Posted by Adam | Posted in eBooks, Industry, Libraries | Posted on 16-04-2013
It was announced just over a week ago that libraries in the UK could be lending e-books by as early as this summer. Pilot schemes are set to be introduced to look into the issue of e-book lending patterns, and it is hoped that more libraries will become involved later on in the year.
This is happening in response to the Sieghart Review, which came to the conclusion that readers should be able to borrow e-books in an effort to secure the future of libraries. Another interesting point to come out of this is that it has been recommended that people should be able to borrow the e-books remotely.
You can find out more about this news here. What do you think about borrowing e-books from libraries?
Posted by Adam | Posted in eBooks, My Books, Promotion | Posted on 05-03-2013
I’ve just received an email to let me know that my début book, Too Close for Comfort, has been selected by Apple as one of their Breakout Books for 2013. Despite being released two years ago, the book continues to be hugely successful in Apple’s iBookstore.
The Breakout Books feature has been celebrated since its launch, and has been covered recently in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
“The criteria for inclusion is largely customer-driven – selected titles exhibit strong reviews and ratings, and have shown exceptional sales performance.”
The Breakout Books feature is right at the top of Apple’s iBookstore and is featured heavily on iTunes. For Apple to be celebrating independent authors in such a prominent way just goes to show – yet again – the dominance independent authors are now enjoying over the traditional publishing market.
It’s hugely encouraging to see yet another of the world’s largest bookstores coming out in support of independent authors and I think this marks the beginning of what is going to be another massively successful year for independent publishers.
Oh, and seeing as we’re on the subject… I thought now might be a good time to announce that April will see the release of the third edition of Too Close for Comfort, a new-and-improved anniversary edition, celebrating two years since its explosive emergence into the market which spawned my life as I now know it. There’s even a brand new book cover which forms part of the new cover styles for the Knight & Culverhouse series. A celebratory anniversary edition of Guilty as Sin will be released in the summer.
Learn more about this Breakout Books promotion at the Smashwords Blog.
Barnes & Noble, the largest bookseller in the US, has recently announced that it has suffered losses in the arm of its business that includes sales of its e-readers and e-books. The company has significantly invested in this part of its business in recent years and so the figures are sure to be disappointing – especially as they include sales from over the holiday period.
There is even suggestion that the company might start to withdraw from certain aspects of this side of its business, and focus more on building deals with other tablet produces over content they control rather than focusing on their own Nook tablet.
One of the reasons given for the losses suffered is that while tablet sales grew over the holiday period, people chose to go with other providers – Barnes & Noble have found it difficult to extend their market outside of their existing customers. With this in mind, a renewed focus on content rather than physical devices seems to make sense, although what action the company is planning to take is not yet clear.
In the meantime, you can read more about this story here and here.
One of the most common things independent publishers have to learn about when they first start to think about publishing their book is formatting. Formatting a book is something that needs to be done and, even though you can pay people to do it for you if you’re not sure about the process, it’s worth knowing a bit about it so you’ve got a general idea of what it entails.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the things you need to think about when formatting your book. It isn’t an in-depth ‘how to’ guide, but hopefully will provide a brief overview of the different issues you need to consider when it comes to formatting – with regards to both print and e-books. Please feel free to add your own thoughts or tips in the comments.
- The size of the book. This particularly matters when it comes to print books, as the size of the book will affect everything from the margins to the number of pages.
- The margins. Again, this matters in particular with regards to print books; not enough space in the centre of your book and it will be hard to read. Too much space around the text and it will all look a bit odd.
- The spacing and paragraph indents. There isn’t just one way of setting out your book, but once you’ve decided how you’re going to do yours, you need to stick to it. Your formatting shouldn’t start jumping around midway through the book.
- The number of different e-readers. Most independent publishers go down the e-book route, and you need to make sure your book can be read on all of them. A standard Word document, for instance, simply won’t do, not least because the pages will never properly translate to the range of different screen sizes. This brings us on to…
- Digital files. You’ll need to convert your manuscript into a digital file for e-book publication. The ePub and Mobi files are the two big types of digital file that you need to know about.
- What it actually looks like on screen. You could spend ages formatting but unless you’ve actually checked what it looks like on a range of e-readers, it could well be for nothing. It’s vital that you check how your work displays before hitting publish, or else you could end up with serious readability issues.
Book marketing is often something of an art, require a certain finesse and creativity to make an impact. However, we can’t deny that it is also a science, and having some facts and figures about the people we are trying to appeal to can be extremely useful when trying to decide how to shape our marketing.
In particular for independent publishers, e-book facts and figures can be very helpful as they form such an important part of our sales. This is why some recent figures from Random House are so interesting; they give us an insight into the kind of people who read e-books, which can be helpful when we’re trying to decide who to aim our books at.
For example, the stats show that while 59% of print readers are women, 63% of e-book readers are women. 60% of e-book readers are under 45. 66% have a degree. 44% of e-book readers are planning to read mystery, suspense or detective fiction within the next month compared with 36% of print readers. The only genre where more people were planning to read a print book rather than an e-book was history. More e-book readers than print readers agreed with the statement that reading is an important part of their lives.
Facts such as this help us to build up a more detailed picture of the kind of people who tend to read e-books and, even though we might not use all of the information when developing a marketing strategy, it is still useful to keep in mind.
You can read more about the Random House findings here.