ENTRIES TAGGED "Marketing"

We need incognito book purchasing

There are valid reasons for wishing to purchase a book without being tracked

In the physical realm, purchasing a book without revealing one’s identity involves little effort beyond proceeding to a store one does not usually patronise and paying in cash. Unless one is seeking illegal volumes, which are unlikely to be obtained at neighbourhood booksellers’ anyway, these obvious techniques are nearly guaranteed to throw friends, banks, and marketers off the scent.

Alas, there is no such thing as an incognito shopping trip in the digital world. Not only are our transactions permanently etched into our credit card records, they are carefully logged and scrutinised by the stores themselves. Any purchase on Amazon, to name but one, forever hounds us in the form of recommendations, obvious or otherwise. Emails and pages are subtly optimised to highlight content related to our past acquisitions, whether in style, length, or subject matter. While we may be given opportunities to decline outright suggestions, there stops our control of the process — and we must provide a reason for declining, which further enriches our personal file.

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Comments: 7 |

Digital publishing and the loss of intimacy

The cognitive overhead involved in reading a book has increased tremendously

Reading used to be an intimate experience. Even Amazon, the pioneer in digital publishing, branded its Kindle with a child reading alone under a tree. Books were specially designed to disappear into the background as much as possible, helped by a laundry list of conventions as to language, punctuation, format, and structure, thus allowing readers to direct all their attention and cognitive powers to the text at hand.

The first digital platforms made a decent job of emulating the traditional experience. Certainly, the overhead of managing an Amazon account is something readers could do without, but allowances had to be made. Black text on a white screen was still the reference, and great pains were taken to ease users into this new experience: options were few, and the physicality of the book was heavily reflected in the shape and size of the device.

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Comments: 9 |

The book as a standard of quality

It's time for the industry to agree on maintaining certain standards

Publishers have long commandeered respect for the quality of their work. Traditional processes may be cumbersome, reliant as they are on an infinity of minute, specialised steps, but they have helped maintain consistently high standards, at ever-lower prices. Authors may sometimes hold fantastic positions, but publishers have largely upheld their part of the bargain: giving them a clear, intelligible voice.

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Losing the book as a symbol

Publishing needs to build new symbols for the digital age

Transitioning the publishing industry to digital technologies involves lifting the words out of printed pages, and pouring them into the amorphous containers we call ebooks. Books are no longer the tangible, brick-shaped presence they were: they must, instead, be stretched and poured into and onto any device fit for reading, from the laptop to the Kindle to the phone.

In fact, “the book” no longer designates the physical expression of the text, but the text itself, a self-contained bundle of information, whose structure and boundaries have been jointly defined by the author and the publisher. Picking up a book where you left it no longer involves picking up the same object, but rather the same text on whatever device happens to be at hand.

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Comments: 11 |

The sorry state of ebook samples, and four ways to improve them

A good ebook sample can turn a browser into a buyer.

Joe Wikert: "My gut tells me the revenue missed by not converting samples into sales is a much larger figure than the revenue lost to piracy. And yet, the publishing industry spends a small fortune every year in DRM but treats samples as an afterthought."

Comments: 4 |
When media rebooted, it brought marketing with it

When media rebooted, it brought marketing with it

Mitch Joel on matching marketing platforms to your needs and why book ads might work.

In this TOC podcast, Twist Image president Mitch Joel talks about some of the common challenges facing the music, magazine and book publishing sectors. He also expands on his suggestion that publishers should "burn the ships" and not look back.

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Publishing News: Amazon and the sub-$300 tablet

Publishing News: Amazon and the sub-$300 tablet

Amazon tablet rumors, Stephen King offers early access, and the "email" copyright turns 29.

Can Amazon crack the $300 tablet barrier? Also, Stephen King's latest was available early to those with Klout, and the man who copyrighted "email" 29 years ago says email death notices are premature.

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How one publisher uses "aggressive marketing"

How one publisher uses "aggressive marketing"

Open Road gets aggressive with adaptation and real-time marketing.

Being digital isn’t the novelty it once was, so some publishing companies are shifting focus to competitive differentiation within digital. Jane Friedman’s company Open Road Integrated Media believes aggressive marketing is the key to digital success.

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Getting your book in front of 160 million users is usually a good thing

Getting your book in front of 160 million users is usually a good thing

"Pirate's Dilemma" author Matt Mason on BitTorrent.

Pirating your own book may seem like an odd promotion strategy, but that's just what Megan Lisa Jones did with her new novel. Matt Mason, author of "The Pirate's Dilemma," says P2P platforms like BitTorrent are a great way to reach audiences and distribute content.

Comments: 8 |