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Marketability eBulletin

Welcome to our latest fortnightly eBulletin, posted here on 20 February 2018. In this issue:

Excellent article on comparisons between publishing and the music industry

Comparisons between our two sectors are far from new. We watched music go from albums on CD in High Street stores to downloads of single tracks. Then we saw journal issues fragment into single online articles. It’s harder to imagine that many books will fragment into single chapters, but that may say more about me/you than about the stark reality of what will actually happen. There’s no reason why not for an edited collection. Amazon pays royalties to authors on its Kindle Direct Publishing platform based on the number of pages actually viewed, not on the book as a whole. In other words, there is already plenty of evidence of books breaking into chunks in the same way that music CDs did.

Rick Anderson, author of this excellent blog post on The Scholarly Kitchen, is both a librarian/scholarly publishing commentator and a music critic. Napster vs Record Labels, Sci-Hub vs Publishers is a post in two halves, looking respectively at similarities and differences between the sectors. I guarantee that it will get you thinking. As ever, the comments make great reading too.

Read on The Scholarly Kitchen website.

Our Academic Marketing Workshop is the place to be for more like this.


The perfect response to the author asking about being stocked in bookstores

It is entirely to be expected that an author will hope to see their book in High Street bookstores and it can be difficult explaining that this is by no means guaranteed.

Now the Booksellers’ Association and the Society of Authors have collaborated to produce a quick guide to what booksellers are looking for, and how to approach them. It’s primarily designed for independent authors, but the pragmatic and encouraging guidance makes it excellent for sharing with your authors too. It’s admirably open – eg explaining discounts, pointing out that authors should not include a link to their book on Amazon when sending through details, and explaining how bookshops make decisions about what to stock.

Perfect for forwarding to authors asking questions about bookstores, but great for updating any guide you may already have in print and online (but do credit the original if quoting verbatim).

Read more about Want to get your Book Stocked in a High Street Bookshop? on The Bookseller website. Includes a link directly to the 6 page PDF.

Our Impressive Marketing Plans on a Small Budget workshop advocates working in partnership with authors at all times, finding positive ways to tell hard truths, and managing their expectations. Why not join us on the next one?


Bloomsbury's report of their annual results rocked the year they invoked Bruce Springsteen

Press releases about corporate annual results don’t usually pique the interest of journalists, but here’s a grand exception.

Whilst doubtless very grateful for the Harry Potter legacy, Bloomsbury would like you to know that there’s a great deal more to them than this. Last year they decided to lead on their Popular Music digital division, crediting Bruce Springsteen (amongst others) for a rise in sales.

Not only did this grab the attention of mainstream journalists but The Boss even tweeted about the article in The Scotsman. Or perhaps it was His People. Either way a nice momentum-generator as far as ongoing press attention was concerned.

The moral, as ever, is to remember to drill down to interesting details whenever you’re copywriting. You may need to drill deep, but there will ALWAYS be a quirky detail that will resonate and the rewards can be substantial.

Our Copywriting Workshop is the place to be for more like this.


Tip of the week: For when a colleague wants to reinvent a wheel and you're not convinced

Heard recently on BBC Radio 4 in a piece about the UK trying to set up an alternative trading arrangement in Europe post-Brexit:

‘The danger with reinventing the wheel is you may end up with something that’s not as round as the original.’

I’ll be looking for opportunities to trot out this bit of wisdom. How about you? (You’re welcome.)



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