Paperless Publishing – The Future of Books

Jul 13 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

The impending release of the Apple iPad and the restructuring of the pricing system for e-books will change the game, and publishers, authors, and consumers will need to adjust in the new digital publishing world.

Impact of the iPad

When the iPad lands in the hands of consumers in the Spring of 2010, the publishing market will change overnight. By all accounts, the full-color iPad will be an upgrade over the black-and-white Amazon Kindle, its closest competitor, as well as the Sony eReader, and the Barnes and Noble Nook. Apple’s iPad, essentially a larger version of the iPod Touch, will retail for as low as $499, and its iBook application will place customers clicks away from a virtual bookstore. Additionally, Apple has already pushed for new e-book prices, a move welcomed by publishers who have complained about Amazon’s $9.99 e-book price for some time.

Publishers Come Aboard

There is no longer any question about the lasting appeal of digital publishing. Publishers who are not planning for dual programs in print and electronic publishing will be left behind by those that do. The new price deals with Apple, which will make e-books slightly more expensive to consumers and therefore slightly more profitable for publishers, should make the decision to jump into e-publishing a lot easier for publishers. And the benefits for publishers are very real. E-books eliminate expensive printing and warehousing costs, and supply problems (such as out of print books) simply do not exist.

The Changing Role of Authors

In the past, the path to success for authors was usually via a publishing house. However, authors that embrace digital publishing will largely be able to control their own path. Authors now have the option to turn to electronic self-publishing. And this isn’t a bad thing. Because the same cost-saving advantages of e-publishing exist for authors as they do for publishers, authors can write and self-publish electronically at low costs. Authors will be able to control their work and their profits to a degree that didn’t exist just a short time ago.

Where Does This Leave Consumers?

Ultimately, the big winner in the coming digital publishing world will be the consumer. True, the cost of an e-reader is fairly expensive at the moment, which creates a very real barrier between publishers and its customers. However, it is very likely that the prices of e-readers will begin to drop due to heavy competition. The $499 price for the iPad, which many thought would be considerably higher, is a good indication that prices should begin to drop in an effort to entice more buyers. Once customers have an e-reader, they’ll have immediate access to a full range of titles at low costs, even with the eventual price change from the current Kindle standard of $9.99.

What It All Means

In the end, the impact of digital publishing and how publishers respond to it will be guided by consumers. If people want to read e-books, they’ll cast their votes by spending their dollars. Publishers will be forced to respond to the demand if they want to stay in business.

Comments are off for this post

Publishing Scams: Six Red Flags That Scream "Rip Off"

Jul 13 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

It’s heartbreaking. You go to a local fair and there at the author’s table is a row of smiling hopefuls, eager to sell their books. A few are beautiful books, either self-published or produced by traditional publishers. But so many are poorly written, poorly produced, with amateurish covers and cheap bindings. The author’s smiles are wearing thin as they realize that the world isn’t flocking to buy their books, and they’re just beginning to wonder if there’s something wrong with this picture.

Score another for the vanity presses. The poor authors, with no knowledge of the business end of publishing, have been snookered out of hundreds or even thousands of dollars and now have cases of unmarketable books serving as very expensive doorstops.

In these days of POD (publish-on-demand) technology, the vanity presses may promise to ship the books when they are ordered, which at least relieves the author of having to warehouse the books. But the vanities still charge large amounts of money and the author is still left with an empty bank account and shattered dreams.

Or worse. Some scammers take money from hopeful authors and deliver nothing at all.

The good news is that with a little knowledge, it isn’t too hard to spot a scam. Here are some obvious red flags to look for:

Red Flag #1: “We’ll publish your book for ONLY $595!”

Remember this one rule above all: legitimate publishers pay YOU for the rights to publish your book. You should never have to pay anyone to publish your work unless you choose to self-publish.

To get a book published, you have to write the very best book you can. You must study the market, and use a current market guide to select the most appropriate publisher. You submit your manuscript using a standard manuscript format, which is described in most good books on writing and publishing. While you wait for a reply, you go to work on your next project. If a publisher is interested, an editor will contact you and make an offer. The publisher will pay you an advance against royalties, and once the advance is earned back, you will earn royalties on further sales. You or your agent may also sell other subsidiary rights, such as foreign translation rights or movie rights. Chances are high, however, that your manuscript will be rejected. If that happens you select the next publisher on your list and send the manuscript there, then go back to work on your next project.

If you want to self-publish, the best way to go about it is to create your own small publishing company. You give your company a name, you choose a good printing service, you buy the ISBN number and file for copyright. If you pay for “publishing,” but the book bears the imprint of another publisher, that company is a vanity publisher. A good printing service will encourage you to use your own imprint. You have a much better chance of getting a distributor to carry your books if you use your own imprint. Most distributors steer clear of vanity publishers.

If you want only a few copies, such as a memoir meant only for family, look for a good book binding service.

Red Flag #2: “Authors wanted by major publisher!”

No legitimate publisher ever has to advertise for authors. All major publishers have gigantic slush piles stacked high with far more manuscripts than they will ever be able to use, most of which are of poor quality. If you see an ad in the back of a magazine that offers to “publish” your book, or suggests that they “need” authors, chances are high that it is a vanity press.

Red Flag #3: “We know the secret for instant success!”

There is no “instant success” in the publishing world. Most famous authors worked hard for years to become an “overnight success.” Sometimes a lucky break will propel a new author to the top of the bestseller list, but remember, their story is just one out of millions. Most authors never get that kind of fame. If the opening page of the site talks about how your book could be a best-seller, be cautious. Real publishers don’t make those kinds of promises, because they know the reality of the publishing business.

Red Flag #4: “Traditional publishing is dead/a rip-off/not worth your time.”

A publishing company that disparages traditional publishing is almost certainly either a vanity publisher or an outright scam. What they are disparaging are long-established honest businesses that carefully select the manuscripts that are most likely to sell and pay the authors for the rights to publish these works.

Red Flag #5: “We’ll list your books on Amazon.com!”

Getting your book listed on Amazon.com is as easy as going online and filling out a form. Anyone can do it. And a listing on Amazon isn’t a guaranteed path to success. Even in this day and age of online commerce, something less than 10% of all books sold are sold online. The vast majority of books are sold through bricks-and-mortar bookstores. While you may possibly be able to talk your local bookstores into carrying your self-published book, the only way to get it into bookstores across the nation is by getting a distributor to carry it. That can be expensive (which is one reason that the vanities don’t bother with distribution), and distributors won’t touch vanity books (which is the other reason). Distributors and bookstores also don’t like POD (publish on demand) books, because they can’t be returned if they don’t sell. Booksellers, unlike most businesses, expect to be able to return or destroy unsold books and get their money back. It sounds crazy to other businesses, but that’s how it is. If the publisher can’t offer distribution services to get your book into bookstores, it’s not a publisher that will serve you well.

Red Flag #6: Bad review on Preditors and Editors and Writer Beware

Yes, it’s really spelled that way, for alliterative purposes. Preditors and Editors is a website chock full of scam warnings and wise advice to writers. Writer Beware, on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America website, has a list of current scam alerts. Both are useful when researching a potential publisher. If any publisher disparages either of these sites, beware!

If you can spot these red flags, you can avoid most publishing scams. The best way to protect yourself, though, is to educate yourself about the publishing industry. Read as many books on writing and publishing as you can get your hands on. Find out how the industry works, and find out how to market your work in the genre you are writing for. Stay abreast of industry trends by reading Publisher’s Weekly or visiting their website. With a little education, you can help put the scammers out of business.

Comments are off for this post

Digital Publishing: A Better Way to Read Magazines and Newspapers

Jul 13 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

Reading magazines is one of the most common hobbies among women in the age demographic of 18-49. Magazines are the second-highest circulated publications of the publishing industry, with newspapers being the first. Traditionally, magazines were bought from newsstands located at the corner of every city street. However, with a change in trends and digitization influencing most industries, digital newsstands are the new thing that the industry has to offer.

What is a Digital Newsstand?

A digital newsstand is the latest product of the recent developments in digital magazine publishing software. Several distribution platforms offer content in the form of magazines, newspapers, and journals, digitally which can be accessed by anyone with a smartphone. These are mostly available on a subscription basis, but a large variety of free content is also available.

With the advent of tablets with 10-inch screens, much like a magazine cover, the publication houses began adapting to a digital format rather than regular print. These digital newsstands were an instant success as they offered a richer reading experience with several interactive systems which made newspapers, magazines and journals more interesting. Digital publications also reduced additional costs like printing and distribution that the publication house would have to bear.

Most publishers prefer digital distribution as it enables them to connect to a global market as they have the opportunity to now sell internationally. However, digital publishing isn’t a very easy task to accomplish, it requires experts who can pay proper attention to fine detail like the design and interactive features of a digital publication, understanding market trends for promotions and advertisements. With proper digital magazine publishing software, any publication house will find digital publishing and distribution to be extremely beneficial and a profitable investment.

The Many Benefits of Digital Publishing

Better scope for advertising – On regular print, the advertisements printed do not connect well with the subscribers as the content is non-interactive. However, with digital print, these advertisements could be enriched with interactive photos, live web links, as well as videos and animation, which would engage the reader making your advertising campaign, a success. This attracts more sponsors when compared to regular print editions. The kind of sponsors you get would also differ, with more variety of sponsors available at your doorstep, you will find it easier to publish digital prints.

Global distribution – The digital publications reach subscribers located all around the globe simultaneously reducing the hassle of postage and delivery.

Customer data at your disposal –With digital distribution, it would be easier for you to get their valuable insight and feedback like the readers likes and dislikes. This enables you to design better marketing campaigns with tailor-made offers which would attract the customer to other subscriptions. You can also analyze the reading patterns of your audience and enhance the reader’s reading experience with suggestions.

New Audience –With a global audience and more interactive digital content, it would be easier for a publication house to target a younger audience. This would generate better revenues as you’re not just benefiting from your previous audience but also from your pre-existing members.

Build Your Brand as a Digital Publisher –With a digital publication application downloaded on the smartphones of the public, the publication can create their own brand and make the general public aware of it which would make the publication more recognized among competitors.

Comments are off for this post

What Is Print-On-Demand Publishing (POD)? A Guide for Self-Publishers

Jul 13 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

Introduction

Print-on-demand (POD) publishing is a way to have books immediately printed and bound after a customer places an order for the book. The computer, the internet, and POD technology have together been fueling the huge surge in self-publishing. This is because it is a very fast and inexpensive way to get your books into the hands of your customers and readers.

Just-in-Time Production

Whether the customer orders one copy or ten, these copies will be created, within minutes, and sent out to that customer – therefore no inventory for the publisher or the distributor to buy and put into storage. This process can happen this way because the book printer has a digital file of the book and its cover in its computerized book-making machine. The self-publisher can make changes and additions to the book within minutes – and upload the new files to the printer in minutes.

Beneficial to Large Publishers

Print-on-demand publishing has been revolutionizing the publishing industry. Many large publishers use it as a cost-effective way to keep their out-of-print titles in print. Very large publishers can very easily have hundreds of out-of-print titles. Why warehouse actual copies of these books when the publisher can simply send a digital file of each book to a print-on-demand printer? With the POD method, these out-of-print titles can continue to produce income for the publisher.

Beneficial to Self-publishers

Print-on-demand publishing is one of the main reasons self-publishing has become so popular and financially feasible for many people on a tight budget. The upfront costs of POD are much lower than conventional publishing and printing. The cost per copy is higher with POD. But with POD, there is no inventory involved. Traditional book printers typically require that a self-publisher order thousands of copies from the printer. With POD, no purchase is required. This represents a real opportunity for small start-ups in the publishing world. This transforms the economics of publishing. It allows books to be published with a very small initial investment and ongoing cost.

What About the Quality?

POD books are printed in about one minute on computerized copy and binding machines. Traditionally printed books are often printed on large-scale printing presses. Consumers cannot tell the difference between a POD book and a printing press book.

Conclusion

It is very easy to set-up a POD account, and can be started with very little out-of-pocket money. And thankfully, it can provide a small but steady stream of income for the self-publisher. POD also eliminates most of the risks associated with publishing.

Comments are off for this post