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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tablet Publishing Made Easy

A free platform that allows us to gussy up our content for rapid and easy publication on tablet computers ... This is serious advancement and way cool :)

"absolutely everyone can use the free platform to make their content look beautiful on a tablet. Today, Onswipe is self-serve and officially open to the public."

And I repeat, it's FREE.

This from thenextweb.com by Courtney Boyd Myers:

Onswipe’s easy tablet publishing is now self serve and open to the public

We first met with Jason L. Baptiste and Andres Barreto, the founders of Onswipe on a snowy day in late January in New York City for an interview titled, Forget apps, Onswipe is the future of publishing. The two entrepreneurs were poised for the age of that tablet, both passionate writers who wanted to make their content look beautiful on the iPad. Armed with skills in coding and software development, and support from TechStars‘ mentors, Baptiste and Barreto, along with their third co-founder Mark Bao launched Onswipe on June 21st of this year.

Onswipe aims to make the publishing experience more enjoyable for the reader from both the editorial experience and the advertising side. In June, Onswipe launched with less than 10 partners including The Next Web, Gary Vaynerchuk, Hollywood.com, Stocktwits and Geek.com, as well as Icon partners Marie Claire, in an ad partnership with American Express and Slate, in an ad partnership with Sprint. Mindshare shared the following stats with us on behalf of Sprint for its advertising deal with Slate using the Onswipe platform. According to Mindshare, Onswipe caused an increase of 23% in pageviews and 39% increase in unique visitors. Impressive.

Read and learn more

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Why Writers Self-Publish ... Three Journeys

With all the new tech programs/platforms accessing all kinds of new reading devices, publishing with professional flair has been delivered to our very own back yards ... and cheaply, at that.

Here are three brief adventures in self-publishing that answer some questions and provide a certain insight:

Authors avoid the slush pile by publishing their books themselves

By Rose Russell of The Toledo Blade, republished in the Detroit Free Press

Everybody has a story to tell, and today many people are telling them in print, thanks to the technology and self-publishing companies.

Although thousands of books are published each year, people who know their stories won't capture the interest of big publishing houses turn to self-publishing. Some have good experiences, some don't. Some spend lots of money, others spend nominal amounts.

All in all, though, little compares to finally seeing one's own name and title on the cover of a book.

Self-publishing isn't easy, however. In addition to writing their stories, authors do their own research, marketing and promotion.

Rejection from some of the major players in book publishing sent Holland resident John C. Moore out on his own. Some of the 46 rejections he received for his first book, "A Positive Attitude is a Muscle: A Managed Stress Survivor's Manual," that he published in 2001, cited excessive title length or a need for rewriting.

"Some rejections were nice, but others really hurt you to read," he said. "One said I would never be published. I sent him one of my books with a nice note. He wrote back saying, 'Sometimes I'm wrong,'" said Moore, a retired vice president from the former Toledo Trust.

His second book, "Alvetta," named for his late wife, chronicles his journey during her last two years. Though it is intensely personal, it is a gripping story.

Up-front costs were about $695. All the work of self-publishing falls on the author's shoulders, and it sometimes shows, Moore said.

"If you go through 'Alvetta' and 'Stress,' you will find some errors. There is no one to help you do clean-up work. No one helps you with the marketing," he said.

But that won't stop Moore from self-publishing again. He is conducting research for another book he expects to have out in a couple of years.

Sometimes authors tap the skill of colleagues for help, as did Cindy Hampel of Royal Oak.

Her book, "It's Not Personal -- Lessons I've Learned from Dealing with Difficult Behavior," is available in paperback and on Kindle. She asked a friend in Detroit Working Writers to read and edit the work.

Hampel, a mother of three who is taking paralegal courses, said "I did not plan to write this type of book when I left my full-time job in media relations, I felt the calling, if you will, that God must have put these experiences in my path for a reason, and I grew compelled to write about them."

Read and learn more

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

'Highlighter' Digital Tool Gives Publishers More Analytics, Social Media Interactivity

Highlighter, a new digital sharing tool launched 19 July 2011, will provide publishers with readers' reactions and interactions to their content and offer them social media interactivity.

This is a great tool and the plugin is FREE! Use it on blogs and other websites to allow readers to highlight content and share it with others on Facebook and Twitter.

Details provided by Gabe Habash in Publishers Weekly:

Highlighter Gives Publishers Extensive Analytics of Their Content

Publishers may soon find Highlighter, the new digital sharing tool launched July 19, to be an invaluable resource for accessing their audience’s reactions and interactions of their content.

Highlighter is a free plugin that allows users to highlight or annotate text from a site and then share it with friends on Facebook and Twitter, the idea being to give every Highligher-equipped blog or website a measure of social media interactivity.

For publishers, bloggers, and writers, Highlighter provides detailed analytics on which parts of your content are being highlighted and shared. The functions allow for a simple and efficient two-way conversation between publishers and their audience, with the intention being to increase users’ page views and time spent on the website.

Highlighter is the brainchild of Josh Mullineaux, Matt Blancarte, and Nate Whitehill, who previously founded Unique Blog Designs, a web and blog design company with over 35,000 publishing clients. This vast interaction with publishers led to the seed that became Highlighter.

Read and learn more

Sunday, July 17, 2011

E-Books Rebuilding Academic Textbook Publishing

Older, established, publishing business models have been falling like snowflakes lately.

Now, the academia textbook world is being remodeled by E-textbooks ... and this is really welcomed, I think, and should be a boon to the learning process!

This from BetaNews by Tim Conneally:

E-textbooks are destroying the old publishing business model

In May, Nature Publishing Group and California State University announced a three-year partnership to use $49 e-books for certain Biology classes over a more expensive and less versatile paper book. Soon, state universities in Texas and Florida will follow suit. While there are hundreds of startups pitching various ways to bring e-textbooks to universities, Nature's initiative is one of the first widespread e-textbook programs to come from the publishing industry.

The most interesting part?

In its 135 years in the publishing business, this is Nature's first attempt at a textbook.

It is not attempting to fall in line with the outdated textbook publishing model, but instead has redefined textbook publishing for the digital generation, so texts can be cheaper, more interactive and customizable, and more up-to-date.

"Our goal is to create a new frontier for the industry," said Vikram Savkar, Senior Vice President and Publishing Director at Nature Publishing. "One that isn't based on an idea of antagonism between publishers and learning institutions, but a collaboration between both sides that works well, and answers the needs of the two."

Savkar was at Pearson publishing for most of his career, and created the Education Division at Nature just a few years ago. In his time at Pearson, he published lots of textbooks, and knows the ins and outs of the industry and why interactive e-books are the answer to many of its problems.

Why are textbooks so expensive, and why won't e-books be the same?

Read and learn more

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Will Cheap Android Tablets Give iPad a Race for the Future of Publishing?

In the recent past, the slumping newspaper and magazine industries were drawn to Apple's iPad as the possible publishing savior for their products.

Of course, Apple had the only game in town in the recent past ... and with some bad management caveats at that; like not allowing the publishers access to the subscribers' demographic data.

All that is about to change; and I never thought for one moment that it wouldn't! I have posted on this issue previously.

BetaNews has the latest developments on this ever evolving issue in a report by Tim Conneally:

Still think iPad is the future of publishing? Philly papers offer cheap Android tablets to subscribers

The withering newspaper and magazine industries began to gravitate toward Apple's iPad as a possible anchor publishing outlet last year, but a pair of Philadelphia newspapers are taking a different approach and bundling cheap Android tablets with a subscription.

Last year, Conde Nast's Wired showed off an impressive iPad-optimized version of its magazine, and News Corp released The Daily, a subscription magazine designed from scratch for consumption on the iPad. These major ventures didn't simply re-format existent content for the iPad, but rather designed their content around the tablet itself.

The major hindrance here is that readers have to already own an iPad to get a subscription, so the audience will always be measured as a subset of iPad owners.

So the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News are taking an approach to distribution more similar to mobile phone companies. When a customer subscribes to a digital edition of one of these papers, they will get an Android tablet at as much as 50% off of its retail price.

This way, they are subscribers first and tablet owners second.

Read and learn more

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Who's Best: Amazon Kindle E-Publishing or Barnes and Noble Nook E-Publishing?

A quick and dirty comparison tonight offered by a writer/publisher of about 15 niche e-books.

Apparently, if you want speed of publishing process use the B&N Nook book publishing platform; if you want greater sales (but with slower publication management processes) use the Amazon Kindle book publishing platform.

At least that is the conclusion of Allen Harkleroad in this article from the Statesboro Business & Lifestyle Magazine:

Amazon Kindle Versus Barnes and Noble Nook Book Publishing - Six Months In and Kindle is Winning

With all the brouhaha over the Barnes and Noble Nook reader, I tested the publishing side to determine if either has a monetary advantage over the other. I am a self-published author with more than fifteen books and guides under my belt. Most of my books are available in print as well eBook formats, so for me the idea of testing sales of books on both devices was intriguing.

I have ten ebooks published at Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and at Barnes and Noble’s pubit. The process of adding new titles was faster and more streamlined at pubit than at kindle direct publishing. The books submitted to pubit appeared in the Barnes and Noble online catalog more quickly than the titles submitted to Amazon direct publishing. I am afraid though, that speed is pubit’s only advantage over Kindle direct publishing.

Read and learn more

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Journal of Universal Rejection (JofUR)

Lets face it, people, rejection is a part of everyone's life! In matters of living and loving as well as publishing. So, we might as well get used to it, understand it and accept it ... Sort of like assholes.

BUT, we can do so with humor and thereby put rejection into proper perspective.

Therefore, I proudly introduce you to The Journal of Universal Rejection in this fine piece by Danielle White in the Sydney Morning Herald:

The upside of being turned down

It's undeniably universal. Whether it's personal relationships or publishing, we all loathe, if not fear, the "R" word — Rejection. The heartache of a manuscript returned unread; the shattered dream of being a best-selling author; the crushed self-esteem; the embarrassment, not to mention the growing pile of unpaid bills that jeer at you from the corner of your desk. There's no doubt about it, rejection bloody well hurts.

The late Lewis Grizzard, American writer and humorist, said that the longest walk in the world is not across the room to ask a woman to dance but rather the walk back across the room after the woman says no. In the publishing world, the longest walk is not the hard-slog research, the painstakingly disciplined, solitary and unpaid writing, or the long wait to hear back from the publisher but how you feel when the publisher says no.

It's not just that your work wasn't accepted but that you can't write, that you were a fool ever to think you could and you never have been and never will be good enough to get published, let alone be well regarded. Ouch!
This global thinking is often accompanied by a belief that rejection is an indictment of your being, that the publisher responsible for rejecting you and those whose works they accepted are infinitely superior to you.

A blog article, "Rejection Sucks" by Dr Harriet Lerner, for Psychology Today, suggests "the only sure way to avoid rejection is to sit mute in a corner and take no risks". Not much fun. But, she goes on to say, "if we choose to live courageously, we will experience rejection — and survive to show up for more".

Well, live courageously you can!

What is surely one of the most effective remedies for rejection since paracetamol comes the Journal of Universal Rejection (JofUR). In our fast-paced, highly pressured, economically squeezed world where unsolicited manuscripts are as unacceptable as instant coffee served in a polystyrene cup and where universities demand academics publish outrageous numbers of journal articles in elite peer-reviewed journals or perish, the JofUR brings some sanity to the madness: "Reprobatio Certa. Hora Incerta," (Rejection Certain. Honour Uncertain) claims the hero of the day.

Read and learn more

Related article: 50 Iconic Writers Who Were Repeatedly Rejected

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