Thanks to ever-improving technology, ebooks can be produced relatively quickly and economically compared to their traditional print cousins. But with the temptation to capitalize on speed and low cost, it's easy for publishers to cut corners on quality, especially when it comes to things that affect look, layout, and readability-such as proper conversion of text, images, and other elements from a print book to an ebook. And because churning out sloppy electronic copy can potentially turn off customers, content providers are worried.
Posted Aug 27, 2014
Despite the fact that the Author Earnings Reports, published by writer Hugh Howey and his anonymous partner Data Guy, has added fodder to the traditional vs. self-publishing debate, for many independent writers the reports are not at all surprising. The stated primary purpose of the site is "to gather and share information so that writers can make informed decisions." Independent writers, however, are finding that the reports mostly confirm what they already knew, and their decision-making processes have changed very little, if at all.
Posted Aug 06, 2014
Publishing startup Tablo announced the launch of new social features for its cloud-based ebook publishing service. This marks the biggest shift in the platform since its launch in 2013. Off the back of a seed funding round, the developments are part of a wider effort to transform the writer from a solitary character into a social one by encouraging collaboration among authors and likeminded individuals within an online community.
Posted Jul 31, 2014
A blog post on Amazon's Kindle forum gave some insight into the ongoing feud between the internet retailer and Hachette, one of the Big 5 publishers. Negotiations broke down months ago, and Amazon stopped allowing pre-orders of Hachette books and users reported delayed shipping on the publisher's books. Many asked if Amazon had too much power including big name authors. Now, Amazon is making it clear what's at stake: lower ebook prices and 30% cut for Amazon.
Posted Jul 31, 2014
Amazon Publishing and Alloy Entertainment, a division of Warner Bros. Television Group, announced a digital-first imprint that will focus on young adult, new adult, and commercial fiction. The new imprint, named Alloy Entertainment, will be part of Amazon Publishing's Powered by Amazon program.
Posted Jul 29, 2014
Brainstorming about the future of digital consumption can leave you overwhelmed by the possibilities, but data released from YouGov--a global research and consulting organization--sheds some light on the emerging expectations of today's youth. The study found that nearly one in two children, aged 8-15, feel that access to online content and downloads should be free.
Posted Jul 23, 2014
Few companies have the potential to dramatically alter the electronic content landscape like Google, which continues to regularly roll out new apps, tools and technologies that make digital publishers sit up and take notice. It's a big reason why Google's annual I/O conference is so closely watched by players in the industry. I/O 2014, held in late June, didn't fail to excite those eager to read the tech tea leaves and develop forward-thinking strategies for success. Here are five of the top takeaways from the conference of importance to content providers.
Posted Jul 16, 2014
Condé Nast is a New York-based media company that produces many globally known print, digital, and video titles. Its portfolio includes such titles as Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Brides, SELF, GQ, The New Yorker, Condé Nast Traveler, DETAILS, Allure, Architectural Digest, bon appétit, Epicurious, WIRED, W, Lucky, Golf Digest, Golf World, Teen Vogue, and Ars Technica. After launching The New Yorker's iPhone edition, Condé Nast was looking to do the same with Vanity Fair. However, the company knew that the same solution would not work for the two very different magazines.
Posted Jul 14, 2014
Now if publishers like the New York Times can offer such a variety of digital options for consumers to choose from, why can't they give advertisers more options when placing a digital ad to reach those consumers? Giving people choices works. And if print subscriptions have decreased, wouldn't it make more sense for media companies to focus on creating more dynamic digital ad options for customers looking to advertise?
Posted Jul 03, 2014
One of the more recent movements in the technology sector--which has emerged as a bona fide standard practice in numerous industries--is cloud-based computing. Without even thinking about it, in fact, many of the most routine activities that businesses have come to rely on-think Gmail or Salesforce.com-are built on cloud-based principles, where information, storage, and processing are housed and managed in off-site data centers as opposed to a company's own local servers or hard drives. For publishers contemplating moving aspects of their business practice to the cloud, there is plenty of experience and expertise to rely on during the course of the decision-making process; indeed, they may already be deeper into the cloud than they realize.
Posted Jun 23, 2014
AddThis announced an online marketplace featuring tools that enable online publishers to serve more targeted and relevant content to website visitors. The company has also expanded its offerings of recommended content and enhanced its analytics dashboard.
Posted Jun 19, 2014
I admit it: I'm in the demographic that still likes print newspapers and magazines. And I'm in good company. Jeffrey Bezos, who bought The Washington Post and related newspapers, said in an interview with The Post last year that if he had both the print and tablet editions in front of him, he'd pick the print version, "an elegant product that has evolved over decades."
Posted Jun 17, 2014
From the experience of publishing her first book with the Penguin Group Australia, Boling had firsthand knowledge of the disruption underway in traditional publishing. "I knew, with this book, that I wanted to start from a spot ahead of the curve from a technical standpoint," Boling says. Historical fiction, she believes, is a perfect genre for allowing readers to enrich their reading experience by referring to maps, character biographies, photos, and drawings. But Boling was adamant about not allowing those enhancements to interrupt the flow of the story. "I thought a lot about how I could use technology developments to provide a great reader experience, something that would provide seamless integration between the story and the technology," she says.
Posted Jun 16, 2014
A new platform, BlogMeetsBrand.com, allows marketers to build custom social campaigns that channel the value of bloggers and other social drivers. Blog Meets Brand features a self-serve campaign planning module that gives marketers, PR Firms, Ad Agencies, and small businesses a structured approach for creating and developing influencer marketing programs.
Posted Jun 13, 2014
If you are involved with any type of enterprise software, you've probably considered some sort of cloud-based deployment model. Publishing is no different, and in Real Story Group's numerous advisory engagements with customers, discussions about the cloud are becoming increasingly common.
Posted Jun 04, 2014
De Gruyter announced that all of its frontlist titles are now available in the ePub3 format. Alongside the PDF format, ePub is one of the most widely used ebook standards, enabling the mobile viewing of content on tablets, smartphones, and e-readers.
Posted May 29, 2014
A division of Simon & Schuster, Atria Publishing Group, is teaming up with United Talent Agency to create a new imprint-Keyword Press- that will focus on providing an outlet for social media stars. According to the New York Times, five book deals have already been made with the likes of YouTube personalities Shane Dawson and Justine Ezarik.
Posted May 27, 2014
I spent a couple of years working in book publishing during my 20s. I learned a lot while I was there, but one of the things that surprised me most was that the book industry operates solely on the gut feelings of its editors and publishers. That was fine when book publishing was more a gentleman's hobby than a legitimate business, but these days, book publishers are integral parts of the money-making media empires of people such as Rupert Murdoch.
Posted May 27, 2014
The Alliance for Audited Media recently released its look at U.S. and Canadian newspaper circulation figures for the first half of 2014 and its annual newspaper snapshot had some positive takeaways for those in the digital news industry. Neal Lulofs, AAM's executive vice president, marketing and strategy, says the report shows a continuing transition to a media cross channel environment in terms of how newspapers are publishing content and engaging with readers.
Posted May 23, 2014
The "Netflix of Books" dreams just got one step closer to being a reality. Scribd and Oyster launched in 2013, offering access to unlimited books for less than $10 a month. However, the services have struggled to get buy-in from the big publishers. That all changed when Simon & Schuster announced it would make its backlist of about 10,000 ebooks available on both services, as Gigaom reports.
Posted May 22, 2014
M&G Media Lts announced the launch of Mail and Guardian Africa, a digital news platform for Africans to tell the African story. Mail and Guardian Africa aims to be the leading contemporary voice on African issues. News analysis, insight, commentary, and investigative journalism will be the hallmark of this Pan African platform.
Posted May 22, 2014
It is one thing to talk about trends affecting the digital content industry, but it's something completely different to be one of the people whose job it is to bring those trends to life. From Big Data to content marketing, EContent talked with three people who exemplify what it means to be working in digital content today. Today we profile a social media star: Greg Bedard, Senior Writer, theMMQB.com.
Posted May 21, 2014
Great content is integral to digital success, and in order to create great content, you need to be able to tell a great story. Of course, in the age of social media, online video, and apps, storytelling doesn't always look like it used to. So Jose Castillo sat down at The International Storytelling Center with director Kiran Singh Sirah, and Brad Eshbach to talk about the art and power of storytelling -- digital and otherwise.
Posted May 16, 2014
Zinio, a digital newsstand and magazine app for iOS, Android and web, announced a move to expand its digital offerings for libraries by adding 1,000 magazine titles to its digital magazine service for library patrons, including international titles with new language content. Zinio for Libraries is a digital magazine service offered in partnership with RBdigital from Recorded Books.
Posted May 15, 2014
As a thought leader in the content industry, I'm provided with many opportunities to wax poetic on the virtues of starting a content project with a strategy. From conferences, to webinars, to columns in magazines such as this one, I've spent the past decade evangelizing the methods, standards, and tools required to help organizations efficiently and effectively deliver the right content to the right audience, anywhere, anytime, on any device.
Posted May 13, 2014