Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
In case you had not heard, the state awarded a grant to the Business Development Center at COCC to stimulate economic activity in Central Oregon by increasing e-commerce. I was chosen to be the web site advisor on the project. It was a great opportunity to review and recommend changes to many sites operated by local small businesses.
One aspect that I wanted to pass on was that the Business Development Center at COCC is an incredible resource for the small business, to include book sellers. The free service includes advising on financial matters such as loan sources, grants, venture capital, etc., business plan development, legal structure for a business, etc.
Give the center a try if you are in Crook, Deschutes, or Jefferson County: 541-383-7290
Friday, March 05, 2010
"To ebook or not" continues to plague many self publishers. Most everyone agrees that ebooks are having a great impact on the book publishing industry. Aptara, an industry-oriented research company, conducted an extensive survey related to ebooks and book publishers in general. The following points, drawn from the survey, are of interest to the self publisher.
- Most ebooks are distributed through the book owner's website.
- Using an owner site results in the publisher missing major ebook distribution channels such as Amazon, Apple iTunes, etc.
- Ebook reader-compatibility is the biggest challenge.
If you are grappling with the issue of format for your ebook, check out EPUB. A free Microsoft Word-to-EPUB converter can be found here.
Friday, January 15, 2010
"The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) has released headline results from their first survey of Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading, conducted among approximately 550 people from Bowker's PubTrack Consumer panel who said they had purchased an ebook within the past year.
Computers were still the top e-reading "devices," cited by 47 percent of respondents, followed by the Kindle at 32 percent and other e-readers at 10 percent. "Roughly one-fifth of survey respondents said they've stopped purchasing print books within the past 12 months in favor of acquiring the e-book editions."
One question asked how, for a favorite author, consumers would behave if the ebook was not available when the hardcover is released. The responses seem to underscore general consumer confusion in this area (and the replies are guesses....) Thirty percent think they would wait for three months to buy the ebook; 24 percent would go ahead and buy the hardcover instead. Six percent expect they would buy both versions, and over a third weren't sure what they would do.
Not unsurprisingly, the top characteristic driving ebook purchases is "affordability," followed by "easy to download," "readability," "instant access to books," and "portability."
The survey will be repeated two more times this year, at three month intervals, to track changes in consumer attitudes, Angela Bole from the BISG and Kelly Gallagher from Bowker will present and discuss the findings at the Digital Book World conference later this month, and then again at TOC in February.
View the full media release: Release."
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009
1. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of the grammar checker in your word processing program. Daniel Kies provides a comparison of the programs in his article, Evaluating Grammar Checkers.
2. Join a writers group such as the Central Oregon Writers Guild. They can offer suggestions on small portions of a manuscript and there will be a professional editor who you may hire.
3. There are a number of online editing products for checking the manuscript. A popular one is EssayRater. There is a free rater that will look at citations, contextual spelling, grammar, punctuation, style, and word choice. One will need to upgrade to a fee-based review to discover how to fix the problems. Its size limit is 20 pages.
4. A software program that resides on your computer is offered by WhiteSmoke. One can choose between different writing styles: general, business, creative, medical, and executive. It sells for $89.95 and can process one chapter at a time. It received endorsements for Yahoo, NBC, and CNN Business 2.0.
Friday, October 23, 2009
- Taboo subjects
- Unusual aspects
- Outrageous happenings
- Hilarious moments
- Remarkable feats
- Secrets, kept and divulged
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Target apparently only purchases books from a large publishing houses; thus, self publishers need not apply. However, their experience offers insight into the books they select, their book reader's demographics, elements of the publishing process, and the genre of books that have proven to be good sellers.
In terms of book selection, the titles are usually written by women. The demographics of the book purchasers indicate that:
- Most are women.
- They have a median income of $60,000.
- About one half have a college degree.
- Some have children at home.
In terms of publishing, the books are:
- Usually in the 6x9 format.
- A special edition just for Target.
- The author includes a letter addressed to the Target buyer.
Genre of the books tends to be limited to:
- Diet books.
- Children's picture books.
- Young-adult novels.
Read the entire article here.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Natalie accomplished all the narrative and art work herself. An interesting twist was to offer a gift pack version of the book that consist of a onesie (a cute, environmentally-safe garment for the baby), the book itself, and comes gift wrapped. The saddle stitched volume retails for $12.95 and the gift pack for $24.95.
Natalie is eager to share her self publishing experiences with us. She can be reached through her blog.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
The group, formerly the Redmond Writers, offers programs featuring topics related to self publishing, writing contests, conferences, etc. Attendance at their meetings is open to the public and free.
More information? Visit the Central Oregon Writers Guild website.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
The author points out that some of the advantages of a children's ebook are:
1. Low cost.
2. Youngsters have a familiarity with digital technology.
3. Ebooks provide greater interactivity.
4. Many digital devices can "read" the book out loud to the child.
Interestingly, the article cited research suggesting that children learn less when parents (emphasis added) read the ebook to them. I wonder if the same applies to the computer reading the book to them?
The article also provides two (of the many) publishers that offer children's ebooks. Check them out and see what the buzz is all about:
Harpercollins Children's Books
Thursday, December 25, 2008
- Ebooks are gaining in popularity due to Amazon's Kindle and Sony's Reader. This prompts people to feel that the ebook has moved beyond the electronic gadget phase.
- Increased number of sales outlets and promotion of the devices, to include the endorsement of Oprah Winfrey among others, accounts for wider acceptance. Hence, greater sales of ebooks themselves.
- As many women as men are purchasing the device and ebooks.
- Ebooks appeal to those who are heavy readers. This may be the result of an ebook's low price as compared to a print book.
- Ebooks are already available for the iPhone and will soon be on the BlackBerry. (Clint Brauer, General Manger for CyberRead.com, points out in his comment below that his company carries over 65,000 titles in the Mobipocket format that will work on the Blackberry. He further indicates that none of the titles will play on the BlackBerry Storm. I wonder if the New York Times article simply omitted the "Storm" portion of the statement).
Read the entire article here.
A special thanks to Ron Goebel, self publisher and author of Mata Ortiz Pottery: Art and Life, for the heads up about the article.