Advice To Publishers: This Is How You Can Thrive In The Age Of EBooks

We’ve all heard the news – publishers are running scared from the success that self-publishers are finding with Kindle and other e-readers. But perhaps they shouldn’t be scared. Maybe publishers can learn and adapt to the changing industry. Business Insider recently posted some advice to traditional publishers. The bad news is: you’re now competing with Angry Birds. What you want to do is for us to spend a dollar every week to get a new chapter or a new story in a saga. So, how do you do that? By aggregating readers intelligently. The people who will be passionate enough to buy books (whether they’re $5 books on Kindle or $50 souvenir books) will be niches of people who are passionate about a particular topic. Publishing houses must now identify and become trusted brands to those niches. (For the big publishing houses, dozens of niches.) Read the entire post...
The Reports Of Publishing’s Death Are Exaggerations

The Reports Of Publishing’s Death Are Exaggerations

To bastardize Twain’s quote a bit, the reports of publishing’s death are exaggerations. It wasn’t too long ago that doomsayers seemed all too eager to bury the written word in favor of a digital world in which we’d all suck from a collective electronic teat until we forgot how to read and devolved back into whatever primordial ooze from whence we originated. Who knew that the digital world would instead be the phoenix on which publishing would arise? McSweeney’s posted an essay declaring the livelihood of publishing, and books in general, to be much better than assumed. The good news is that there isn’t as much bad news as popularly assumed. In fact, almost all of the news is good, and most of it is very good. Book sales are up, way up, from twenty years ago. Young adult readership is far wider and deeper than ever before. Library membership and circulation is at all-time high. The good news goes on and on. Read the whole essay here and check out the facts for...

Amazon: The Next Publishing Powerhouse?

What if a book publisher knew exactly what kinds of books readers were looking for? What if the same publisher had access to customer data which would help it market the books people like based on their past book purchases? That could be the reality, as Amazon seems poised to make a big push into publishing, as Library Journal is reporting. Both imprints use Amazon’s extensive sales data and customer reviews to help inform publishing decisions. For example, Amazon culled data from its French site to help guide its first foreign acquisition, which became available in November (Tierno Monenembo’s The King of Kahel, which won France’s Prix Renaudot in 2008). “Our team of editors uses this data as a starting point to identify strong candidates, then applies their judgment to narrow the list and reach out to the authors,” Jeff Belle, VP, Amazon.com Books, told LJ. “We’re fortunate to have access to both a lot of sales information, as well as an editorial team made up of book lovers….” he said. Read the whole story here. While we don’t know how this will play out, we do think this move could give even more power to authors seeking book...
The Collective Inkwell Interview: Emma Newman

The Collective Inkwell Interview: Emma Newman

Emma Newman is the author of the soon-to-be-published Twenty Years Later, her debut young adult fiction novel set in a post-apocalyptic future, which she has been podcasting since last year. She lives in Somerset, England with her husband and two year old son. Though he’s an only child, she considers him her second child – the first baby being her novel. Emma runs her own copywriting and online PR business called Your Nisaba, named after the Sumerian goddess of writing and knowledge. Nisaba was launched in 2009. She drinks far too much tea, and finds the little real life she spends time in, a curious mixture of terrifying and wonderful. Longtime readers of Collective Inkwell may recall that Emma won our first Online Fiction Contest, the prize being our redesign of her website. Last week, Emma released an ebook collection of some of her short stories (see the great cover pictured a bit further down in this story). 1. When did you start writing and what inspired you (also, what kind of stuff did you first write)? I started writing stories at the age of four according to my grandmother. I wrote all the time until a short story got me into Oxford University when I was 17. That created a block that lasted for ten years! Then I began to write again and the first draft of Twenty Years Later poured out of me over 26 days. I barely felt in control of it. My poor husband was a writing widow. Inspiration? There was no inspiration to write as far as I recall. It was as natural as...