Posts Tagged ‘Kassia Krozser’

Special Guest Host(ess) Kassia Krozser Leads #FollowReader Chat with Guest Kevin Smokler this Thursday at 4pm ET

This week’s #FollowReader chat will be even more special than usual. That’s because not only will we have a fabulous guest – one Kevin Smokler (@weegee) of BookTour.com, but we will also have a fabulous guest host: BookSquare.com’s Kassia Krozser (@booksquare).

With the combined wondertwin “K” powers of Kassia and Kevin, you guys are in for a huge treat. The chat is largely in celebration of BookTour.com’s relaunch, but is more so a chance for authors, publicists and readers to talk about how books and readers are connecting, and ways to facilitate that connection. If you know Kassia and Kevin, you know this will no doubt be a fun-, and info-filled #FollowReader hour.

BookTour.com's @weegee

About Kevin Smokler
Kevin Smokler is an author, journalist, speaker and entrepreneur. He’s the editor of the anthology Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times (Basic Books, June 2005), which was a San Francisco Chronicle notable book of 2005. His writing has appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The LA Times, Fast Company, and on National Public Radio.

In 2007, Kevin Smokler founded with Chris Anderson (editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine) BookTour.com, the world’s largest online directory of author and literary events. Kevin now serves as the company’s CEO, regularly speaking at publishing industry conferences and book festivals throughout North America. In April of 2008, Amazon purchased a minority stake in BookTour.com.

About Kassia Krozser

BookSquare.com's @BookSquare

Kassia Krozser has seen the future and it is good: more people are reading and writing than ever before. She knows that, unlike the dinosaurs, smart people in the publishing business can adapt to changing economics and reader behavior. Kassia dissects this world with love and skepticism at booksquare.com.

Helpful Hints for the #FTR uninitiated – To join the #followreader conversation on Thursday, here’s what to do:

  1. Just before 4pm ET today, log in to Twitter or whatever interface you prefer. (We recommend Tweetchat, which refreshes quickly and automatically loads your hashtag when you are in the discussion.)
  2. To follow the discussion, run a search for #followreader
  3. I’ll start by asking a few questions, before opening up the discussion to the group.
  4. To post a comment to the discussion, make sure that the hashtag #followreader is in each tweet you write.

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Just because I am pretty sure no one else is talking about this (yes, this is me being funny) – you will definitely want to join us tomorrow (Friday) at 4pm ET for this week’s #FollowReader — where the topic will be e-tailer book pricing and other issues regarding that Amazon/MacMillan quagmire — all in relation to how these issues ultimately affect readers.

Kassia Krozser (@BookSquare)

We’ve gathered a pretty awesome panel of guests to talk about the issue of ebook pricing and you know, the theoretical pros and cons of a world where book selling is dominated by one super power. In fact, we have reps from: the reader’s perspective – Kassia Krozser (@booksquare); the author’s perspective – Tobias Buckell (@tobiasbuckell); and the indie r(e)tailer’s perspective – Lori James and Julie Cummings of  AllRomanceEbooks.com/OmniLit.com (@allromance). (full disclosure – AllRomance is a client of my company Next Chapter Communications).

In other words – this is going to be quite the twittersation.

Some questions we’ll be discussing:

  • What is the real issue behind the Amazon v. MacMillan showdown? Is it about ebook pricing? Is it about Amazon wanting to dominate the marketplace with Kindle? Is either player really thinking about the reader in this situation (as each has claimed more or less?)
  • What does agency model mean? What does it mean to READERS? What does it mean to AUTHORS? What does it mean to RETAILERS (indie/chain/big box/online behemoths)?
  • Are ebooks priced at $12.99 and up really too high? Not just from reader’s perspective, but in reality – does an ebook’s production and distribution costs merit that kind of pricing?
  • Does the agency model actually limit publisher’s ability to price ebooks higher?
  • Would a higher priced product be viable in the kind of retail channel contemplated in the agency model?
  • Will agency model ultimately result in different priced formats targeted at different audiences, with different participation models for authors?
  • What impact will the so-called agency model have on independent booksellers? What impact will it have on author royalties?
  • Should publishers just scrap e-tailer partnerships and sell direct to consumer? Why or why not?
  • When it comes to ebooks, do proprietary devices and formats work for, or against readers in the long run? Isn’t a store that sells all formats for all devices offering a better service for readers?
  • Where does DRM fit into all of this?

We want to hear from you readers – what do you think about ebook pricing, paper book pricing, retailers both indie and not-so-indie? Let us know by joining in on this not-to-be-missed #FollowReader.

Tobias Buckell (@TobiasBuckell)

Hope to see you on Twitter tomorrow at 4pm ET!

Our Guests for #FollowReader, Friday February 5:

Kassia Krozser (@booksquare) has seen the future and it is good: more people are reading, writing, and publishing than ever before. Kassia consults with publishers about digital publishing opportunities at Oxford Media Works (OxfordMediaWorks.com), and writes about current digital publishing trends at booksquare.com.

Tobias S. Buckell (@tobiasbuckell) is a New York Times Bestselling Caribbean-born SF/F author who now lives in Ohio with his wife, twin daughters, and associated pets. He’s seen over 35 short stories in various magazines and anthologies, along with 4 novels and a short story collection. He keeps a website at www.TobiasBuckell.com.

Lori James of AllRomanceEbooks

Lori James(@allromance) is co-owner and Chief Operating Officer of All Romance eBooks, LLC. Julie Cummings is the company’s Manager of Marketing and Promotions. All Romance eBooks, founded in 2006, is privately held in partnership, and headquartered in Palm Harbor, Florida. The company owns All Romance (www.allromanceebooks.com), which specializes in the sale of romance eBooks and OmniLit (www.omnilit.com), which sells both fiction and non-fiction eBooks.

Note: Julie Cummings will be (wo)manning the keyboard and monitoring the chat while Lori James joins us virtually virtually via this thing called a “phone” (we are all about equal opportunity technology here at #FollowReader).

Julie Cummings (@allromance)

The trouble begins at 4pm ET (or 1pm PST).To join the #followreader Twitter conversation today, here’s what to do:

  1. 10 minutes or so before 4pm ET, log in to Twitter or whatever interface you use (we recommend Tweetchat.com).
  2. To follow the discussion, run a search for #followreader.
  3. I’ll announce about 10 minutes ahead of time that we’re going to begin. And I’ll introduce the guests.
  4. I’ll start by posting a question.
  5. To post to the discussion, make sure that the hashtag #followreader is in each tweet.

NOTE: TweetChat.com refreshes quickly and automatically loads your hashtag when you are in the discussion.

Some Background links Re: Amazon/McMillan Showdown and Issues (Thank you @BJMuntain!):

@booksquare Amazon, Macmillan, Agency Models, and Quality (oh, my)!

@rilnj The Myths of Amazon/Macmillan http://bit.ly/aPpKUu by @Hornswoggler. <–Esp. #5

@charlesatan Amazon Capitulated My Ass http://bit.ly/8XTwFS

@victoriastrauss New blog post at Writer Beware about (what else?) the Macmillan-Amazon face-off http://tinyurl.com/y8oqmq6

@GrammarGirl This looks like an interesting piece on e-book and app pricing: http://j.mp/aWGVnP

@paulkbiba Legal analysis of Amazon/Macmillan http://is.gd/7rwVK

@scalzi One last Amazon/Macmillan post: All The Many Ways Amazon So Very Failed the Weekend http://bit.ly/bUN03H

@gkiely Publishing’s Weekend War: 48 Hours That Changed an Industry http://bit.ly/9s8xkn

@RachelleGardner I posted on the Publishing Smackdown today. Stop by and leave your thoughts! http://is.gd/7skPe

@ShelfAwareness Here’s our take on the Amazon/Macmillan scuffle http://bit.ly/cn79Ft (Very thorough overview)

“Amazon needs to stop meddling in ebook pricing & let free market do its thing.” @mollywood http://bit.ly/b6eHPS

@DigiBookWorld Macmillan won the battle over eBook pricing, but did Amazon win the PR war? http://bit.ly/9ULGIt

@DigiBookWorld Authors React to Amazon/Macmillan battle; @scottwesterfeld gets in the last word: http://bit.ly/9P8kLA

@atfmb: Amazon Concedes to Macmillan on E-Book pricing: http://tinyurl.com/yhz7d2n (NYTimes)

@ScottWesterfeld In which I weigh in (heavily) on the Amazon fracas: http://scottwesterfeld.com/blog/?p=2138

@MikeShatzkin The wild weekend of Amazon & Macmillan: Now I swear all this is true http://bit.ly/d2t9mr

@tobiasbuckell New blog post:: Together, lets break the Amazon monopoly on Kindles! http://bit.ly/bKsYUg

@charlesatan Smart post by Small beer press on Amazon http://smallbeerpress.com/?p=6915

@JoeFinder Check out this great blog post re the Amazon power play: http://mountaineermusings.com/

@Mitch_Hoffman A “passive aggressive” capitulation by Amazon, says the Washington Post. http://ow.ly/12nEh

@LAGilman My insta-reaction to Amazon’s response Warning: sort of cranky: http://suricattus.livejournal.com/1202577.html

@BradStone Amazon surrenders http://tinyurl.com/yd3hezf . “We will have to capitulate &accept Macmillan’s terms”

@PublishingGuru Is Amazon’s Kindle Killing Book Publishing? http://ow.ly/16sXSz

@GrammarGirl Excellent explanation of how Amazon currently gets pricing better than physical bookstores: http://j.mp/a9ZBnv

@GrammarGirl Another Macmillan author (@jay_lake) is articulately furious with Amazon http://bit.ly/dogHYG

@Hannasus Interesting article about the economics of book publishing: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13556_3-10250017-61.html

@EMEvans11 Amazon no longer carrying Macmillan titles? Andy Ross weighs in: http://bit.ly/93UkXg

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Jeff Pulver’s 140 Characters Conference! (#140conf), started yesterday and continues through this evening at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. The 140 conference brings together Twitter enthusiasts from all backgrounds, to share their experiences in very short, fast-paced presentations. Pulver’s intention for the conference is “to provide a platform for as many people as possible to share their thoughts and engage in conversation with the attending delegates.” The LA 140conf has a lot of emphasis on the glitzier side of content sharing – the entertainment world, but bookish tweeps are there and representing for those of us who like to read.



Maya Bisineer, founder of MemeTales–a collaborative space for creating children’s books–put together a panel on how Twitter has added a whole new layer of innovation and collaboration to the publishing process, and Maya has assembled a very diverse and talented group of bookish types from the left coast including:

Mark Jeffrey: author of the ‘Max Quick‘ series of novels, and creator of the BiblioTechShow vidcast.



Kassia Krozser (@booksquare) – media maven and head honchette at booksquare.com.

Dan Mirvish (@MartyEisenstadt), co-creator of the character Martin Eisenstadt, co-author of the book I Am Martin Eisenstadt: One Man’s (wildly inappropriate) Adventures with the Last Republicans, and co-founder of the Slamdance Film Festival.


Kirk Biglione (@kirkbiglione): a new media consultant, writer, and technologist, and co-founder of the new media blog, MediaLoper.com.

Maya’s goal with the panel is “to discuss the publishing space – the biggest truth, secret, lie, innovation, experiment … whatever that might be, and to talk about collaboration and its meaning to the end product.”

In her own experience, launching and discussing her new company MemeTales via Twitter, has led her to believe Twitter has a lot to offer to everyone in the book community — as well as to those who may not be directly involved in publishing (yet):

To me, the most amazing thing (coming from the tech side) is just HOW many cases of “accidental publishing” we have seen in the recent past. With my own startup too, I had in no way intended it to be in the publishing space. However, it seems like whether we like it or not, we are all playing in the same playground …. I am most interested in how we will all evolve the “accidental” into “collaborative” (be it people, media or technologies) , and what that will mean to the publishing space as a whole. It is great that we will have true examples of success and experience on the panel.

For Mark Jeffrey, a tech entrepreneur (he is CTO of the tech company Mahalo.com), Twitter has been instrumental in the success of his series of young adult books, Max Quick. Jeffrey started out with a podcast audiobook (via podiobooks.com) version of the first books and promoted them via Twitter, gaining him 2.4 million downloads.  This led to him being signed by Harper Collins two months ago.

Jeffrey also produces Bibliotechshow.com, a vidcast where he interviews authors such as Margaret Atwood, Scott Sigler and Anne Rice about how they use digital media. Says Jeffrey, “I met Margaret Atwood via Twitter.  This led to my inviting her to be on Bibliotech, which was then promoted on Facebook and Twitter, increasing her reach into an audience she would not normally have encountered.”

Jeffrey is not alone in his “authorpreneurial” success. His friend Scott Sigler struggled in obscurity for ten years before using Twitter to promote his podcast novels. “Now he is New York Times Bestselling author,” says Jeffrey. “and he still uses Twitter, responding to his fans in realtime.”



For Kassia Krozser, a veteran of publishing industry blogging, Twitter is opening up industry conversation, enriching the content, breaking down social boundaries within the industry, and creating a space where everyone can participate in the discussion. Relates Krozser:

I have found that Twitter has made for better information discovery to the point where I barely glance at various industry email newsletters these days. The sharing of good links via trusted industry sources and the subsequent discussion about the topics make for far better conversation than the one-way aspect of the newsletters. An important aspect of this discovery comes from the various industry voices — from publishers to readers — who participate in the conversation. The various perspectives are invaluable.

For example, a few months ago, there was a discussion on Twitter about how some readers weren’t supporting local bookstores. A romance blogger noted that her local bookstore doesn’t support her reading choices, so why would she shop there? From that exchange, arose a conversation about how the two groups could better support each other. Both sides have been griping for years, but via Twitter, they are actually reaching out to each other.

We’re also seeing this type of cross-pollination among readers, bloggers, and other industry professionals in a way that encourages respect rather than disdain. I think it’s actually helping the industry.



Biglione concurs, adding, “Twitter has flattened the hierarchy of the conversation in the publishing world. Given the fact that the industry is at a critical phase in the transition to the digital era, the conversations that are being initiated on Twitter will be instrumental in shaping the future direction of publishing.”

It’s not all about publishing trade professionals talking amongst themselves, either. Says Biglione, “Publishers have traditionally been somewhat out of touch with the needs of consumers. Twitter provides publishers with a direct channel to listen to, and communicate with, consumers.”



Dan Mirvish and his co-author Eitan Gorlin, found Twitter instrumental in launching and promoting the memoir of their fictional creation, Martin Einsenstadt:

We’ve been using Twitter since we started writing the book to help keep the Martin Eisenstadt character alive during the last year.  The unintended consequence was that Time magazine said “Marty” was among America’s elite Twitterati (along with Ashton Kutcher, Newt Gingrich and Meghan McCain) for our coverage of the White House Correspondent’s Dinner (which we did not intend).

In the slightly more real world, when our publisher told us not to bother to go to  BEA, our character was there virtually on Twitter.  As a fictional character creating his own mini-narrative at the country’s largest book convention, this made sense to us, though most people didn’t realize he was fictional.  But as real first-time authors, we used it as a tool to learn more about the publishing world and to make genuine contacts (like Kat!).  Now that the book is coming out soon, we use it as a more obvious marketing tool – alerting followers to news articles and new YouTube videos and the like.

Truly, this is one panel where the information will be flying! But, how to get so much content and so many wonderful ideas across in a 20 minute panel session? That’s the challenge. Says Maya, “The good and bad thing about Jeff’s conferences is that panels are short. It is a very short time for us to get our points across, however short panels make great conversation starters and thinking sparks and prevents people from spinning wheels.”

We know from history that it can be done – last summer’s 140conf in New York  boasted some wonderful east coast bookish tweeps including : @R_nash (Richard Nash), @chapmanchapman (Ryan Chapman),  @ami_with_an_i (Ami Greko), and @russmarshalek (Russ Marshalek) – and went off without a hitch.

And, given there will be at least two panel opportunities for bookish tweeps to spread the publishing word in LA (a publishing heavy panel earlier today entitled “I Tweet, Therefore I Am” includes: Debbie Stier (@debbiestier) – SVP, Associate Publisher, Harper Studio; Mariel Hemingway (@Marielhemingway) – Actress, Writer; Mark Tauber (@MarkTauber) – SVP, Publisher of the imprint, HarperOne; and Patrick Brown (@vromans)), I’m confident the bookish community will get its due at the 140Conf.

I can’t wait to hear more from the LA group, and from other bookish tweeps who are out in Los Angeles for the event. Hopefully SOME of them (ahem, Kassia!) will send some pix for us to post!


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