Taking Stock of Industries Related to Book Publishing and How That Relates to the Future


Book publishers can learn a lot from their media counterparts. As the world becomes more connected, the lines between these industries is getting blurred. Keeping on top of trends then can be really helpful, in terms of getting ideas of what can be done and what to expect in the future. Here are a few headlines from other forms of media that can help inform people in book publishing:


Movies, TV, Video




News, Blogs





Startups, Niche

All this connectedness, combined with lower barriers to entry, have made it easier than ever for people to start their own startups. Not all are successful, but they are all interesting.



Book Publishers

Book Publishing

Book Recommendations




Future, Trends

After taking a look at other industries, as well as new companies in the book industry, it’s interesting to read about trends and predictions for the future.








Last, it’s fun to see all the pieces starting to come together in the form of ebooks. There’s a lot of interesting developments in the EPUB world.


Indie Authors: Earning Money Through Ads/Sponsorships

Selling ebooks is not the only way to earn money from a book. Authors can also take part in subscription services or give away books for free to upsell other products. But there’s also a third option: ads/sponsorships.  Continue reading

Tracking Twitter at the New York Times

When I think of The New York Times, I do not think of technology. Yet, the newspaper has a sophisticated Research and Development Lab, which has been finding new ways for the company to make money in the digital age.

I had the opportunity to tour the R&D Lab a few weeks ago, and now I can share one of the things I learned. NYT tracks the life of all their stories on Twitter. Basically, the Times keeps track of who shares links to their articles on Twitter, when they share those links, and how their tweets spread and are shared with other people. What they’ve found is certain people on Twitter attract people with numerous followers, and some of their articles have a life span of 48 hours or more–a long time in the online space. What’s the significance of this? Well, one thing the NYT can do is target ads or use this information to see the lifespan of their articles. Articles still of interest can then be bought or at least easily found. It’s a big, interesting step towards monetizing the web.

To read the full article and see video of how the R&D Lab works, click here.

The Future of Publishing…We’re In It

Three interesting articles about the publishing industry caught my eye today. But first, I’ve found that reading and thinking critically about articles goes more smoothly with music, so I invite you to play the video below and enjoy the sweet sounds of “Stereo Love” while reading the rest of my post. (And yes, I may be a little obsessed with this song right now).

First, the Kindle 3 is coming out with two versions–one for $139 and one for $114. The $114 Kindle, however, will be ad-supported, or to quote Amazon, it will be the “Kindle With Special Offers.” $25 doesn’t seem like enough of a difference to opt for the ad-supported device, though I’m sure once it becomes a viable model we’ll see larger price cuts, but the ads will only appear when you’re not reading your Kindle (so instead of seeing intricate photos of famous writers on the screen, you’ll see deals for LivingSocial). But, this is only a first step. Amazon also launched an app, AdMash, that will allow users to vote for which ads they want to see on their Kindles. For now, there are no ads in the books themselves, but I think someday soon we may see that as well.

Full articles: Amazon to Offer $114 Kindle 3 Supported by Ads; Will the Ad-Supported Kindle Sell?

The second article I found questions the role of publishers in a world where self-publishing is so easy. At The London Book Fair this week, one side argued that publishers are becoming irrelevant, because self-publishers now have the tools to edit, market, and distribute, while the other side claimed that publishers “are the best, and perhaps only, way for good books to make it into the world.” But maybe publishers shouldn’t be ignoring self-publishing. If they could somehow combine the tools of self-publishing with the edge they still have as actual publishers, they could still remain relevant. Bobbie Johnson sums up the end of his article nicely: “In the end, though, that moment didn’t seem to make much difference to the audience. Doctorow and Bridle were defeated, with around 80 percent of the audience voting for the idea publishers will remain relevant. It wasn’t a surprise; had it gone the other way, it would have been as if the audience — which was, of course, largely made of publishers — were a barn full of turkeys eagerly voting for Thanksgiving.”

Full article: Will Book Publishers Ever Be Irrelevant?

But, if publishers can’t think of how to incorporate self-publishing tools right away, there’s always the Hulu method. Michael Wolf of Gigaom suggests that publishers who can find multiple outlets, other than merely selling their books, will continue to be successful. A new Spanish company, called 24Symbols, uses a freemium model which allows users to read free books with ads or pay subscriptions for unlimited access to books. Wolf thinks that publishers should get together and offer their content in a platform similar to Hulu, because they have the rights to the most number of books. It’s an interesting thought, and probably could make a lot of money, but will publishers then lose potential sales? Thoughts, anyone?

Full article: Forget Netflix. E-Book Publishers Need a Hulu

Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, NYU

Today, for the first time, I stepped into one of NYU’s 10+ libraries. Bobst Library definitely has the most interesting name, and it is huge–some of its study rooms and eating areas are underground. I hate to say it, but the NYU library is more impressive than the UCSB library (sorry Gauchos, if it’s any consolation I don’t even know what NYU’s mascot is…panthers? violets?)

Anyway, while at this massive library, I learned a few new things about digital financials. Well actually, not really, I just wanted to tie in what I’ve learned recently about digital financials. First off, digital ad revenue models are complicated and daunting. But once you get past all that, you can break it down into two main groups: direct and indirect ad impressions. Direct ads are ads the website’s sales team sold–pretty straight-forward. Indirect ads are where it gets tricky.

After a few digital financial classes and some side research, it seems indirect ads come from 3rd party sites that sell advertising on behalf of the website. This can happen with demand-side platforms, where all the ad information is aggregated on one platform, or networks, or exchanges. Direct ads are more profitable, but small start-up companies will have to rely more on indirect ads because they will not have enough traffic to make money from direct ads. And that’s all I’ve got for now.