Monthly Archives: March 2016

When you absolutely

30 March 2016

When you absolutely positively have to know, ask a librarian.

American Library Association


30 March 2016

From Nora Roberts:

For the past several weeks, I’ve been house hunting–publishing houses, that is. While publishing’s a business, a house is still a home, and moving is stressful, complicated–and for a creature of routine like myself–just fraught.

Exciting, too, because once you work through the fraught, there are new possibilities, a fresh page, a new start.

There were changes in the house I worked with, lived in, was part of for more than twenty years, and with those changes I no longer felt at home there. Home, for me, is the center, the core, personally and professionally, so I need to feel comfortable and in place. I need to fit and feel connected.

. . . .

I’m fortunate to have had choices, to be able look at the landscape, the architecture, the personality and foundations of what was available to me. Each had its own distinct appeal and advantages, and since I don’t move lightly, all had to be carefully considered–with the invaluable and level-headed guidance of my agent. Amy Berkower of Writers’ House has been my agent since 1980. Not only don’t I make changes lightly, but I know when I have the best and I hold onto it.

. . . .

For those reasons and many others, I’m unpacking my bags in MacMillan–St. Martin’s Press. Their landscape, architecture and personality all fit so well I already feel at home. I already know some of the family, and that’s a path to contentment.

Link to the rest at Fall Into The Story and thanks to Kelly for the tip.

Here’s a link to Nora Roberts’ books. If you like an author’s post, you can show your appreciation by checking out their books.

A Red Carpet for Amazon in Fall River, Mass., and Hopes for More

30 March 2016

From The New York Times:

For this former mill town, the deal to secure a large Amazon distribution center means much more than the $3.78 million coming from the land sale and the successful culmination of three years’ worth of negotiations.

“Any time you have a corporate giant making a commitment to a city, that speaks volumes,” said Kenneth Fiola Jr., executive vice president of the Fall River Office of Economic Development, which worked closely with state officials and the broker NAI Hunneman to bring in the online retailer. “It gave us enhanced credibility.”

Credibility to attract other large companies, for one thing. And the deal for an over one-million-square-foot distribution center also gives Fall River, a southeastern Massachusetts city of about 89,000 people, cash to tackle a long list of improvements planned for its downtown business district. It is the latest step in a strategy that Mr. Fiola and other civic leaders are pursuing to encourage urban investment and redevelopment.

. . . .

 For its part, Amazon, which did not respond to requests for comment, is expected to hire 500 people when its $36 million warehouse opens this fall. The Trammell Crow Company is developing the project on 77 acres in the SouthCoast Life Science & Technology Park, one of three municipally owned industrial zones. It is a 10-minute drive north from Fall River’s downtown.

Link to the rest at The New York Times and thanks to Jan for the tip.

Ahmedabad-based MatruBharti is quenching the thirst of multilingual readers, set to publish ebooks in 21 languages

30 March 2016

From Your Story:

Language and literature had been a soothing presence since childhood days for Gujarat-based Mahendra Sharma. He was a wordsmith even back then and known for his poetry, stories and essays. But the appetite to write more went on the backburner when he decided to pursue a diploma in computer engineering from Government Polytechnic Gandhinagar.

But, even after spending 17 years in the IT industry, Mahendra (37) was yet to have a fulfilling day. In 2014, he decided to finally do something about it and went on to explore his passion by combining literature, language and technology. This led him to start MatruBharti, a self-publishing platform, which publishes 15 to 20 ebooks per day in regional languages. The e-books are available in various categories, such as fiction, non-fiction, biographies, philosophy, motivational essays etc.

. . . .

Mahendra and Nilesh infused a seed capital of Rs 10 lakh and about Rs 40 lakh in three years to develop and market Matrubharti. They had faced multiple rejections from publishers who were of the view that the concept of ebook can harm the business of physical bookstores. For the first six months, they failed to get a single book from any publisher.

On digging deeper, they found the authors to be quite taken with MatruBharti’s concept, but they were not computer-literate. Initially, it took more than six days to publish a single e-book, because the operator had to transcribe the entire script into digital version. The same process took 15 days if the content was of a larger size. Today, MatruBharti publishes 300 ebooks per month.

MatruBharti accepts works in authors’ preferred language for publishing. Each ebook is typically 100 KB and takes 10 to 15 minutes to download.

. . . .

Mahendra explains that there are different payment slots: a minimum payment is given to authors having total downloads of 1,000 and above and the highest is given to authors having total downloads above 50,000.

The startup generates revenue by monetising Google Ads from free readers, subscription fee from premium users, and local ads from local businesses. MatruBharti is growing at a rate of 25 per cent month on month.

The app has seen 36,000 downloads so far with 32,000 active users and nine million screen viewers per month. “Our analytics show that our app has been used in 42 countries,” says Mahendra.

Link to the rest at Your Story

Amazon is the ‘most reputable’ company in the US

30 March 2016

From Business Insider:

Amazon is considered the most reputable company doing business in the US today, according to a new report by The Reputation Institute.

The organization gathered 83,000 ratings in the first quarter from people in the US, and looked at areas such as products and services, innovation, workplace, governance, citizenship, leadership and performance.

. . . .

Out of the Top 10 most reputable companies, seven are from the US.

As for Amazon, its reputation wasn’t much hurt by a scathing story published by the New York Times last summer that portrayed Amazon as a “brutal” company to work for.  Nor was it hurt much bynegative stories of life as an Amazon warehouse worker.

Overriding those kinds of stories is the fact that Amazon has reinvented the shopping experience for the typical American, it offers an interesting online streaming alternative to Netflix (who also rated in the Top 10), has some decent tablets/e-readers at a great price, and is ajuggernaut in the up-and-coming cloud computing market.

Link to the rest at Business Insider

The Power of Free: How to Sell More E-Books

29 March 2016

From Publishers Weekly:

Do you want to sell more books and increase the value of your author brand? Then give some of your e-books away for free.

To many authors, the idea of giving their work away for free is counterintuitive—and possibly abhorrent and sacrilegious. Free devalues your work, right?

Wrong. Free makes your work more valuable. As an author, you are a brand. Readers buy books from authors who have earned their trust. But to earn readers’ trust, you must first earn their awareness. If readers don’t know you, they can’t trust you—your brand carries no value to them. You’re invisible. Even if you’re already a New York Times bestseller, there are millions of potential readers out there who have never heard of you and have never read your stuff.

Free makes it possible to reach new readers who would otherwise never take a chance on you. Free enables readers to sample and discover new authors without financial risk.

According to the 2015 Smashwords Survey, free e-books get 41 times more downloads on average than other e-books. This is the power of free. Free drives sampling and discovery.

Link to the rest at Publishers Weekly

Content + curation + community = a new Apple Books

29 March 2016

From The Bookseller:

Apple is missing the boat on e-books.

And there’s billions of dollars at stake.

. . . .

If you’re buying an e-book, there’s only one place to go: Amazon. It’s not because of discovery; it’s mindshare. Most books aren’t discovered on Amazon – just bought there. Opportunity.But it’s easy to forget how deeply Amazon has burrowed into the online book world. Most Facebook shares or book reviews link to Amazon. Amazon results dominate bookish web searches. Goodreads is the online books community.

Conversely, iBooks is little more than a reader app and a buy link, with no community to speak of. Consider Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield (one of my favorites): Amazon/Goodreads have 2,600 reviews of the book, Apple has seven. A Google Search for “Gates of Fire” has Amazon 1st, Goodreads 4th, and Apple on page four – essentially invisible! The iBooks web experience is an ugly mess.

It’s instructive to look at Apple’s response when threatened by Spotify. Apple launched a major initiative, Apple Music. It was a “Manhattan Project” with internal and external components:  Apple acquired Beats for $3B and re-invented its music experience as Subscription + Curation + Beats 1 Radio. Connect, a centralised artist blog platform, was another unique addition. The result generates at least $1B annually.

Link to the rest at The Bookseller

Without libraries

29 March 2016

Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.

Ray Bradbury

Self-Published Ebooks Made Up 22 Percent Of Ebook Sales In 2015

29 March 2016

From Bustle:

Although self-publishing sometimes gets a bad rap, it seems that readers are really coming around to self-published books. In the UK, 22 percent of ebook sales came from self-published books in 2015. And in fact, while traditionally published ebook sales were slightly down from the year before, self-published ebooks only gained in popularity.

The major drawback to self-publishing, as opposed to being published through a traditional publishing house, has always been that it’s harder to get your book into the hands of readers — or rather, in the digital age, onto their Kindles. While publishing companies have marketing teams and publicists to create buzz for a book, self-published authors have to promote their books themselves, which is often difficult. But it seems that self-published books are gaining in popularity, at least according to Neilson.

In 2014, self-published books made up 16 percent of all ebook sales in the UK; in 2015, that number shot up to 22 percent as traditionally published ebook sales dropped while sales of the self-published variety rose. In other words, the self-publishing revolution really might be in the works.

Link to the rest at Bustle

Paper World

29 March 2016

WWF Hungary – Paper World from Paper World on Vimeo.

Thanks to Patrice for the tip.

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