Posts Tagged ‘publishers’

One of the biggest challenges for publishers is tapping into the web’s inexpensive viral marketing while preventing the loss of sales and content due to theft. Oh, is that word too harsh? Theft? I bring that up because on one side of the coin, publishers don’t want to make their valued readers feel like potential criminals. But, on the other side of the coin, publishers are entrusted with authors’ content and don’t want it to lose potential profits either while sending out ARCs for review.

Let’s look at airport security for a second. It’s analogous. Airlines’ passengers, the very people who they rely on for business are treated much like criminals when poked and prodded through airport security.

Readers, who publishers rely on for reviews and buzz, may feel just as hassled and put out as airline passengers when they receive digitally rights managed (DRM) galleys. First, they have to figure out the type of DRM galley they’ve been sent. Maybe they have a Sony Reader but the DRM galley they received only works on Kindles. Or, they’re sick of reading things on their computer but the DRM galley can only be read on their computer and is not downloadable to their Kindle.

One way to avoid this is to survey your readers. Know your audience, right? Their reading habits have changed with the times. Find out if the majority of your readers use a Sony Reader, Kindle, Nook, iPhone, or other reader then offer those reading options. If you don’t already have a survey service, http://surveymonkey.com/  is great for a quick, free survey.  And, if you use NetGalley, then work with our Digital Concierge, Lindsey Rudnickas, to make sure your titles have the appropriate reading options available for your readers.

Another route to go, if you’d like to offer DRM-free, or open ARCs, so that they can be more easily passed from one person to the next, is to provide just the index and a few chapters of a galley, to get the benefit of generating buzz without all the risk. Digital galleys, unlike traditional printed ARCs, which are passed around as well, give publishers more control over how much of the content readers can view.

Let’s not forget our friends the excerpt. HTML excerpts are another way to give readers a taste of what a book has to offer without throwing the content to the wind. Just remember to use it as you would all marketing material with a call to action at the end. What would you like interested readers to do? If you’re a member of NetGalley you could provide a link to your title and suggest that interested readers request the galley now, or email the excerpt to a friend.

If you’re thinking, that’s fine, but a tad dull, add some video and or author audio clips to the DRM-free PDF you send to readers.  No matter how you dress up an ARC, it’s hard to include video and audio as easily and inexpensively as you can with a PDF (http://www.totalwebvideo.com/pdfmedia/pdfmedia.html). The benefit of digital galleys is that they can plug into so much more than their analog counterparts. 

With a little creative thinking publishers can use digital galleys to generate more buzz more easily and inexpensively than with printed galleys, without feeling like they’re giving away content for free.

 Additional Resources

E-Reader Matrix and supported formats: http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/E-book_Reader_Matrix

Adobe Content Server (ACS4) can provide DRM galleys for a number of devices including the nook and Sony readers. To see a complete list: http://www.adobe.com/products/digitaleditions/devices/

Read Full Post »

11/27/09 #followreader – (the rogue edition )
topic: Author Events
guest: Russ Marshalek (also see his blog here, as well as his work with @bsandusky and @lucyswope: QBAH2

For Transcript of conversation, just click here!

So, yesterday’s #followreader chat was a REALLY, really great conversation. We weren’t planning on having #followreader this week, due to the Thanksgiving holiday, but Russ Marshalek (@RussMarshalek), BethAnne Patrick (@thebookmaven), and Michele Filgate (@readandbreathe) kind of pushed it into existence. And thank goodness for that.

I know. I always say #followreader was great. But yesterday’s #followreader really was great – authors (@urrealism and others), publishers (@draccah, @SusanMpls, and others); lots of book bloggers and booksellers (@readandbreathe, @changinghands, etc.) and muchos library folks were all actively taking part in the discussion and the hour flew by.

The overall consensus (sort of to my surprise) was not only are author in-store events popular with tweeps from every sector of the book community, but people have lots of incredible ideas on how to make author events successful for everyone involved.

I’ve archived the conversation here, and in spite of it being one very long conversation, I highly recommend that authors, publishers, librarians, and booksellers read through all of it, because there were some really great ideas suggested, as well as some tips on what does NOT work for author events, and even some really juicy gossip from booksellers and former booksellers about celebrity author events.

Here are some highlights from yesterday’s chat:

Publishers are cutting back on author tours

lindseylochner @KatMeyer events only worthwhile (for pubs) if author can really help promote & get creative (stay w/friends, different/special events, etc)

booksliesalibis @KatMeyer Yes, and it’s been difficult to get pubs to send many authors off the beaten path, smaller cities anyway. #followreader

People don’t like events that are just about the author reading from and/or signing their books

People want want to attend author events that offer more: Q+A’s with author; themed events; bookstores teaming up w/ another organization or company for event, e.g.: cook’s warehouse + wordsmiths events.

hmccormack @KatMeyer @rpgaddicted Librarian in @SmartBitches Q&A (http://bit.ly/7wPVlN ): “Reading prob most boring thing auth can offer” #followreader

@inkwellHQ RT @LitChat: Create impression of author event not-to-be-missed w/ exclusivity in promo. People love thinking they’re special. #followreader -1:26 PM Nov 27th, 2009

Regarding marketing  for in-store author events:

@qbah2: @KatMeyer you need to FIND the fan base for WHOEVER your author or subject is. #followreader

ChrisKubica @KatMeyer I did an event @ a Borders/Milwaukee. They hadn’t promo’d at all. Did reading for sea of empty chairs and my wife. #followreader

bloodbathbeyond @KatMeyer Part of why I gave up on my local book blog was because only one store would tell me what events they were planning. #followreader about 4 hours ago from web

readandbreathe @KatMeyer Marketing needs to move beyond traditional means; social networking is now a must for events #followreader

Author events need to be about building, adding value to relationships – not just about immediate sales

Sales are a big goal behind author events, but bigger goal should be building relationships: between readers and authors; between readers and bookstore; and betweeen author and bookstore. A successful event brings all parties closer together, and will hopefully result in sales and return visits by author and by readers (word of mouth too).

trishheylady @KatMeyer I heard @pioneerwoman lets ppl talk 2her, say what they want 2 say, & shows personal intrst.Ppl even more loyal now. #followreader

Bright Ideas:

Where possible, if libraries can work with indie/local booksellers in putting on events, it can be a win/win for everyone.
shayera @KatMeyer You have to be careful about selling in a library though. There are lots of rules about how to do it. #followreader

booksliesalibis @KatMeyer But others can, and this may continue to change as budgets get tighter. #followreader

rj_anderson @KatMeyer Skype appearances esp. good for those of us not in the US or whose main fanbase is overseas (both true of me!) #followreader

And that is just a small sampling of what was discussed. Again, you can read the archived chat in its entirety here.

Thanks again, everyone. During this time of giving thanks, those of us at Follow the Reader, want all of you to know how incredibly thankful we are to be a part of the bookish community, both online and in real life.



Read Full Post »