Friday, 28 January 2011
Mick Rooney 12:48 am
About the Journal
The founding principle of the Journal of Universal Rejection (JofUR) is rejection. Universal rejection. That is to say, all submissions, regardless of quality, will be rejected. Despite that apparent drawback, here are a number of reasons you may choose to submit to the JofUR:
You can send your manuscript here without suffering waves of anxiety regarding the eventual fate of your submission. You know with 100% certainty that it will not be accepted for publication.
There are no page-fees.
You may claim to have submitted to the most prestigious journal (judged by acceptance rate).
The JofUR is one-of-a-kind. Merely submitting work to it may be considered a badge of honor.
You retain complete rights to your work, and are free to resubmit to other journals even before our review process is complete.
Decisions are often (though not always) rendered within hours of submission.
Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Mick Rooney 10:22 am
- Popular gorilla Lulu dies at Ohio's Columbus zoo (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Author Story: "How I Went About Self-Publishing" (lulu.com)
- Popular gorilla Lulu dies at Ohio's Columbus zoo (sfgate.com)
- Most likely the shortest book I'll ever self-publish (walt.lishost.org)
- Lulu at the New York Library (lulu.com)
- 4 Online Self-Publishers To Help With That Book You Said You'd Write (makeuseof.com)
- The Era of Distributed Self-Publishing (kinlane.com)
Tuesday, 25 January 2011
Mick Rooney 2:58 am
Every time a great beast steps forward and takes a bite from the fruit – the beast grows a tiny bit bigger and the fruit is diminished a little more. I could be speaking about how self-publishing is slowly making its way inside the great whale that is commercial publishing. The true guide line of what self-publishing really is continues to be blurred. I’ve almost given up on trying to redefine or re-establish what it really means. Right now – it means all things to everyone, and yet, no one. There is also the adage that the fruit never falls far from the tree. I suppose that distance can also be measured by how hungry and desperate you are too. Commercial publishing can be just as hungry and desperate for the fruit as the ‘indie’ author. What is clear now is that they both occupy the same planes and forests. I’m just trying to figure out who is better using the publishing food chain in all of this.
The wider publishing industry has long survived dominant in their environment and on a diet of excess—well-fed—but not necessarily healthy. The indie animal has learned by deft stealth to live on meagre scraps—close to the food source—but never becoming an absolute part of it. In indie land; the dung hill can be plateau or splateau; the tossed crumbs - a travelling lunch or a boulder of granite.
If Darwin were a publisher – he’d have figured all this out
...somewhere in the embryonic, messy sea of published words
Of what came first – publisher or author?
...and who should really be eating who.
- A lovely tribute to a publishing industry giant (writeblack.com)
- Writer's Digest Partners with Author Solutions, Inc., to Launch Self-Publishing Division - Abbott Press (prweb.com)
- Australia's First All-Indie Ebook Store Launches with, um, SPUNC (teleread.com)
- How did Darwin link single celled creatures to humans (wiki.answers.com)
Monday, 24 January 2011
Mick Rooney 10:34 am
Author Solutions (ASI) has once again expanded its suite of partnerships in the self-publishing world. The below announcement is a partnership with...interestingly...Writers' Digest. Here is the official press release, but I may have more to say on this later in the week.
Strategic Partnership Provides Writers a Platform to Improve Their Craft and Get Published
NEW YORK CITY (Jan. 22, 2010) – Writer’s Digest, the oldest and most respected media company dedicated to the advancement of writers, announced today it is partnering with the leading self-publishing company, Author Solutions, Inc., (ASI), to launch Abbott Press—a self-publishing division. Named in honor of Richard K. Abbott, the legendary Writer’s Digest editor, Abbott Press is devoted to helping writers improve their work and realize their dreams of getting published.
“In keeping with the mission of Writer’s Digest, and in order to provide our consumers with the most complete information, inspiration, products and services to further their craft, we are proud to expand our portfolio to address a real desire of aspiring writers—to get published, be it by indie publishing or by traditional means,” said Sara Domville, president, F+W Media. “Fully supported by the trusted experts at Writer’s Digest, Abbott Press brings the same respectability, integrity, and commitment to editorial excellence as our Writer’s Digest brand, while maintaining a unique identity of its own, for the benefit of our authors.”
Through this strategic partnership, Author Solutions will manage Abbott Press on behalf of Writer’s Digest, taking responsibility for sales and publishing activities, while delivering a comprehensive array of publishing, marketing, and book-selling services, designed specifically for Abbott Press authors. The educational and editorial services provided to authors fall under the respected Writer’s Digest brand umbrella of Writer’s Digest Books, Writer’s Digest University, The Writer’s Digest Conference, and Writer’s Market.
“This is a landmark alliance, as Writer’s Digest has been the relied-upon source for support and education for writers for more than 90 years. Its entry into the self-publishing arena further exemplifies the sea change toward indie publishing which puts the control squarely with the author,” said Kevin Weiss, Author Solutions president and CEO.
To learn more about the publishing packages available through Abbott Press, visit http://www.abbottpress.com/ or call 866-697-5310.
- Writer's Digest Partners with Author Solutions, Inc., to Launch Self-Publishing Division - Abbott Press (prweb.com)
- Writer's Digest 11th Annual Short Story Competition (readingkidsbooks-teenreads.blogspot.com)
- Winning Writers Celebrates 10th Year with 5 Contests, Over $25,000 in Prizes (prweb.com)
- Author Solutions, Inc. Offers Tips on How Writers Can Become Published Authors in 2011 (prweb.com)
Thursday, 20 January 2011
Mick Rooney 7:34 pm
Blurb CEO, Eileen Gittins, today outlined the developments for the company during 2010 and what we can expect in 2011. Part of those plans include a full bespoke book service and expended distribution including e-books for the iPad.
From the CEO's open letter:
An Open Letter from Blurb's CEO to our Customers, Partners, and Friends
I have not been this excited about what's on deck in a very long time.
Not that we've been sitting on our hands. This past year we introduced our super streamlined online bookmaking tool, Bookify; significantly upgraded our other bookmaking tools - BookSmart and PDF to Book workflow; launched new ways for you to share your books online (BookShow); plus offered a new Premium Paper (Lustre); and a new trim size for text-driven books (Trade 6x9). We also continued our international expansion with a French edition of our service and increased investments in Canada, Germany, and Australia. Whew.
Other good things happened too: We rolled out chat support to great acclaim; we opened the fantastically popular Pop-Up stores in London and New York; and we launched a comprehensive branding project to get laser focused on who we are, what we do, and for whom.
The results? In 2010 we added nearly a quarter of a million new (paying) customers, delivered just shy of 1.4 million books, and amazingly, processed two new book orders every second during our annual peak.
But wait, there's more. Really.
This year is going to top all that. While revealing all would be no fun - here's a sneak peek at some of the things coming your way:
- You've heard of Apple's iPad, right? And a zillion other tablets that were just launched at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas? Let's just say that you'll be able to enjoy the same level of beautifully designed books you've created and appreciated in print with Blurb, on these devices very soon.
- Less is good unless you want to do something more. And that's what we've heard from our creative professional customers - they need a "bespoke" book offering with choices for papers, end sheets, and cover materials, and...well you get the idea. Yes, it will cost more money. And yes, it won't be for every project. But, for those projects that make the cut, it will be wonderful. Really wonderful.
- Sprechen Sie Deutsch?
- For those of you who would like to profit from your books - broader online distribution outlets might be nice. Yes?
- And finally, you'll see more of us this year, hopefully in a neighborhood near you as we take some form of Blurb Academy on the road.
- Oh, and you may see us in a favorite magazine or even television show. Stay tuned.
- OK - really finally. Check out our ongoing musings and thoughts on the future of the book at http://next.blurb.com/
These are definitely exciting times for Blurb. Our plans for this year remind me of childhood visits to Disneyland. Back then ticket books had only one or two "E" class tickets for the fanciest and most popular rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion. Ever since those trips my family refers to the best, the most spectacular, the most special anything as an "E" ticket ride.
So strap on your seat belts, people, for what we expect will be an "E" ticket 2011 ride.
Happy bookmaking and storytelling, all.
CEO, Founder and President
- Blurb and World-Renowned Photographer Anne Geddes Partner to Offer Personalized My First Five Years Book (prnewswire.com)
- Don't Get Too Gushy When You Blurb [Books] (gawker.com)
- Win a free Blurb book for your next great idea (lostateminor.com)
- Self-Publisher Comes to SoHo (nytimes.com)
Wednesday, 19 January 2011
Mick Rooney 7:09 pm
"Getting an eBook from a library is often a circuitous and confusing process; so confusing that libraries have to create tutorials on how to do it. This doesn’t even take into account the myriad interoperability issues when patrons want to actually read a library ebook on their mobile/ereader device. And the fact that libraries often can’t get eBook packages/options that provide the content our patrons want (especially in academic libraries). The worst part is that I can’t see this getting better in the future when it makes no financial sense for Amazon, B&N, Sony, etc. to make it easy for libraries to get and provide this content to their patrons. If the e-reader providers largely control the market for eBooks, libraries will be aced out."
- Farkas, Meredith: Ebooks and Libraries: A Stream of Concerns (meredith.wolfwater.com)
- Ebook and libraries: a stream of concerns (teleread.com)
- Libraries work to meet digital demand - Bolingbrook news, photos and events - TribLocal.com (triblocal.com)
- eBooks/eLibrary (edugeek.net)
- OverDrive eReader Guide Helps Libraries Manage eBook Checkouts (suite101.com)
- Bridging the eBook-Library System Divide (go-to-hellman.blogspot.com)
- If we've reached the eBook tipping point, what's next? (virtualnotes.wordpress.com)
Mick Rooney 3:09 am
“Author’s conduct evidences a lack of due regard for public conventions and morals, or if Author commits a crime or any other act that will tend to bring Author into serious contempt, and such behavior would materially damage the Work’s reputation or sales.”
No, it's not a line I have dug up from a publishing contract, circa 1900, but instead, from the sparkling new contract presented to the ever-so-luck HarperCollins' authors for 2011. Richard Curtis of E-Reads feasted his eyes on it and blogged about this over the weekend, and commented:
"The consequences? Harper can terminate your book deal. Not only that, you’ll have to repay your advance. Harper may also avail itself of “other legal remedies” against you."
I'll throw in my tuppence worth here.
What fucking clown of a lawyer in HarperCollins drew up this piece of meaningless moral bollox? Clearly, one who has more time to watch the six steel balls on his polished table - click back and forth, one against the other - as he dreams up more ways to swaddle warmly the 'endangered' interests of his publisher from those nasty immoral authors. "If it weren't for them, we'd be rich - RICH - I tell you!!"
'Commit a crime' - oh, like parking my car illegally; doing more than the speed limit; or pray tell, maybe that misdemeanor I had on a long hot summer in 1973 is going to scupper my chances of a second book? Have we all missed something here. Did the Vatican take over HarperCollins when we weren't looking over the Christmas?
As Curtis in his piece goes on to say:
"Besides, it could backfire. For who is to say that scandalous behavior cannot actually increase book sales? We’ve seen it happen again and again. Therefore, if you one day run afoul of Harper’s legal eagles because you left your hanky in the wrong panky, you might consider invoking The Bentley Defense."
Scandals? Isn't that what sells books and perks the very pointed ears of a publisher?
Here is Richard Curtis' piece in full.
...and also Lynn Price of Behler Books and her piece.
- Digitally Different: AvonRomance.com Rolls Out New Site, New Features, New eFunctionality (prweb.com)
- Gawker Settles With HarperCollins Over Palin Book (observer.com)
- Gawker Settles Lawsuit with HarperCollins (inquisitr.com)
- HarperCollins shutters BookArmy social-network site (teleread.com)
- Why Did News Corp Bury HarperCollins' Earnings? (dailyfinance.com)
- Harper Collins creates global science fiction imprint, Harper Voyager [Publishing] (io9.com)
- Gawker, HarperCollins resolve copyright suit over Palin’s book (newstatesman.com)
- News Corp's HarperCollins Announces New Conservative Book Imprint (dailyfinance.com)
- Gawker Agrees Not to Repost Palin Excerpts (mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Harper Collins Sues Gawker Over Sarah Palin Book Excerpts (mediaite.com)
Tuesday, 18 January 2011
Mick Rooney 10:07 pm
"It’s hard to believe another year has passed, and that it’s time for the annual Tools of Change for Publishing Conference. This year’s conference will be held in New York from February 14 through February 16, 2011, and (I know I say this every year) has the best possible line-up of speakers and programming.
To give you a hint of what’s in store for you, I forced Kat Meyer, Conference Co-Chair to answer a few deeply important questions. And — if you haven’t already registered for the conference — at the end of this post, you can learn how to enter a drawing for a free conference pass."
Mick Rooney 4:03 pm
On Wednesday 2nd February the Irish Writers' Centre presents an open panel discussion on how the current economic climate is affecting modern writing in Ireland. Panellists from many areas across the Arts Sector will join together under one roof to discuss the impending budget and its possible effect on modern and aspiring writers as well as the dwindling number of arts organisations across the country.
The discussion will be chaired by poet Michael O' Loughlin, co-founder of Raven Arts Press. O’ Loughlin will be joined by The Sunday Business Post’s Books and Arts Editor Nadine O’Regan, Sean Love, co-founder of Fighting Words and former Amnesty Ireland director, author Claire Kilroy and Gerry Smyth, Managing Editor of the Irish Times and celebrated poet.
The discussion will begin at 7pm and is open to the general public.
The Irish Writers’ Centre is a non-profit organisation run by volunteers that promotes contemporary Irish literature. Since its foundation in 1991, the Centre has welcomed many award-winning writers through its doors, including Nobel, Costa, Man Booker, IMPAC, and Pulitzer Prize winners. It has also served as an important platform for breakthrough talent, with many young writers giving their first public readings here.
Helen Fahey - Press Officer
Tel: +353 1 8721302
Fax: +353 1 8726282
- When is the next Irish Times mrbi opinion poll out? (politics.ie)
- Irish Times: Irish Voters Are Selfish Bastards (hughgreen.wordpress.com)
Glossary: Irish Writers Centre
Monday, 17 January 2011
Mick Rooney 7:53 pm
Printer Lightning Source (LSI 284.40 - Index Rating, January 2011 ) is running a promotion at the moment for publishers and authors. All set-up fees will be waived if 50+ books are ordered. This offer is being run for a limited period and includes a discount code to be used against the offer. Further details at the Ingram link attached...
Here is the full Ingram marketing blurb
Enter FREESETUP (all caps – code is case sensitive) in the promotion field when you submit your new title.
All Lightning Source manufactured book types are eligible for this promotion - Color, Black & White, Hardcover and Paperback.
All orders must be sent to one ship-to location to be eligible for the promotion.
The free title setup promotion can be combined with automatic volume discounts offered on the LSI website.
Other discounts cannot be combined with this offer.
All books submitted using the FREESETUP promotion must ship no later than March 17.
When you place an order for 50 or more books, while you will receive a title set up invoice, your title set up fee will be automatically credited.
The 50 book order must be for the newly set up title.
Both scan and digital set up of books are eligible for this promotion.
- Top University Presses Select Ingram's CoreSource Platform for e-Content Management (prweb.com)
- Ingram Publisher Services Announces Distribution of Langenscheidt Dictionaries and Phrasebooks (prweb.com)
- DriveThruRPG enters a Brave New World from Stargazer's World (stargazersworld.com)
- Ingram's Coutts Collaborates with Academic Libraries in Russia and Singapore, Extending International Scope (prweb.com)
- The Future of Indie Authors and Publishing (geardiary.com)
Saturday, 15 January 2011
Mick Rooney 2:33 am
So, who the hell is KJ Kron?
Well, he has sat at the top-of-the-pile on Slush Pile Reader for most of the last year, and he also did his stint on HarperCollins' Authonomy. On February 1st, unless an earthquake or volcano washes us all away, Slush Pile Reader will offer and publish his novel, St Peter Killed God.
In his own words about his journey:
I've read over 850 books on authonomy and Slush Pile Readers and I feel very ADD. But that was the old way of making it to the ED as I tried to read ten or more a day spending way too much time on-line. My attention span must be shrinking as I wonder how good these books are all the way through. It helps / humbles to read all these stories. No wonder why it's so hard to break through - there are so many talented writers out there and so many intense stories. But the problem I have is simple: are these writers able to keep it up throughout their books.
There are scores of fantastic books I've read during my stints on authonomy and slush pile reader, but I've only bought and read three of them all the way through - partially because they were published. There are so many that I'd love to buy and read - man, it'll be a long time before I'm hurting for a good book to read. The three I read are impressive all the way through and I higly recommend all of them.
I feel an interview coming on....
- How To Never Get Published [Books] (gawker.com)
- Authonomy is a creative community for budding authors, backed by HarperCollins (downloadsquad.com)
- Authonomy : A Creative Community for Budding Authors (prathambooks.org)
- HarperCollins shutters BookArmy social-network site (teleread.com)
- Smashwords 2011 Predictions for Book Publishing (teleread.com)
- 2011 Predictions for Book Publishing (smashwords.com)
Mick Rooney 1:06 am
We have been following Raider International Publishing even before the start of POD, Self-Publishing & Independent Publishing. Here is the latest feedback from a contracted Raider author I received in what is now becoming a very long list of disgruntled authors. (Raider Review)
"This is to mirror all comments above. I purchased the gold package plus paid an additional £700 for the fast track publishing. This was promised before christmas in time for christmas market sales. On 9th Dec had final edit manuscript through for approval. As stated from other comments it was appalling . I HAD TO RE EDIT ALL AGAIN MYSELF I SENT TO THEM AND NOTHING HAS NOW BEEN DONE. I HAVE WRITTEN TO them asking for clarification of date of release and all the other things that went with gold package deal plus my 700 paid back as they failed to meet deadline to no avail and no reply.I had also stated I wa svisiting New York over the new year and would like to meet with them. They state dit would nopt be convenient to meet. I have now threatened them with legal action and still no response what makes this firm think they can get away with this. There must be something we could all do to get together in one big case and completely take this firm to task to get money back and/or a satisfactory result."
I've been following Raider for quite some time - since late 2006. It is genuinely sad to see such a promising and developing publishing service end up where Raider is now.
Neither did I take any joy in December in making them the first publishing service this site does not recommend. Even some of the poorest companies we reviewed here - including PublishAmerica - never reached the point of us openly having to 'not recommend'. I felt with companies like PublishAmerica - if the author was prepared to stick their check out into the wind and say 'slap me', then they could not complain about being slapped pretty hard. Raider was different - the company really started out with a great deal of promise, and the approach and ideas remained fresh, and at times, innovative - but the execution of approach and innovation over the past eighteen months has been - well - appalling.
In response to the comment from the above author on their experience with Raider:
At the time of review and even in subsequent updates, the 'expedited' publishing service with Raider was around the $250 mark. I'm staggered you paid £700 - just for that - that's well over $1000 alone.
At the time of writing - Raider has been very quite after Christmas in regards to Raider Broadcasting. If memory serves me correctly, around this time last year, Adam Salviani was apologizing about some of the acknowledged shortcomings of the company in a podcast. That podcast is worth another listen now in light of the continued negative feedback I am continually receiving. You can follow almost all of the coverage and analysis we have provided on Raider over the past three plus years by visiting this link.
A year ago, I suggested Raider should withdraw the expedited service - simply because they were clearly not delivering on it - certainly not well-edited and formatted books for their authors. That never happened, and when things start to go pear-shaped in a developing business - it's generally good sense to address the cracks, consolidate and improve the business you already have, rather than continue to push an already creaking structure. That's pretty basic stuff and doesn't require aggrieved customers or a Donald Trump at the helm to do just that.
It's not my style to point fingers or run down publishing services. I try to review and analyse with a professional eye as best I can. I have highlighted Raider's freshness and innovation over time as much as I have sincerely underlined the deep concerns I now have about Raider in delivering what they claim to deliver. For me, in December, we reached the endgame. It would take some extraordinary turnaround for Adam Salviani to reignite what was once a top-ten publishing service in my eyes. (Raider is now listed no. 40 as of January 2011 in the Self-Publishing Index)
Even I get it wrong sometimes no matter what time, analysis and effort I put in to nailing down how good a publishing service is. It's time for Raider and Adam Salviani to acknowledge the same conclusion.
- Is Publishing Dead?: Wubbit's Founder Says No...and Offers Five Key "Edits" That Can Revive the $40-Billion Industry (prweb.com)
- Self-published Author Narrates A Family Chronicle (prweb.com)
- 4 Online Self-Publishers To Help With That Book You Said You'd Write (makeuseof.com)
- Self Publish Your Novel Online (brighthub.com)
- O'Reilly interviews Brian O'Leary about piracy (teleread.com)
- Lulu at the New York Library (lulu.com)
- Author Solutions, Inc. Offers Tips on How Writers Can Become Published Authors in 2011 (prweb.com)
- Canongate to publish Julian Assange memoirs (guardian.co.uk)
Friday, 14 January 2011
Mick Rooney 4:35 pm
"Self-publishing ventures turned into very different publishing experiences than expected for two first-time authors. Jennifer Fosberry and Cheryl Kilodavis, each inspired by one of their own children to pen a picture book, followed divergent paths to get their books into print, yet their publishing stories had similar happy endings when mainstream houses picked up their books. Fosberry’s My Name Is Not Isabella was released by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky in September, and Aladdin published Kilodavis’s My Princess Boy in late December. Here’s a recap of the authors’ respective publishing journeys."
- My Princess Boy Book Controversy Dyson Kilodavis 5 Year Old Boy Wears Dresses (binsidetv.net)
- 'Princess boy', 5, inspires book about tolerance (pinkbananaworld.com)
- 'Princess Boy' Dyson Kilodavis on the Today Show (VIDEO) (blippitt.com)
Thursday, 13 January 2011
Mick Rooney 8:18 pm
"It’s not that Amazon set out to destroy small book stores. They just offered a better option for a large number of people. Now, Amazon is increasingly offering small features here and there that taken together may start to make a traditional publisher a lot less necessary for authors."Sarah Lacy - TechCrunch.
- First Amazon Took Down Booksellers....Are Publishers Next? (techcrunch.com)
- Can Bookstores Survive? Prospects and Consequences - Posner (becker-posner-blog.com)
- Bookseller revives Amazon prize row (guardian.co.uk)
- Question of the year: does Amazon have too much power? (teleread.com)
Wednesday, 12 January 2011
Mick Rooney 6:59 pm
Price Waterhouse Coopers has just release one of the most substantive reports on ebooks I've seen to date.
This new study examines trends and developments in the eBooks and eReaders market in the United States, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Germany, and discusses major challenges and key questions for the publishing industry worldwide. It also identifies market opportunities and developments for eBooks and eReaders, and makes recommendations for publishers, traditional retailers, online retailers, and intermediaries.Given that publishers, internet bookstores, and companies that manufacture eReaders have high expectations for the digital future of the book industry, the study asks if a new generation of eReaders may, at last, achieve the long-awaited breakthrough that lures consumers away from paper and ink.
Here is a PDF copy of the full report.
Mick Rooney 12:31 pm
Details of the Dublin Book Festival 2011 have just been announced by Publishing Ireland. The festival will run for an additional two days this year from March 2nd through to March 6th.
From the official festival website:
Welcome to the 2011 Dublin Book Festival!
2nd March to 6th March 2011
Publishing Ireland is delighted to announce an extended programme at this year’s Dublin Book Festival. Author events will be held from Wednesday, 2nd March – Sunday, 6th March 2011, in a variety of venues throughout Dublin City including the National Library of Ireland, The Gutter Bookshop, The Project Arts Theatre, Dublin City Libraries and as with previous years, Dublin’s City Hall.
Dublin Book Festival brings together the best of Irish published authors, offering a chance for the voices of both established and up and coming authors to be heard. Our poets and authors will gather to celebrate Dublin’s designation as a UNESCO City of Literature.
The Dublin Book Festival promises a great line-up within a relaxed and fun environment with something for everyone. We look forward to seeing you there!
The 2011 programme will be released in the upcoming weeks and in the meantime “like” our the Facebook page for updates!
Click here to sign up and receive Dublin Book Festival news or to request a programme subscribe.
- Dublin's independent arts scene is a silver lining in the recession-hit city (guardian.co.uk)
- Facebook to add 100 jobs in Dublin (newstatesman.com)
Sunday, 9 January 2011
Mick Rooney 8:40 pm
This is the first SELF-PUBLISHING INDEX for 2011 for author solutions services. It is something we began on June 2010 when all the companies were put into 'flotation'. Here is the latest index for January 2011. There is little change in the top ten positions but two notable movers are Wingspan and Blurb - Blurb, perhaps reflects the seasonal 'photo gift book' always popular at Christmas. It does also underline a slow and steady rise for Blurb in the index over the past year.
(Click image to enlarge)
The most asked question we get at POD, Self-Publishing & Independent Publishing is often along the lines of; 'What self-publishing service should I go with?'; 'Is so and so a good service to go with?'; or 'Is so and so a scam?'
In some cases, that is an easy question to answer, cut and dry, but in other circumstances, the answer is entirely arbitrary. We are not here to review and run down a company's name, nor are we here to endorse a company's services. If we were only to review author solutions services according to every point in our ideal list of what an author should get from a company offering publishing services; we would have very few reviews to share with you. In truth, no company has ever attained a 10/10, and only a few have recorded more than 08/10. In the autumn of 2010 we will be posting all our reviews with a rating, and any new reviews since February 2010 have automatically had a posted rating at the bottom of the review.
The reality is that some author solutions services begin in a blaze of glory and we might rate them favourably at the time; others, frankly, are just poor, and yet, they improve (sometimes in response to our reviews) to offer reasonable services for authors. We are constantly updating our reviews, but this takes considerable time, and so do the initial reviews.
We get a vast amount of information from authors and the companies selling author solutions services every day - good and bad. We get a great deal of information from monitoring services week by week against the experiences of what authors report back to us. Simply put, and truthfully, we cannot reflect all of this information through the reviews. That is why the comments section under each company we review is so important. It is your recording and dealings with that specific company, and a positive or negative flag to subsequent authors considering using the same company.
So, how do we reflect the changing ups and downs with services?
We believe the SELF-PUBLISHING INDEX will help to guide authors to services on the up, and those, gradually on the down. If you like, what we are proposing is effectively, a kind of stock exchange for author solutions services.
The SELF-PUBLISHING INDEX was first launched in June 2010.
Saturday, 8 January 2011
Mick Rooney 1:59 pm
Data Offers Reality Check for Industry in Flux; Publishers Must Realign with Consumer Expectations for Digital Media
NEW YORK, Jan. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Publishers, in the midst of creating and driving a reading revolution brought about by both new digital reading devices and entirely new platforms, see key drivers of the content and reading revolution very differently from consumers. These differing views could hinder wider growth, according to new research from Harrison Group and sponsored by Zinio. Key differences in the treatment of intellectual property, re-publication, distribution and content management were noted in a parallel survey of consumer expectations of the future of digital publishing devices and publisher and industry professionals.
The findings of the study of 476 publishing industry professionals illuminate key perceptual differences in the overall reading experience for tablets, e-readers and smartphones that could influence growth and adoption. This study complements a similarly focused study of over of 1,800 consumers to define current and future digital reading preferences.
Seventy-four percent of the publishers are now fully engaged in implementing digital versions of their magazines and books. 43% of the publishers maintain separate digital operations from their print publishing operations and 67% believe that digital additions will not change from their normal printed publications. For publishers, copyright control is the most dominant management issue. In contrast, consumers insist on the freedom to share content with friends, family and colleagues, and they expect that digital publications can be shared among smart phones, tablets and e-readers. This (like the issues facing the recording industry) suggests an inherent conflict between the subscription tradition of the publishing industry, particularly magazines and newspapers. Consumer insistence in a new right to multi-media access will create substantial change in the way the publishing industry works.
Dr. Jim Taylor, Vice Chairman of the Harrison Group, said, "The data suggest a very different view of the future of digital publishing between readers and publishers. While publishers expect that digital reading is just a medium change, readers expect that writers will write for the digital medium and that they cannot only read, but also comment on and share the published material they consume."
The vast majority of publishers expect content to be paid for by consumers. Among them, the subscription model remains popular among 74%, whereas only 13% of consumers prefer a standard, subscription-based model. The remaining 87% of consumers are interested in unlimited access at a set price (33%), purchasing single copies of publications (25%), making small micropayments for individual articles (16%) or paying for "credits" to be drawn down as content is accessed (14%). For publishers, the standard subscription price is expected to yield greater profitability. For consumers, occasion-based publication purchasing is expected to result in substantial per publication savings, reflecting their recognition that the page costs will be going down in the absence of associated print distribution and mail costs. While publishers anticipate that their income from digital publishing will grow substantially in the next five years, only 5% of the savings they will reap from digital production will be passed onto consumers.
"Sixty-two percent of publishers have plans to distribute and market their content via a tablet within the next two years, and only 52% intend to distribute content through dedicated e-reader devices. It should not be surprising, therefore, that consumers who currently own these devices do not broadly perceive the access to digital content to be on par with print," observed Jeanniey Mullen, Global EVP and CMO for Zinio and VIVmag.
- Publishing Success in a Digital World Rests on Technology: 76% of publishing industry professionals agreed that the publishing industry is being driven by technology and 71% believe that as digital publishing business models evolve, the right technology can make or break a publication.
- It's Too Early To Call It a Win For Any One Technology: 81% of publishing industry professionals said that publishers will need to consider all emerging devices in the e-reader, smartphone and tablet categories, agreeing with the statement "it's too early to say what is most important."
- Publishers Seek Feature-rich Devices: Industry professionals ranked numerous features as being important to digital publishing devices, including high-resolution display (68%); plays video (67%); supports Adobe Flash content (62%); display does not cause any eye fatigue (63%); displays text in color (62%); substantial storage on the device (59%); and display allows for reading in bright sunlight (55%).
Consumer expectation for accessing content in multiple formats and on multiple devices underscores a need for the publishing industry to greater align with technology providers to address multiple platforms and an enhanced reading experience that will both engage and connect consumers to content.
"Since more than three-quarters (78%) of the industry indicates that they are going to make content available through web-paged viewing, the two distribution outlets must work together to provide consumers the rich, any-screen reading experience they are demanding. Platforms such as Zinio UNITY™, which gives publishers presence across all tablet reading devices and all other digital reading environments while publishing only once, brings value to the entire industry," Mullen added.
According to Dr. Taylor, "Consumers expect to pay only once for the publications they buy and have it available on any device they choose to read it on. This seems to suggest that devices will converge on a platform solution that enables magazines, books, newspapers and even catalogs and textbooks on a single digital solution."
In any case, there is general acknowledgment that print is a vital medium. Industry respondents believe more newspapers (82%), magazines (74%) and books (62%) will be read digitally by 2020 than in print. However, as the revolution moves forward, many logistics remain unanswered.
- Free vs. Paid: There is a split among publishing industry professionals when it comes to free content vs. content behind a paywall. On average, industry respondents believe 54% of their content will be free to consumers, behind no paywall, while 46% of content will be charged for.
- Content at What Price? When asked how publishers may value content monetarily, the majority of publishers (57%) envision price variation based on one or more of the following scenarios: length of content (29%), popularity of publication (21%), entertainment value (20%) and visual quality (17%).
- Advertising Opportunities: Advertising continues to be a strong revenue generator of e-publishers with 53% of publishing industry professionals reporting that "my company is selling advertising for inclusion in digital publications," and more than half (54%) stating that "my company is actively monitoring/exploring the ways in which advertising models might change as a result of digital publishing."
"The data suggests that consumers—especially those who have already adopted tablet or e-reader technologies—are forward-thinking in their expectations of these technologies and accompanying content. The problem lies with publisher expectations of what it will take to get there," Dr. Taylor noted. "Some believe a PDF copy of the print version of a publication is sufficient…consumers say it is not. Consumers expect content on all devices, all platforms, varying screen sizes, synced between devices, to be shared among friends socially, paid for in micro-payments and accessed via a mobile app. It seems that consumers will dictate the ongoing evolution of these technologies as publishers struggle to keep up with the desirability of new channels of content distribution, new expectations for content sharing, new demands for device interchangeability and new freedom to engage content – especially the written word. In an industry with 500 years of a single press-based business model, significant difficulties lie ahead."
About the Survey:
The survey results are drawn from 476 professionals in the publishing and related industries, including editors, managers, operations, advertising, marketing and creative personnel, who completed a 25-minute online survey between September 17 and September 23, hosted by Harrison Group and sponsored by Zinio and Qualcomm, between September 28 and October 18. The consumer information presented derives from the responses of 1,816 Americans, ages 18-64. The consumer research includes oversamples of device users for a total of 214 tablet users and 279 e-reader users. For more information about this research, please visit www.changethepage.org.
Copies of the research can be purchased by contacting Kristen Harmeling at KHarmeling@HarrisonGroupInc.com.
About Harrison Group
Harrison Group is a leading market research and strategy consulting firm headquartered in Waterbury, Connecticut, with offices in Boston, Columbus, Indianapolis, Seattle and Scottsdale. Harrison Group specializes in syndicated research, luxury markets, technology markets, financial services, interactive entertainment and specialized media markets. The firm's strength is the application of qualitative and quantitative methods to the search for strategy, forecasting and market analytics. Harrison Group's cohesive team of researchers, analysts, field experts, focus group facilitators, marketing experts, brand specialists and multivariate statisticians have all specialized in the business of clear, definitive results, for many of the world's most demanding clients.
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Zinio is the world's largest newsstand and bookstore. With its many digital products and services, Zinio creates better ways for people to discover published content, get more of it and do more with it. Now, readers can purchase content once to be read on any screen. Zinio provides the ability to shop for, search inside, read, share and save digital content in 26 local newsstands in any country in the world. Through the ZINIO UNITY™ reading platform, readers can move seamlessly within each publication, page between text, interactive graphics, animated illustrations, videos and more on most operating systems. Offering hundreds of thousands of the best digital issues, Zinio's e-stores and applications are revolutionizing reading. Founded in 2001 and privately held, Zinio is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in New York, London, Paris,Barcelona and Taipei. www.zinio.com
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