Archive | August, 2011

BookMachine Weekly BookWrap: publishing stories from around the web

In arguably the week’s biggest piece of publishing news, Amazon registers KindleScribe.com and KindleScribes.com, but why? (hint: they’re probably not launching a new line of cookware). That revelation came as two equally persuasive cases were made for and against digital publishing: self-published American thriller writer Michael Prescott’s three 99-cent e-books hit the Best-Selling Books list, suggesting a healthy future for authors in the electronic age, whilst Ewan Morrison brewed a storm of controversy in Edinburgh by asking Are books dead, and can authors survive?

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Flash Mob Marketing from HarperCollins

HarperCollins Flash Mob

 

While rain bucketed down across London earlier in the month, the HarperCollins Marketing team took to Brent Cross with a troop of professional dancers who performed a Flash Mob Tango Dance to shoppers throughout the afternoon.

The event was so successful that the dancers, usually seen treading the boards in the West End rather than in shopping centres, performed two extra times to keep the crowds happy.

The occasion marked the launch of Daisy Waugh’s  new novel Last Dance with Valentino, based on the life of the screen legend and heartthrob. Waugh spent more than a decade researching Valentino’s life.

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This ain’t no Mudd Club: CBGB in the age of eBooks

 

Ideally, all books about CBGB would be tattered, dog-eared and covered in mysterious stains. They’d be found in the dankest recesses of the most disreputable second-hand bookshops (or, better yet, “bookshops”). They’d be falling apart at the spine. There might be some pages missing, and, given some of the clientele, that might actually improve matters. Of course, ideally CBGB itself would still exist. It’s no longer an ideal world for sordid screeds or ramshackle rock clubs. Continue Reading →

#kindleweek: What now for the Kindle? 5 Things Amazon might do next

Amazon have done well from the Kindle – a contraption that, for some, seems to look like a relic from 10 years ago, running books produced in a format from 20 years ago. For others though, it’s the peak of human achievement in the field of plastic, e-ink and clumsy button-based technology, justifiably colonising handbags (yes, mostly handbags) across the planet.

But what now for the Kindle? Here are 5 things Amazon might do next.

 

This post is part of BookMachine’s #kindleweek. Join the debate on Twitter. Continue Reading →

#kindleweek: Did we mention we’re talking about Kindles this week? We totally are.

If you’ve been on this site or checked out our Twitter feed at any time since Monday, you may have noticed that we’re in the midst of #kindleweek. I say ‘may’, as you could have missed such subtle come-ons as ‘why do you love your Kindles guys?’, ‘why is the Kindle best?’ and that video we put on YouTube where we took the scene from Being John Malkovich where Malkovich goes inside his own head and overdubbed all the Malkoviches with the word ‘Kindle’ (disclaimer: we only actually did two of those).

Anyway, what Kindle week has entailed in large part is soliciting the views of you and your ilk, gentle reader, upon the subject of the suddenly ubiquitous e-reader, and you have been nothing if not forthcoming, with a range of opinions expressed both for and against the device that is quickly challenging this canvas print of Paul Ross for the title of Amazon’s most beloved product.

 
This post is part of BookMachine’s #kindleweek. Join the debate on Twitter.

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There’s no E in book: 5 non-digital book-based innovations

Printed books will never really go away. They’ll be superseded by e-books, sure. They’ll become a minority interest. They’ll be treated as relics of a bygone age, one where you had to actually leave the house to, y’know, get stuff.

But just as vinyl records have survived in the sweaty-but-carefully-dust-gloved hands of music geeks, and cinephiles are ignoring the convenience of watch instantly video streaming in favour of the hi-def glories of a decent Blu-Ray restoration, there will always be an audience, however small and specialist, for a nice binding and a dog-ear, ready and waiting for publishers to peddle their wares.

Alternatively, publishers could decide they’re not content to punt such simple pulp-and-ink pleasures, and instead chuck gimmick after gimmick at the reading public until something sticks. Either way. Here’s five of the latter. Continue Reading →

Making time for face-time

Helen Stevens, Marketing and PR Director for the Society for Editors and proofreaders (SfEP), talks about communication.

Despite many of us being able to work from home, nothing beats face-to-face interaction, and one of the aims of the SfEP is to facilitate that.

With instant communication available at the touch of a button – wherever you are in the world – a whole range of geographical and other barriers have become a thing of the past.So it might seem surprising that people still want to meet face to face for professional and social reasons – and often for a mixture of the two.

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How to get in to the mobile app game without losing your shirt

Andy Roberts

 

Ustwo’s Nursery Rhymes iPad app by most measures is a success. An innovative interactive ebook, by mid-June after less than four months it had shifted over 37,000 copies, was subject to rave reviews and benefited from being promoted several times by Apple itself. Most developers would be extremely pleased. The only downside: £60,000 spent, £24,000 in income; it is still a long way off from breaking even.

There’s little doubt that their app will eventually make a decent profit. Ustwo was remaining fairly philosophical about the situation: “Innovate now, don’t think this is about making money now. It’s about pushing the medium forward. Have a lot of fun and you’ll benefit in the future.” A view I highly applaud, but a view which many publishers will understandably be weary of. There’s no shortage of avenues where money can be spent with no return! But mobile apps need not be one of them.

I’ve worked on a successful series of apps for an educational publisher. Below are my views about how publishers can get into the right frame of mind to approach the app market and avoid common pitfalls. Continue Reading →