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We interrupt this public service blog to bring you an update about its sponsor: NetGalley. As you may have heard through twitter or my e-newsletter (sign up), we’re currently having a special theme week at NetGalley!

Welcome Hay House Week!

We’re so excited to announce that Hay House has joined the list of publishers using NetGalley to provide digital galleys to reviewers and professional readers.

NetGalley members are now able to request a digital review copy of many great Hay House books, emphasizing nonfiction in the areas of Self-Help, New Age, Sociology, Philosophy, Psychology, Health, Business, Finance, Men’s/Women’s Issues, Inspirational Memoirs, and Celebrity Biographies. Subjects include: social issues, current events, ecology, business, food and nutrition, education, the environment, alternative health/medicine, money/finance, nature, recreation, religion, men’s and women’s issues, spiritual growth, and fitness.

Browse current Hay House galleys here. NetGalley members will have the option to download PDF versions of the galleys to their computers, Kindles, Sony Readers, or other devices, and search within the galleys. Plus, excerpts are now live for all Hay House titles — so you can read a preview before you choose to request! While you’re browsing their titles in the catalog, just click the “more info” button and then the excerpt link under “URLs.”


In celebration of the launch week, we’re giving reviewers an added incentive! Hay House is offering a free 2010 Calendar by Hay House founder Louise L. Hay to the first 25 NetGalley members who send their review of any Hay House title.

It’s easy: after requesting and reading a Hay House galley, simply share the review with Hay House in NetGalley (under “Manage My Reviews” just click the “Write” pencil icon; include the entire review and a link to where it’s published).

The first 25 members to send a review will receive this 2010 Calendar:

I CAN DO IT® 2010 Calendar
365 Daily Affirmations
by Louise L. Hay

I hope you’ll check out Hay House at NetGalley today!

As always, don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or feedback.

Happy Reading!

All best,
Lindsey

your friendly Digital Concierge at NetGalley
lindsey[dot]rudnickas[at]netgalley[dot]com

Follow me on Twitter (@NetGalley)
Become a Facebook fan of NetGalley

Tell us what kinds of books you cover!

Not signed up with NetGalley? Anyone who reads and recommends books professionally (reviewers, media, bloggers, journalists, librarians, booksellers and educators) can use it for free! Visit us to learn more and register: http://www.netgalley.com/

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Last Friday’s #FollowReader chat was a real treat. Our guest was Open Road Integrated Media’s CEO and co-founder, Jane Friedman. Much of the discussion centered around the innovative publishing model that Open Road is embarking upon, and Jane generously shared information about everything from the formats that ORIM will be publishing in, to author compensation, to their plans for marketing. You can read the transcript from Friday’s chat by clicking on this link.

Below we’ve included a few insights offered by Jane during last Friday’s chat:

On the traditional role of the publisher, and how Open Road differs from the traditional model:

The publisher has traditionally discovered that author, most of the time through agents, and paid the author an advance against royalties. The author worked with an editor and when the manuscript was ready to be published the marketing and publicity and sales staffs geared up to introduce the book to the public. Open Road Media is based on a profit share model. We do not pay advances. We are only dealing with electronic formats with a p-o-d component when possible. The author supplies the content; Open Road Media does the marketing.

On Open Road’s approach to marketing:

  • The marketing platform is based on 3 principles: scale, reach and ease of use. It’s goal is to connect readers to authors in communities where readers currently live.
  • Our marketing will be a combination of traditional heavily weighted to the digital/emerging channels.
  • Lead time: our marketing begins on signing of contract versus close to the on-sale date.

On reaching communities where readers already live:

It’s not just aboutFacebook and Twitter. Readers live on crowd-sourced content sites, social networks, opinion sites, media sites, etc. They also live where their passions are. Cooking sites, craft and art sites, parenting sites. These are our readers as well.

We will expand to reach new audiences. There is a big world out there of people who read and do not fall into traditional.

To be clear, we will go to large sites but MAIN driver is to find right niche communities to partner with and supply content to.

On author profit share:

Authors like profit-sharing, particularly as advances are moving in the wrong direction.

On author branding versus publisher branding:

Absolutely. The author is the brand. Open Road Media as a consumer brand is not part of our thinking. We recognize that consumers will find content on our site, but the brands we are promoting are the authors and their works.

———————————————————————————————————-

Our gratitude to Jane for taking the time to join us. Be sure to follow Open Road Integrated Media on Twitter: www.twitter.com/openroadmedia and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/openroadmedia. And,  for the complete transcript of Friday’s chat with Jane Friedman, just click here.

Be sure to join us for this Friday’s #FollowReader at 4pm ET.

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We interrupt this public service blog to bring you an update about its sponsor: NetGalley. As you may have heard through twitter or my e-newsletter (not signed up?), we’re in the middle of a special theme week at NetGalley!

Welcome Harlequin Week!


We’re so excited to announce that Harlequin Books has joined the list of publishers using NetGalley to provide digital galleys to reviewers and professional readers.

NetGalley members are now able to request a digital review copy of dozens of great Harlequin books, including romance, women’s fiction, paranormal, erotica, YA and non-fiction titles. These galleys can be downloaded as PDFs to your computer, or read on your Kindle or Sony Reader. Browse all Harlequin titles here.

Coincidentally, we also launched our Facebook Page this week – complete with an event for Welcome Harlequin Week, of course!

In preparation for this special week, I asked some of our favorite romance reviewers using NetGalley what they thought about Harlequin coming on board.

Here are some highlights:

Harlequin on NetGalley is a meeting of digital brilliance in one location – it’s like chocolate, seasalt and caramel. Warm, dryer-fresh socks and a book. Flannel jammies and hot cocoa. Perfect merge. Excuse me, I have to go indulge! There is no better audience for digital books and the instant enjoyment of digital reading than romance readers. Women buy more electronics, buy more fiction, and now, with the convenience of ebooks and portable devices, can read more – any time, any place. We are the digital readers that publishers are looking for – and we’re not that hard to find, thanks to NetGalley.

—Sarah of Smart Bitches Trashy Books, @SmartBitches

Harlequin joining NetGalley is exciting news. I think the first romance I read was a Harlequin, probably Harlequin Presents because I remember the white cover and the circle with the hero and heroine pictured in it. Harlequin Presents is still one of my favorite romance lines, but I’m also a fan of their Luna books line (which is for fans of fantasy with romantic elements). They just started a Harlequin Teen line which looks promising. If I see a few of my favorite lines from Harlequin at NetGalley, I will be a happy reviewer. From what I’ve seen Harlequin has been embracing digital technology – they have a reader panel called Tell Harlequin which is all online, all their new titles come in ebook format, and for their 60th anniversary celebration they have harlequincelebrates.com where 16 ebooks are available free to download…Romance is a popular genre, it will be popular in the physical form and in the digital form.

—Janice of janicu’s book blog, @janicu

I was very excited when I learned Harlequin would be offering its galleys digitally through NetGalley.  Harlequin continues to impress me with its whole hearted embrace of digital books and digital media.  Clearly Harlequin is working hard to fulfill its goal of getting a romance in every woman’s hands. With the Harlequin galleys available digitally, it will reduce the negative impact on the environment and increase efficiencies for reviewing teams.  Many review blogs are comprised of individuals located all over the US and often, even international locales.  Digital galleys allow the review blogs to divert their time and attention to actually reading the books instead of focusing on the ministerial aspect of allocation of books. It’s a win all the way around and I laud Harlequin for taking the opportunities that NetGalley is providing.

—Jane Litte of Dear Author, @dearauthor

Good stuff! I hope you’ll join the growing list of readers who are getting an early peek at some great Harlequin titles. And as always, don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions or feedback.

Happy Reading!

All best,

Lindsey (your friendly Digital Concierge at NetGalley)

Follow us on Twitter (@NetGalley)
Become a Fan of NetGalley on our Facebook Page

Tell us what kinds of books you cover!

Not signed up with NetGalley? Anyone who reads and recommends books professionally (reviewers, media, bloggers, journalists, librarians, booksellers and educators) can use it for free! Visit us to learn more and register: http://www.netgalley.com/

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When it comes to book advertising, what are the do’s and don’ts for authors and publishers? How useful are metrics like ad click-through rates? And how are publishers and authors reaching audiences in specific subject areas or “verticals” on the web?

Those are some of the questions we explore in the second half of our conversation about trends in book advertising with Verso Advertising President, Denise Berthiaume, and Group Director Tom Thompson, which picks up where we left off Monday’s interview.   

And tomorrow, Berthiaume and Thompson join us for a live chat, in our weekly #FollowReader conversation on Twitter (Friday, December 4, 2009, from 4-5pm ET). To follow to our discussion in real time and contribute your own comments, go to TweetChat and type in #followreader. 

Q&A with Denise Berthiaume and Tom Thompson

What are the biggest mistakes that publishers and authors make when trying to engage with online audiences?     

Denise: The biggest mistake I see is authors and companies spending a lot of money on very cool site design, but leaving no part of the budget (and that includes money, employee time and enthusiasm for the project!) for the marketing required to drive people to the site.     

Tom:  Because budgets are so tight, publishers often use the “silver bullet approach” – hoping a single marketing or promotion piece will make all the difference. Instead, we really need to think about all the factors, the whole ecosystem that leads to a book being discovered and purchased.     

What’s the smartest thing publishers and authors can do in their online ad strategy?     

Tom: Think of your online strategy hand-in-hand with, and really no different from, your “offline” strategy. Authors should use the web to drive foot traffic into physical stores and use their in-person appearances to build audience for their site/blog/etc. Authors need to think about their brand long term.     

Denise: Focus first on your audience wherever they are: on- and offline. Usually both, and usually at  the same time.   

In determining the effect of online ads, how useful are metrics like click-through rates, site traffic and Bookscan book sales – and how effectively can you map one variable to another? 

 Denise:  Obviously, our job is to sell books. So our primary goal with each campaign is to drive sales.  To that end we recently worked with Nielsen BookScan to study book sales during Verso Reader Channel ad campaigns and found a significant correlation – meaning a bump in sales – when campaigns served 1.5 million + ad impressions. We go into that in a bit more detail about that in a post on our blog.  

Tom Thompson

 Tom: Click Through Rate (CTR) tends to be the first and only number people want to know. But it’s misleading. With the FSG and Vanguard campaigns mentioned above, for example, neither performed astonishingly well in terms of CTR. But both spectacularly accomplished their goals.  

Denise: CTR is a big topic in advertising right now. Everyone’s looking for guidance on measuring performance, but no one knows what that measure should be. CTR has been declining and worrying people for a long time (if you Google it, the first thing that comes up is a blog from January 2001 about declining CTR).  

Tom:  The general CTR average is .08% — which matches up with what I’m seeing with our clients everywhere except the NYTimes.com, which is generally higher. That .08% figure comes from a DoubleClick report cited by ComScore

Denise:  There have been lots of CTR-boosting remedies proposed over the years, most prominently the Cost Per Engagement model of rich media. But in the end, click-throughs  of any variety have to be considered in the context of content, impression level, and campaign goal. What I mean by that is:   

  1. Content: Are you offering something of value that is targeted either by context or behavior to the audience that’s seeing the ad?
  2. Impression level: Are you serving enough impressions to make a difference?
  3. Campaign goal: What do you want out of the campaign? Awareness? Clicks? Newsletter sign-ups? Sales?

Tell us about the online network of 5,000 sites you have put together for book publisher ads. What subject categories have the most sites and are the most popular with advertisers?  

Denise Berthiaume

 Denise: The Verso Reader Channels were created after we saw the need for marketing plans that truly took advantage of the unique ways different interest-groups are now clustering online. Now that there are sites for every interest group – from cooking to pop culture, fitness to parenting – we can target hundreds of relevant sites at a time, thanks to our partnership with Burst Media. Burst is a  leading network that’s been around since the early days of the commercial web, has relationships with over 4,500 sites that provide over 110 million unique users a month, and reaches over 60% of the web population. Our partnership leverages Burst’s strengths in aggregating content into verticals along with our knowledge of publishing categories and creative expertise to give our clients extremely cost-efficient online media buys.  

Tom: The other advantage of the network model is that we don’t have to confront the minimum spends that we face with buying ads for a single site. The standard $10-25k minimum spends for ad buys on single sites that we’re seeing now are well down from the $30-50k minimums of 2007, but still too high for most campaigns.  There is no minimum with a Reader Channel buy – although you do face diminishing returns if you spend less than $5k. The standard cost per thousand impressions (CPM) for ads on the Reader Channels is $6.    

If bloggers or bookstores want to apply to join your network, how do they go about it? How much do the sites get paid to run your ads?     

Denise: While we’re big fans of bloggers and do buy ads on blogs for most of our clients separately, blogs are not part of the Reader Channels because Burst has strict rules about member-site content, audience level and comment field moderation that most blogs cannot meet, according to the eligibility requirements of the network.      

What have you learned about what readers respond to from observing the activity in this network of 5,000 sites?     

Denise: We surveyed thousands of respondents about their book buying habits and preferences, with early data showing some surprising behavior by heavy readers and ebook enthusiasts. We will reveal more about that at the Digital Book World Conference on January 26 and 27.     

Join us for tomorrow’s live chat with Berthiaume and Thompson (Friday, December 4, 2009, from 4-5pm ET), in our weekly #FollowReader conversation on Twitter.

To follow to our discussion in real time and contribute your own comments, go to TweetChat and type in #followreader. 

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As publishers and authors strive to connect with their audiences through more channels than ever, what can the latest trends in book advertising teach us about how readers are engaging with books on the web and beyond?

Denise Berthiaume

That was just one of the questions that prompted this interview with Verso Advertising’s President, Denise Berthiaume, and V-P, Group Director, Tom Thompson. Over the past 20 years, these two have worked with all the major houses, and many smaller ones, as well as one-on-one with many authors, both famous and not-so-famous. Their survival  in an industry that’s never been known for extravagent advertising budgets, at a time when rival agencies have closed or scaled down, speaks volumes about their resourcefulness and ability to stay ahead of the market.

Here’s the first part of our two-part interview with Bethiaume and Thompson about how readers are discovering books through ads, and some recent campaigns that reveal smart ways to allocate book advertising dollars. 

Look out for the second part of the interview this coming Thursday (December 3, 2009), with a discussion about how to measure an ad’s effectiveness and Verso’s vertical ad network, which reaches roughly 60% of the web and more than 110 million unique users a month. 

And on Friday (December 4, 2009), Bethiaume and Thompson will be the guests on our weekly #FollowReader conversation on Twitter, from 4-5pm ET. To follow to our discussion in real time and contribute your own comments, go to TweetChat and type in #followreader.

Q&A with Denise Berthiaume and Tom Thompson

What important new trends are you seeing in how readers discover books? 

Tom Thompson

Tom: Readers discover books now the way they always have: through friends, family and communities of interest. What’s new is how these groups are communicating and the unprecedented opportunities to reach them at a relevant moment in the conversation.

Denise: We feel the biggest potential for growth right now is with vertically-oriented sites or networks, whether that means an ad network like the Verso Reader Channels, or a site that caters to a particular enthusiast base, like Tor.com is becoming for Sci-Fi readers, or Harlequin’s new publishing venture, Harlequin Horizons. 

Tom: Also, Sourcebooks’ brand new PoetrySpeaks.com  is likely to become for poetry readers.

Do book ads influence readers as much as in the past? How are they maintaining their relevance in a world where people don’t trust ads and marketing as much as they used to?

Denise: People treat ads with the same amount of healthy skepticism they always have. As advertisers, we have to know our audience and speak to them in a way that respects who they are and what they want.

Tom: Trying to pull one over on your audience or talk down to them in some way is simply insulting, and a waste of everybody’s time and money.

Denise: The major difference in ad placement now versus ten years ago, is that you used to be able to reach booksellers, wholesalers, authors and agents with a single ad in the New York Times.  The Times is still the best place to reach a good portion of the book business. But you can’t count on reaching the majority of consumers that way anymore.

Tom: The mechanism [for reaching the book market] has splintered, and the consumer that publishers once simply left to the booksellers to worry about now needs to be every publisher’s focus. That means that the publisher has to reach out to a book’s readers wherever they are: whether it’s military history enthusiasts on military sites, sports fans on sports sites, or parents on parenting sites.  The web obviously makes this kind of targeting easier than ever.

Denise: The trick now is to target each book’s audience and yet also reach the kind of scale that we still enjoy on TV, radio, and, yes, print venues like the Times.

Do print, radio, TV or online ads give the most bang for the buck in terms of reach?  

Denise: The latest Nielsen stats on media reach offer some perspective: 95% of the adult population is reached via broadcast TV; 77% is reached via broadcast radio; 64% via web; and 62% via print.  

If an author or publisher has a limited advertising budget, where is the best place to spend the money?

Tom: Well, it depends how much money we’re talking about! Certainly for the most limited ad budgets — $5-$10,000 — online is the way to go. But in terms of number of people reached for each dollar spent, radio is often the most efficient way for publishers to reach large numbers of people – as long as you have $20k plus. For the biggest budgets, however, TV still provides the most significant mass reach.

Denise: But there’s a good reason the bulk of our business remains in print. Even though print circulations are precipitously declining, newspapers and magazines are still (for now) a great place to reach the older (40+) wealthier segment of the population, the people who buy print books.  The New York Times circulation is now under million. But it’s still reaching more than 900,000 readers every day.

How should online advertising fit into an overall advertising strategy for publishers and authors?

Denise:  Online advertising is best used in concert with everything else that’s working for a book: publicity, promotion, community outreach, reviews, building bookseller enthusiasm. With nothing else happening—no publicity, no author platform, no news tie-in—an ad isn’t going to go very far working on its own.

Tom:  But if an ad offers something of value to a relevant audience, and happens at the same time as word is building in other media, it will make a difference.

What kinds of online book ads are readers most actively responding to now? Is it necessary to have a video ad rather than a flash ad to make an impact?

Denise: Readers respond to any message or offer, however high or low tech, that’s relevant to their interest or need. Generally, rich media (including video) performs better, but that’s often because the immediate value-offer is more apparent. But rich media requires a bigger budget, since third party servers like DoubleClick or Point Roll are crucial for optimum serving and reporting.

How necessary is it to run a contest or give something away in your ad, like an audio download or keychains or other gizmos?

Tom:  These days, a free excerpt alone isn’t enough to elicit a click– unless it’s a highly newsworthy person or spectacularly timely piece of information. FSG, for example, ran a highly successful campaign that featured an interesting twist on the free excerpt model for Thomas L. Friedman’s Hot, Flat and Crowded.  Over a month before the hardcover’s on sale date, FSG offered free audio downloads of his entire last book as well as an exclusive excerpt from the upcoming title. This ten day pre-pub online ad campaign led to nearly 100,000 downloads (and tens of thousands of email addresses). You can read more about the campaign on our site.

Denise:  Another successful campaign was for the Vanguard Press title Bad Dogs Have More Fun. Taking advantage of the author’s previous success with Marley and Me, Vanguard ran a simple promotion offering a free keychain to the first respondents across hundreds of pop culture websites on Verso’s Pop Culture Reader Channel. The book’s website was deluged with over 100,000 people registering to win. (You can see Bad Dog creative at http://www.versoadvertising.com/online/).

Tom:  In both cases, the publishers did more than create a promotion that offered the audience something it wanted. They let the potential  audience know the promotion existed! The “Build it and they will come” theory of online marketing is pure fantasy.

NOTE: Look out for the second part of the interview this coming Wednesday (December 2, 2009), with a discussion about how to measure an ad’s effectiveness and Verso’s vertical ad network, which reaches roughly 60% of the web and more than 110 million unique users a month.

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Two of my non-professional book interests collided last week sort of unexpectedly.

#1: I had the opportunity last weekend to attend a seminar held by Daniel Traister, Curator of the Annenberg Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Pennsylvania (my alma mater). The session was titled, “What Good is an Old Book in the Age of Google?”

#2: I ran the Scholastic Book Fair at my kids’ elementary school, not for the first time. One of the biggest aspects of the job (besides steering kids away from $5 pens!) is of course helping them select books that are a. appropriate and b. they can afford.

Here’s where the collision fits in.

During the Penn session, the attendees were treated to a glimpse of two editions of the Nuremberg Chronicle, printed in 1493, a phenomenal specimen. The book has a rich history in art and literature and much has been written about it….but what struck me was Professor Traister’s reminder that the book was never intended to be read. It was intended to be owned. It’s large, unwieldy, heavy, not particularly well-written, and the material isn’t all that exciting. But if you could afford to display it in your house? Well, then…

Fast forward 516 years to present day, where the same principles are applied (loosely) on a small scale at my book fair. Magic Tree House: $4.99 paperback. Displayed next to $11.99 hardcover of the newest book. Jan Brett’s Gingerbread Friends: hardcover, $17.99. Softcover school edition, also available, with fold-out insert: $4.99.

I understand the economics of publishing: hardcovers are more profitable. But where is the value to the consumer? How can I, in good conscience, direct any child to purchase the same product in different binding for 3 times more when the reading experience will be exactly the same (maybe better for the softcover if you consider the fold-out insert)? We didn’t. We directed kids away from the $17+ hardcovers and to the softcover editions, where they could spend the same amount of money and walk away with triple the number of books to love and enjoy.

It’s not that the $17.99 by itself is too much (that’s another debate). It’s the additional cost for the hardcover when the content is the same. Particularly–and why don’t more people say this?–when there are just too many quality books available out there.

Certain formats will always demand to be owned rather than consumed, it’s true (see this video from HarperStudio about the Art of Bookmaking). But I’d like to suggest that for most books this simply isn’t the case, especially as ebooks continue to push prices lower and there is a larger gap between the hardcover and “other format” prices. Timing, too: as the time between hardcover, paperback and ebook releases shorten, there is a greater incentive for consumers to just wait it out until the less expensive version is available. Particularly when–and why don’t more people say this!–there are just too many quality books available out there.

In many ways, the pricing model for books was established over 500 years ago, when the physical format of the book clearly denoted its worth and purpose. Though many publishers continue to experiment with formats and release schedules, now seems to be the time for publishers to veer dramatically away from the traditional process to consider at the manuscript stage: What format provides the best value for the consumer? Is it useful content, format-agnostic? Maybe best as a website or iphone app or ebook, then. Is it for entertainment and a one-time use? Perhaps the hardcover version is eliminated, or published after the paperback, as a “collector’s edition” the way DVD collections of TV shows are (ie, when the book’s saleability warrants the hardcover edition.)

Although price is set by the publisher (or retailer), value is of course determined by the consumer. It’s anecdotal, but what I hear from regular old consumers, at book fairs, shopping for birthday gifts, on the playground, is that book pricing is confusing, too expensive and even a little manipulative. In a frugal economy with an abundance of options for information consumption and entertainment, where consumers can compare prices nearly anywhere, are we getting it right for our readers?

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How do major book reviewers select books, and how much has social media and other technology changed the way they discover new titles?  Do print galleys, pre-pub reviews and trade shows matter any more, as digital tools expand and print review outlets continue to shrink? 

Those were some of the questions we explored with Lev Grossman, Time magazine’s book critic, technology writer and Nerd World blogger, and Carolyn Kellogg, who reviews for the Los Angeles Times and writes the Jacket Copy blog, last Friday our #followreader discussion on Twitter (October 30, 2009).

Among the highlights:

  • Social media buzz is gaining importance, but it can’t make up for a book that doesn’t deliver
  • Paper galleys are most desireable because taking notes in them is easy
  • Standalone e-readers are still too expensive for these professional readers
  • Some reviewers pay more attention to publisher marketing efforts than others
  • Small houses do have a shot at getting reviewed
  • Becoming the author of three novels has made Grossman wince at what he used to say in his reviews
  • Reviewers do regret it when they miss the chance to review good books

Here’s the full conversation:

What makes you sit up & decide to review a book?

Lev Grossman@leverus: Have your publicist tuck a $50 right around page 100. Works like a charm. Not many people know this. #followreader

@Corb21: we tucked 1,000,000 dollar bills in our books once…funny, but not necessarily more reviews. #followreader

@leverus: My antennae start to crackle when I see somebody doing something genuinely risky or genuinely new. #followreader

@leverus: Doesn’t happen very often. For example: I skipped the Doctorow this fall. It’s a great book. But not a new book. #followreader

@leverus: Formally, stylistically, thematically: I had seen Doctorow do these things before. No one does them better. But: not new. #followreader

@paperhaus: Well I nearly fell over dead when my editor showed me the new Thomas Pynchon. Having a recognizable name helps. Esp. Pynchon. #followreader@paperhaus

@leverus: Counterexample: Jess Walters’ FINANCIAL LIVES OF THE POETS. Nothing else I’ve read this year felt that utterly contemporary. #followreader

@leverus: (Except Cory Doctorow’s MAKERS) #followreader

@leverus: The more I review, the less I’m interested in names. The writing has to deliver. #followreader

@paperhaus: Since advance copies of books don’t have art, we rarely judge by the cover. #followreader

@charabbott: Does this mean you read 10x more books than you review? #followreader

@leverus: I wouldn’t put it as high as 10X. But I read a lot more books than I review. And I read a HELL of a lot of first chapters. #followreader

@bnreviewer: Curious to know what books over past year you passed on and now wish you’d covered (assuming any). #followreader

@leverus: There are so many worthy books I regret skipping. The Dan Chaon comes to mind. #followreader

@CollectedMisc: Is there a place for audacious failures? Works that tried something big but failed or did so in an interesting way? #followreader

@paperhaus: Yes, one of the great things about Jacket Copy (the LA Times book blog) is that we can cover so much #followreader

@leverus: Give an example of an audacious failure! I want names named. #followreader

@paperhaus: There was an intentionally failed book, @leverus, called B is for Bad Poetry – genuinely terrible poems, cute blog post. #followreader

@leverus: I would call KINDLY ONES an audacious failure. I was truly blown away by its ambition. #followreader

Where do you pick up buzz about new books and authors?

@charabbott: Do you just read the books on your desk? What else influences you? #followreader

@leverus: I read the trades. But I don’t trust them. I talk to editors and publicists and agents, a lot. And other writers. #followreader

@charabbott: Why not trust the trades? #followreader

@leverus: in the case of PW: no bylines. I need to know who the reviewers are, so I can understand their context, biases,etc #followreader

@Corb21: What chance does a smaller publishing house have at getting reviewed? What ups their ante? #followreader

@paperhaus: Indie houses have a good chance of getting attention around here. We review New Directions, Two Dollar Radio… #followreader

@charabbott: What’s the most offbeat book you’ve covered lately? #followreader

@paperhaus: Offbeat: probably LA BIZARRO, an updated list of wildly eclectic restaurants & places around LA. #followreader

@charabbott: How did you find out about LA BIZARRO. Sounds like a local publisher? #followreader

@paperhaus: LA BIZARRO was pubbed by Chronicle Books. #followreader

Do you use digital Galleys and e-Readers?

@NetGalley: Does having a printed galley on your desk influence you or will you track down a book if you want it? #followreader

@leverus: It never hurts to have a paper galley kicking around. But yes, I’ll hunt down a book if I know I want it. #followreader

@Corb21: how do you feel about a digital copy? Does it HAVE to be paper for you? #followreader

@leverus: No digital ARCs here. I don’t think e-reader tech is mature yet. and I need to take notes as I read. #followreader

@paperhaus: No digi ARCs here, either. Until a free reader shows up on my doorstep, I can’t afford to switch. #followreader

@leverus: It’s really about the note-taking functionality. Though also, yes, the $$$. Kindles are expensive. #followreader

@CollectedMisc: Just thought I would note that you can highlight and take notes on the Kindle and export as a text file. #followreader

@leverus Exporting from Kindle = possible but cumbersome. I’m a technophilic guy, but it has to outperform paper. to me, it doesn’t yet #followreader

@Corb21: if you got something digital would you ignore it or request the paper? #followreader

@leverus: I would request paper. Though if the pitch was v off-base, I would (to my lasting shame) probably ignore. #followreader

@paperhaus: I do not own an ebook reader, other than my iphone, on which I’ve installed several e-reader apps. #followreader

charabbott: Do you read for work on your iPhone? and if so, how does it affect the reviewing experience? #followreader

@paperhaus: I read on my iphone to compare apps for a blog post. But now it’s recreational; haven’t finished Moby Dick yet. #followreader

How Important is Publisher Marketing?

@jenwgilmore: Can we pls address the importance/influence of marketing? #followreader

@leverus: Re: marketing, I agree it is relevant. If a publisher is really investing $$$ in a book, that interests me. #followreader

@paperhaus: Wow, I’m really different than @leverus on this. I don’t care how much $ a pub house spends. This may be an east/west thing. #followreader

@leverus: I feel like I should clarify: marketing interests me b/c somebody at the house is willing to bet money on a book #followreader

@jenwgilmore: With so little marketing on “non-brand” names, what are the signals you respond to? The same as old days? #followreader

@leverus: Same as old days — “buzz,” whatever that means. gossip, good trades. but also blogs and twitter. #followreader

@paperhaus: My creaky old punk self distrusts marketing. Too much push and … I feel pushed. #followreader

@paperhaus: That said, it means a lot to have a genuine publisher or trusted publicist promoting your work. #followreader

@mattbucher: Should books be marketed at all? The cream will rise to the top?? #followreader

@leverus: I wish I believed that. I just don’t see the literary world as reliably meritocratic. sometimes cream sinks! #followreader

How Much Are Your Influenced by Social Media?

@charabbott: In the past year, have you heard more about books through social media or other online sources before publication? #followreader

@leverus: Yes, info about new books is definitely reaching me thru social media. Twitter especially, it’s amazing tool. #followreader

@paperhaus: I love hearing about books thru new channels (Twitter, Facebook) but also standing in the book room and reading #followreader

@paperhaus: But all the buzz in the world can’t save a book that doesn’t have that zing. #followreader

@Corb21: Who do reviewers trust on social media? Authors, Publishers, Publicists? Readers? #followreader

@paperhaus: Reviewers trust all of the above on social media: Authors, Publishers, Publicists, Readers #followreader

@michellekerns: I’d like to know what you both think about the explosion of blogs, etc. reviewing books. Does it drag the art down? #followreader

@paperhaus: I was an indie blogger before coming to the LATimes, so I’m a big fan of book blogging. More conversations! #followreader

@leverus: What a perilous question.More reviewers=more good reviewers, but I think there are irresponsible voices out there #followreader

@leverus: I think good reviewing rests on solid scholarship. must have read the precedents #followreader

@charabbott: Has direct feedback from readers via your blog prompted you to change any of your reviewing practices? #followreader

@paperhaus: re: direct feedback via the blog – never change practices. But my feelings have been hurt once or twice :) #followreader

@ClaudiaC: I’ve read that people are more inteested in ‘people like me’ reviews (Amazon) vs. ‘expert’ reviews. Thoughts? #followreader

@leverus:it’s a huge question. too big for a tweet. shifting from top-down to bottom-up culture. will change everything! #followreader

@ClaudiaC: fascinating change! Do you see bottom-up culture happening? #followreader

@leverus: I really do. See my much maligned WSJ piece “Good Books Don’t Have to Be Hard” for extended-play version. #followreader

How much attention to you pay to trade shows?

@charabbott: What about trade shows? Do you rely on buzz from Book Expo as much as ever? #followreader

@paperhaus: I’ve been to 4 or 5 Book Expos and I think it’s changed a lot.

@leverus, you’ve been to lots more, right? #followreader

@leverus: I’ve been to a grand total of 3 book expos! #followreader

@leverus: I listen to trade show buzz. I’m looking for info everywhere, even if it’s not top quality info. more = more. #followreader

@leverus: But with Book Expo in New York now, I’ll never be able to escape it again. #followreader

How much does your readership, and being an author yourself influence you?

@susanmpls: does your reader demographic influence picks? Or are you selecting what peaks your interest? #followreader

@leverus: reader demo does affect what I cover. I’m paid to serve Time readers. They skew older, and female.I keep it in mind #followreader

@charabbott: How has yr experience as an author changed your approach to reviewing? #followreader

@leverus: Being an author has definitely made me a gentler reviewer. I realize it’s partly a conversation w/ the author. #followreader

@charabbott: It sounds like you don’t review books you hate – so that should help with author relations! #followreader

@leverus: I don’t do hatchet jobs anymore. I used to. I wince when I think about it. #followreader Future of reviews?

@NetGalley: Do you worry about disappearance of standalone book review sections? or trust reviews will be elsewhere? #followreader

@leverus: I worry about disappearing book sections. but at the same time I wonder if they couldn’t do more to save themselves #followreader

@paperhaus: It’s OK for books not to have a stand-alone section; the real challenge today is to newspapers as a whole. #followreader

@paperhaus: I worry that professional reviewing is shrinking – anyone who wants in has to work xtra hard, bloggers or not

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Delivering books to readers in new, more accessible ways is the book industry’s new challenge. Yet few publishing insiders can claim to have pioneered new delivery systems the way Susan Danziger has with DailyLit, which offers subscriptions to regular book installments that can be read in 5 minutes or less via email or RSS.  Fewer still have devoted themselves to introducing publishing’s rank and file to today’s digital leaders. Yet that’s what Danziger has done with the free monthly speaker series The Publishing Point (formerly known as the Digital Publishing Group).
Susan Danziger

Susan Danziger

Danziger is used to looking at the industry from fresh vantage points. Trained as a lawyer, she began her career negotiating licenses at a children’s media company, before moving to Random House, where she headed up legal and business affairs in the children’s division. After spearheading a project to digitize thousands of the company’s backlist titles in the early ‘90s, she left Random to start her own literary agency, Fox Meadow Media, and then, six years later, DailyLit.

In this installment in our series on publishing professionals who are helping change the way we read, we talk with Danziger about the future of digital reading. For more background about DailyLit and the Publishing Point, keep scrolling.

What reading habits are emerging among your subscribers?
They’re all over the map. More than 60% of our subscribers change the default day and time that our e-mails arrive  – compared to 90% of people who accept the default with other subscription media. Commuters may start their day with an installment of DailyLit, or read it when they get to work; there are also people who read it on their lunchtime break, or tell us, “this is my 5pm martini”.

How do most people access DailyLit?
The iPhone is getting bigger, but last survey showed that most people were reading on PCs or laptops.

Do your readers seem to have different reading tastes, based on the device they are using?
We’ve been conducting a survey and people say that when they’re reading on the computer, it’s more for information than relaxation. I’m also hearing that younger people actually read blogs for relaxation on the computer. But DailyLit readers are  definitely reading serious books. They are reading and finishing Anna Karenina on DailyLit, saying things like “this is the first tool that’s allowing me to read the classics I want to read.” We have more fiction available, but nonfiction is doing well too.

How do you see the future of digital reading, based on the feedback you’re getting to Daily Lit?
It’s all about consumer choice and giving readers what they want. We’re just at the tip of the iceberg now. The whole industry will be completely transformed, and not very far in the future. I think there will be lots of options for people to read. Some will read a book in bed, or an iPhone app at the beach. DailyLit is one way for people to integrate books into their lives. As content is created for different mediums, the market for reading will only get bigger, and that’s where the fun begins.

How do you think the reading tastes of people who are in their 20s now will evolve in the next few decades?
My gut instinct is that books will be evolving in terms of content, and will emerge in different media. There will still be paperbacks, but there will also be a whole world of books that merge text with video and social media. We’re starting to see projects now that make use of the tools that are out there. But at end of day, it’s all about story and storytelling. Words will still play a big role, but they will be supported with visual and audio tools. Books as we know them will continue, and the great ones will live on.

Do you think Japanese-style cell phone novels have a chance in the U.S.?
We really want to keep DailyLit about high quality work. We want to make sure that we have content people can trust. We might open DailyLit up to previously unpublished work down the road, I’m definitely thinking about that, but it’s not currently a site where people can automatically add content they’ve created.

How will DailyLit keep up with reader tastes?
We’re in the process of adding more titles created specifically for DailyLit, and are allowing authors and publishers to create content that work well in the serialized format. We’re also developing lots of interesting technology to help market books and expand our reach to additional readers. For instance, we recently launched a virtual book club on Twitter, so that folks can read books on to the same schedule.

DAILYLIT Vital Stats

Laurels: Chosen by the Sunday Times (UK) as the # 1 best book website in August, 2009

Number of Daily Lit subscribers: “Hundreds of thousands,” says Danziger.

Number of titles read to date: More than 500,000 books in more than 25 million installments.

Number of titles available: about 1500 – including newly released and public domain fiction and nonfiction titles, language lessons, SAT prep, and original series, such as a “Wikipedia tour” of Greek gods and goddesses, and a fashion series, Shoes, Bags and Tiaras, which draws on book content published by London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

Price range: About half the available titles are free, including classics and some new titles sponsored by their publishers. Short stories cost 99 cents. Full length books range from $4.99 to $9.99.

Partners: Publisher partners include Harper Studio, which entered a sponsorship making all of their fall titles available for free, and Macmillan, which is sponsoring a backlist push for suspense author Joe Finder. Non-book title sponsors have included H. Stern Jewelers and Gallery Collection.

Promotion: Users can link their DailyLit profile to Twitter, to automatically tweet about when they start and finish a book

Extern program: Publishing people who want to learn about digital world can join this program, which requires starting your own blog, usingTwitter and Ning to engage a community, and eventually presenting project results to Daily Lit.

THE PUBLISHING POINT Vital Stats

Launched: Spring 2009 as the Digital Publishing Group; Relaunched October 2009 as The Publishing Point

Mission: “The group is a way to educate and empower and inspire people in publishing to move to the next level in publishing’s industrial revolution, and to help publishers become more comfortable in this space.”

Features: Free monthly speaker series typically meets in conference rooms at the Random House building, 1745 Broadway at 55th St., New York City. New website includes community forums, a listserv, and a video interview series (first up: Cory Doctorow).

Members to date: 304

Next meeting: Michael Healy, Executive Director of the Book Rights Registry, to speak on The Google Book Settlement: What You Really Need to Know (November 18, 2009 at 12:30pm). Details here.

Speakers to Date:

  • Hanny Hindi, from Clickable, on Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimizaton
  • Seth Godin, author of Tribes, etc., on Rethinking the Publishing Industry
  • Andrew Savakas, from O’Reilly Publishing, on Why Mobile Matters
  • Gail Harwood, from Martha Stewart Omnimedia,  on What Is a Publisher?
  • David Karp, from Tumblr.com, on developing books ideas via social media
  • Neilan Choksi, from Lexcycle/Stanza, on mobile e-publishing
  • Debbie Stier, from HarperStudio, on the future of publishing

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OK, sounds dramatic, but trust me, mark down October 19, 2009 as a day to remember.

ia logo

Rarely, in my career have I been “blown away” by a demonstration.  Tonight, “blown away” doesn’t even begin to describe it.  I should have seen it coming, but, I didn’t.  I was completely blindsided.  I was blindsided by the vision of Brewster Kahle, the raw brilliance of his team, and the entire group of individuals and companies who played a role in Brewster’s “convocation”.

Brewster Kahle

Brewster Kahle

What I saw, was many of the dreams and visions of e-book aficionados everywhere becoming a demonstrable reality tonight.  I say ‘demonstrable’, because by Brewster’s own admission, it’s not ready for prime time, but the demonstration was enough to make my head spin with the possibilities.  But you don’t really want to know that, so let me do my best to just report what I saw.

Let’s start from the beginning…

Tonight, Brewster Kahle, Internet Archive Founder and Chief Librarian, introduced what he calls his “BookServer” project.  BookServer is a framework of tools and activities. It is an open-architectured set of tools that allow for the discoverability, distribution, and delivery of electronic books by retailers, librarians, and aggregators, all in a way that makes for a very easy and satisfying experience for the reader, on whatever device they want.

Now that may sound fairly innocuous, but let me try to walk through what was announced, and demonstrated  (Please forgive me if some names or sequences are wrong, I’m trying to do this all from memory):

  • Brewster announced that the number of books scanned at libraries all over the world has increased over the past year from 1 million books to 1.6 million books.
  • He then announced that all of these 1.6 million books were available in the ePub format, making them accessible via Stanza on the iPhone, on Sony Readers, and many other reading devices in a way that allows the text to re-flow if the font has been changed.
  • Next he announced that not only were these files available in ePub form, but that they were available in the “Daisy” format as well.  Daisy is the format used to create Braille and Text to Speech software interpretations of the work.
  • There were other statistics he cited related to other mediums such as 100,000 hours of TV recordings, 400,000 music recordings, and 15 billion (yes it’s a ‘b’) web pages that have been archived.
  • He then choreographed a series of demonstrations.  Raj Kumar from Internet Archive demonstrated how the BookServer technology can deliver books  to the OLPC (One Laptop per Child) XO laptop, wirelessly.  There are 1 million of these machines in the hands of underprivileged children around the world, and today they just got access to 1.6 million new books.
  • Michael Ang of IA then demonstrated how a title in the Internet Archive which was available in the MOBI format could be downloaded to a Kindle – from outside the Kindle store – and then read on the Kindle.  Because many of these titles were in the Mobi format as well, Kindle readers everywhere also have access to IA’s vast database.
  • Next up, Mike McCabe of IA, came up and demonstrated how files in the Daisy format could be downloaded to a PC then downloaded to a device from Humana, specifically designed for the reading impaired.  The device used Text-to-speech technology to deliver the content, but what was most amazing about this device was the unprecedented ease at which a sight impaired person could navigate around a book, moving from chapter to chapter, or to specific pages in the text.
  • Brewster took a break from the demonstrations  to elaborate a couple of facts, the most significant of which was the fact the books in the worlds libraries fall into 3 categories. The first category is public domain, which accounts for 20% of the total titles out there – these are the titles being scanned by IA.  The second category is books that are in print and still commercially viable, these account for 10% of the volumes in the world’s libraries.  The last category are books that are “out of print” but still in copyright.  These account for 70% of the titles, and Brewster called this massive amount of information the “dead zone” of publishing.  Many of these are the orphan titles that we’ve heard so much about related to the Google Book Settlement – where no one even knows how to contact the copyright holder.  (To all of my friends in publishing, if you let these statistics sink in for a minute, your head will start to spin).
  • Brewster went on to talk about how for any digital ecosystem to thrive, it must support not just the free availability of information, but also the ability for a consumer to purchase, or borrow books as well.
  • At this point, Michael came back out and demonstrated – using the bookserver technology – the purchase of a title from O’Reilly on the Stanza reader on the iPhone – direct from O’Reilly – not from Stanza.  If you are a reader, you may think that there is nothing too staggering about that, but if you are a publisher, this is pretty amazing stuff.  Stanza is supporting the bookserver technology, and supporting the purchase of products direct from publishers or any other retailer using their technology as a delivery platform.  (Again, friends in publishing, give that one a minute to sink in.)
  • The last demonstration was not a new one to me, but Raj came back on and he and Brewster demonstrated how using the Adobe ACS4 server technology, digital books can be borrowed, and protected from being over borrowed from libraries everywhere.  First Brewster demonstrated the borrowing process, and then Raj tried to borrow the same book but found he couldn’t because it was already checked out.  In a tip of the hat to Sony, Brewster then downloaded his borrowed text to his Sony Reader.  This model protects the practice of libraries buying copies of books from publishers, and only loaning out what they have to loan. (Contrary to many publishers fears that it’s too easy to “loan” unlimited copies of e-Books from libraries).
  • In the last piece of the night’s presentation, Brewster asked many of the people involved in this project to come up and say a few words about why they were here, and what motivated them to be part of the project.  The sheer number of folks that came out were as impressive as the different constituencies they represented.  By the end of this the stage was full of people, including some I know, like Liza Daly (Three Press), Mike Tamblyn (Shortcovers), and Andrew Savikas (O’Reilly).  Others, I didn’t know included Hadrien Gradeur (Feedbooks), the woman who invented the original screen for the OLPC, a published author, a librarian from the University of Toronto, Cartwright Reed from Ingram, and a representative from Adobe.

After the night was over, I walked all the way back to the Marina district where I was staying.  The opportunities and implications of the night just absolutely made my head spin.  I am completely humbled to be asked to be here and to witness this event.

In one fell swoop, the Internet Archive expanded the availability of books to millions of people who never had access before, bringing knowledge to places that had never had it.  Who knows what new markets that will create, or more importantly what new minds will contribute to our collective wisdom as a result of that access.  In the same motion, Brewster demonstrated a world where free can coexist with the library borrowing model, and with the commercial marketplace.  Protecting the interests of both of those important constituencies in this ecosystem.  He also, in the smoothest of ways, portrayed every ‘closed system’ including our big retail friends and search engine giants, as small potatoes.

I will have to post again about the implications of all this, but people smarter than me – many of whom I was able to meet today, will be far more articulate about what just happened.  I’m still too blown away.  I know this, it was a ‘game changer’ day.  It may take a couple of years to come to full fruition, but we will be able to pinpoint the spot in history when it was all shown to be possible.  I need to thank Peter Brantley for inviting (or should I say tempting) me to be there. Wow.

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Are you complying with the new FTC Guidelines for bloggers?

Are you complying with the new FTC Guidelines for bloggers?

For book bloggers and other readers who receive promotional galleys from publishers and discuss books via social media, the new FTC Guidelines for bloggers have raised as many questions as they’ve purported to answer. Publishers also say they are confused by the guidelines, which go into force on December 1, 2009.

Last Friday’s lively #followreader discussion on Twitter helped to clarify what publishers and  independent book reviewers should do to comply with the new regulations, thanks in large measure to our guests: media lawyer Jeff Hermes, of the firm Hermes, Netburn, O’Connor and Spearing, P.C., and Marie Cloutier, who blogs about books at the Boston Bibliophile.

For the highlights of the #followreader discussion, read on. 

But first, for the intrepid among you, here are the full FTC guidelines.

For more background on the FTC Guidelines and how bloggers must adapt to them, check out the detailed FAQ with Jeff Hermes at the BostonBibliophile.

Also, here’s how Richard Cleland, assistant director in the division of advertising practices at the FTC, responded to the concerns of major bloggers in Fast Company:

“To the extent that I have seen and heard, people are not objecting to the disclosure requirements but to the fear of penalty if they inadvertently make a mistake. That’s the thing I don’t think people need to be concerned about. There’s no monetary penalty, in terms of the first violation, even in the worst case. Our approach is going to be educational, particularly with bloggers. We’re focusing on the advertisers: What kind of education are you providing them, are you monitoring the bloggers and whether what they’re saying is true?”

Now, here’s our recap of the #followreader discussion, with Jeff Hermes (a.k.a. @HermesJP) and Marie Cloutier (a.k.a. @bostonbibliophl).

#Followreader: FTC Guidelines for Book Bloggers

Jeff Hermes (a.k.a. @HermesJP)

Media Lawyer Jeff Hermes (@HermesJP)

 @HermesJP The Guides require disclosure of “material connections” between a blogger and publisher which might influence a review. #followreader

 @HermesJP A “material connection” isn’t a relationship — it’s any perceived “compensation” arrangement. #followreader

@HermesJP The FTC is only concerned w/good reviews in the Guides. #followreader

 @HermesJP If you disclose that you received a book for free, you’ve complied and you don’t need to return the book. #followreader

 @bostonbibliophl it’s to protect consumers. consumers have no idea who blogger is, what their agenda/relationships might be. #followreader
  
 @HermesJP The main thing to keep in mind is that the disclosure must be clear and conspicuous. #followreader

@bostonbibliophl I’m saying it on each review from now on. #followreader

@thebookjournal I added it in the sidebar of my blog. It appears on all pages. #followreader

@Ooh_Books What I do now is put it at the end of review and state that in no way did it influence my review. #followreader

@HermesJP The Guides are not clear if the disclosure has to be made on each review. #followreader

@mawbooks I imagine something would have to be added to the feed as well. So those on readers can see as well. #followreader

@mawbooks My plans: continue to tag posts “review copy,” link in footer feed & end of post (w/ cat & tags) a disclosure link. #followreader

@Ooh_Books I now have link to separate disclosure page as well.#followreader

@HermesJP Bottom line is that the disclosure must be “clear and conspicuous” with respect to the reviews at issue. #followreader

@Writing_Is_Fun What if the book doesn’t come from a publisher? What if it’s from another blogger or the authors themselves? #followreader

@bostonbibliophl if it’s from another blogger there is no obligation to review. But author is same as pub for me. #followreader

@HermesJP Technically, you don’t need to disclose if you DIDN’T get it for free #followreader

@HermesJP If the review is bad, arguably no disclosure is required under the Guides. #followreader

@HermesJP The FTC is less concerned about professional reviewers having an undisclosed bias… and feel that it’s widely known that pro reviewers get free books, so no discl. would be req’d. #followreader

@charabbott Yes, book bloggers included in guidelines, but will FTC scrutiny fall on endorsements of more costly stuff? #followreader

@HermesJP Price does matter. The FTC won’t go after anyone for a single low ticket item… but the FTC will be concerned about a series of low-priced items going to bloggers. #followreader

@HermesJP The FTC would start with the manufacturer/publisher, and then work down to bloggers. #followreader

@Eugenia_Kim Does it begin on certain date, or do we need to back-disclose our relationships? #followreader

@HermesJP Excellent question w/ no clear answer. Generally, these sorts of regs are prospective — so going forward… The effective date is December 1, 2009. #followreader

@HermesJP The issue of how the FTC Guides apply to bloggers outside of the US is a very tricky one…jurisdiction issues. #followreader

@HermesJP ultimately, the FTC will need to put this into practice for there to be grater clarity. #followreader

#Followreader: FTC Guidelines For Social Media Users

@mawbooks: FTC says that reviews on social networks are included in the guidelines e.g. twitter. Seems impossible to police #followreader

@BookobsessedGrl Yes. Twitter, Facebook, LibraryThing, all of those. #followreader

@Eugenia_Kim On Twitter, opinions fly so freely. Bloggers could neutrally link to review which then has the disclosure, no? #followreader

@castironowl I’ve seen “compcopy” hashtag used as a shortcut FTC disclaimer on tweets. #followreader

@Eugenia_Kim I like #compcopy! What about #$copy for when we bought the book? #followreader

@Writing_Is_Fun: #compcopy is too long! #followreader

@charabbott Yes, but if it’s much shorter than #compcopy , will it be clear disclosure? #followreader

@Ooh_Books I think #freecopy is more clear #followreader

#Followreader: FTC Guidelines for Publishers

@AMACOMBooks What is the burden on publishers? Stickers on every review copy: *please disclose you received this for free* ?? #followreader

@HermesJP The publisher is responsible for communicating the obligation to disclose to the blogger; Guides don’t say how #followreader

@HermesJP I’d imagine you would include a statement in any cover letter sent to the blogger. #followreader

@Eugenia_Kim I think it’s smart to provide suggested disclosure lang. Some might not know about new regs. #followreader

@AMACOMBooks under the impression that FTC is more likely to go after cos. giving freebies than those blggrs receiving. http://bit.ly/yjcSQ #followreader

@castironowl In that case, sounds like publishers shouldn’t send books to bloggers unless they know blogger posts FTC disclaimer. #followreader

@AMACOMBooks I assume we will have to show it’s company policy or evidence of correspondence (emails, etc)? #followreader

@HermesJP If the FTC investigates, yes. #followreader

@HermesJP If the publisher tells the blogger to disclose, they’ve pretty much done their part. #followreader

@HermesJP HOWEVER, if the publisher uses the blogger comment in its own promo materials, then the pub must discl. as well. #followreader

@AMACOMBooks So if we use a review quote from a blogger & stick it up on Amazon, etc. we must disclse that they rec’d free copy. #followreader

@castironowl And still fit that within Amazon’s 20-word review quote limit? Eep! #followreader

@charabbott I have heard publicists at some major houses scoff at idea FTC would come after them. Should they worry? #followreader

@HermesJP Depends. The FTC is looking for egregious behavior. If a publisher is boosting books through reviews… on Amazon, using fake names, the FTC might investigate other promotional practices. #followreader

@NetGalley Are the rules the same for digital/electronic galleys? I assume it doesn’t matter what format the book is recieved? #followreader

 @HermesJP That’s right. The Guides don’t suggest there’s a difference. #followreader 

#Followreader: How will the FTC Guidelines affect readers?

@Eugenia_Kim I think as a reader of reviews, it won’t matter a bit if reviewers say up front they got book for free. #followreader

@Katiebabs FTC would have an Elliot Ness to root out those who didn’t disclose? Waste of tax payers money #followreader

@BookJacquie Yes, hope gov’t has better things to do than discourage people from reading & talking about books #followreader

@CheekyReads I’m all for disclosure – think it’s very helpful for newbies and for making blogs more trustworthy #followreader

@Eugenia_Kim I just want to say, I love book bloggers and appreciate their devotion and hours put into reviews. Just disclose and keep on. #followreader

Watch for our weekly #followreader discussions on Twitter, on Fridays from 4-5pm ET.

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