E-Book Week. He says he has seen many complaints on author boards that authors' sales did not appreciably benefit from the RAEW sale, and he offers some reasons for why that might be (e.g., authors choosing too-small discounts; doing little-to-no promotion; not tagging their books so the right readers see them; choosing the wrong books to promote). The point that most interested me, though, was the issue of complacency. Stores don't promote author, Adin argues. And he's right: Smashwords had a special section for Read an E-Book Week,...

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