Archives for February 2013

Top Ten Places to Discover Books Online

Too many bookstores are closing their doors.  How will we find our books?

That’s the rub.

bookstore closedNot a massage kinda rub, but an OUCH! bruising kinda rub.

Plenty of studies show most bookbuyers find books in bookstores or libraries, through word of mouth, regardless of where they ultimately buy them.

Not online. Online is confusing and overwhelming.

A bunch of companies are trying to make online book “discovery” more user-friendly.

Will they replicate the bookstore experience? Never. But if they help readers find worthy books online, and keep the business of publishing good books alive, everyone benefits, even booksellers.

What do you think? Do these spots work for you?

Newest “Recommendation Engines”

1. Bookish was years in the making; it’s the result of a major collaboration between some of the largest publishers in the world. The look and concept is cool: type in a book you love and through miraculous algorithmic juggling, others you will love pop up. Plenty of bells and whistles; plenty of early praise and complaints.  Compared to Amazon: easier and cleaner; both less suspect and less powerful. Good people behind it; good luck to them. [Read more…]

Apple to Highlight Self-Published Books

Self-Published Books Pushed by Apple

Apple recently announced its new program of “Breakout Books” as reported in The New York Times.

According to the piece, “popular” self-published books will be featured under a banner on the iBookstore for the first few weeks, and then will become a regular feature.  Not mentioned in the article: exactly where these books come from. The piece interviewed Smashwords founder Mark Coker, who said the books “were nominated to Apple’s editorial team.”  Given the happy Smashwords/Apple relationship,  “were nominated” probably means “nominated by Smashwords.”

Smashwoods’ Reach Extends

Smashwords’ importance as a sales and discovery channel for self-published works is ever-growing. Mr. Coker recently also allied with many public libraries to make thousands of self-published ebooks available to the library market.

Can We Trust the Books?

The titles Apple will  highlight are selected based on: “criteria including sales performance and reader reviews” although the Apple “editorial team” has “final say” on the selections.

The world needs [Read more…]