Earned Attention: More than a stack of paper

Attention is the ultimate currency and the only commodity that matters

As an industry I think we’re getting weary of all the various “rich content” experiments and products floating around these days. I have to admit that most make me want to yawn and move on to the next item in my email inbox. Too many of them feel like a Frankenstein project where elements are grafted onto a traditional book and there’s a giant bolt sticking out of the neck.

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LinkedIn as publisher

It's the ideal spot for lifelong-learner content

I’m drawn to LinkedIn now more than ever before. The rate of connection requests I’ve been receiving there has also been accelerating over the past few months. Maybe it’s due to all the uncertainty of the publishing industry but I think there’s more to it than anxious job seekers.

There are all sorts of terrific publishing groups on LinkedIn where opinions are shared and discussed. A good example is our TOC LinkedIn group; check out the stats here. We’re rapidly approaching 20K members. If you’re not a member you’re missing a great deal of terrific industry banter.

You may have heard of LinkedIn’s recent acquisition of Pulse. Although Pulse isn’t my favorite news platform it’s probably in my top five. It’s the combination of LinkedIn and Pulse that intrigues me though.

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Direct sales of ebooks in multiple languages

Your direct channel needs to extend well beyond the English language

O’Reilly has long been a leader in fostering community and building a direct sales channel. This week we took the next step in enhancing the customer’s direct buying experience by offering German editions for many of our ebook titles. Take a close look at the bottom of this screen shot:

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Pre-publication samples

Fewer restrictions would undoubtedly lead to more sales

This one has been nagging at me for years and I’m amazed none of the major ebook retailers offer a solution. I’m talking about the ability to pre-order an ebook sample prior to publication. Yesterday I received a bulk email from Eric Metaxas, author of Seven Men, telling me the book is “now available.” His team either pressed “send” prematurely or they just want us to pre-order yesterday. The print book didn’t release till today and the ebook doesn’t come out till a week from now. (Btw, why is a publisher delaying the ebook’s release by a week? That’s such out-dated thinking.)

I didn’t want to buy the ebook yesterday but I wanted to request the sample when it’s available. The ebook isn’t released for seven more days so the sample obviously won’t be available till then either. The chances of me remembering to check back next week and request the sample are close to zero.

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Why Paperight should be distributing your content

Their award-winning platform brings content to the developing world

The opening statement on Paperight’s “about” page says it all:

Paperight turns any business with any printer and an Internet connection into a print-on-demand bookstore.

This isn’t just about distributing content through copy shops though. Paperight helps make content available in the developing world. That’s why Paperight was named “Most Entrepreneurial Startup” from TOC’s Startup Showcase in February. They’re opening an entirely new channel and serving the needs of readers who might otherwise never have access to this content.

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Author (R)evolution Day videos now available

Learn the essentials of marketplace success in this video package

If you missed TOC’s first Author (R)evolution Day you missed a lot. Cory Doctorow kicked things off and more than 20 speakers followed with terrific presentations on marketing, audience development, choosing service providers, and my favorite topic, data.

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Why I created a Flipboard magazine

It fills an open space between Twitter and blogs

Flipboard MagazineFlipboard recently announced the ability for anyone to become a publisher on their platform. Within two weeks 500,000+ magazines were created. I created one of those and I’d like to tell you why.

Before I do that though, let me tell you how you can get my Publishing 2020 magazine. Since Flipboard isn’t available as a web-based app (which is a shame) I can’t just embed a link to the magazine. Here’s the link Flipboard provides, but it’s nothing more than a short note saying my magazine exists and to download the Flipboard app and search for “Joe Wikert” to find it. That’s not the best approach so let’s hope they make it easier to share magazines down the road.

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Best of TOC: Thought-provoking articles from the past year

Download your free copy today to catch up on all the latest publishing industry analysis

best of tocIt’s challenging keeping up with publishing industry news and analysis. I have way too many content feeds to monitor and I’m sure you do too. We do our best to highlight the most important developments on the TOC website but you’re forgiven if you fall behind or miss an article every so often.

Most of analysis on the TOC site is somewhat timeless but the blog format might not make it feel that way. That’s why we gathered the best of the best articles and assembled them for you in a handy, to-go version. It’s called Best of TOC: Analysis and Ideas about the Future of Publishing. More than 60 of the most thought-provoking articles from the TOC team and community are featured and it’s available in EPUB, mobi and PDF formats. Best of all, it’s completely free.

If you need to catch up on your TOC reading you no longer have an excuse. Download your copy today and tell us what you think.

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Will we ever see a “Spotify for ebooks”?

Join us for a free webcast on April 26 to discuss the subscription model

My music buying habits have definitely changed over the years. I’m doing a lot more streaming now and rarely buying individual tracks or albums. I use Spotify but I also started using Rdio. I’m still in the free trial period for the latter and not sure which, if either, I’ll end up paying for.

One question that seems to keep popping up in the ebook publishing world is, “when will a Spotify for ebooks emerge?” You could argue that a few services already offer unlimited access to free ebook content. Those services are, of course, limited in their breadth. You won’t find any offering all the latest bestsellers, for example, but Spotify and other streaming music services let you listen to plenty of hits.

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The future of educational publishing

An opportunity to participate in Schilling's next industry white paper

The ebook revolution started with the launch of the original Kindle back in late 2007. More than 5 years later the world is now moving away from dedicated e-readers to multifunction tablets. Despite the dramatic rise in ebook sales most students are still lugging around backpacks full of heavy textbooks. Why has this sector been so slow to switch to digital? What does the future of educational publishing look like? What attributes will be required for the successful textbook publisher of the future?

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