Posted tagged ‘epublishing’

Books: The Only Ad free Media Today

October 28, 2008

I discussed a little bit in my last post how media these days seems to revolve around advertisers. It’s no longer a system where content is created for readers, then advertisers pay to be seen by those reads. Now, frequently, content is devised to interest advertisers, since they pay the overhead costs, then it is ‘marketed’ to readers.

Most of our media today exposes us to ads. Conservative sources say the average American is exposed to at least 347 ads a day – but other estimates are as high as 3000 ads. Newspapers, magazines and websites all expose us to them. The only media source that doesn’t expose us these days is books – except for the few pages at the back that tell us other books the publisher thought we might like.

Maybe that is part of the reason e-books and e-book readers haven’t caught on as much as their manufacturers might like.

Books are the one media that consumers really expect to be what THEY want. They aren’t personally interested in book brands – most readers couldn’t tell you who publishes their favorite books. They read because they enjoy it, because it provides a longer escape from reality then a magazine. So, any attempts to change this reading behavior is sure to be slow. And it needs to really consider what readers want and how they use books. (Bnet recently wrote an article on this).

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A Writer’s Walmart

February 8, 2008

A friend of mine who works for a major book publisher recently said something very interesting to me. We were talking about independent publishers and sites like Pages Unbound and he said that publishing companies are a Walmart for writers. They are one stop shopping.

You spend your currency – your idea or manuscrip – and in return you get an editor, a designer, a producer, a production manager, a marketing director, someone to sell your book to bookstores, to take care of shipping, warehouses, etc.

The disadvantage of self-publishing is that the author has to do all these things themselves.

That, of course, is the advantage of e-publishing. It cuts out several ‘steps’ along the way. They cut out manufacturing, shipping, storing – the majority of the work of actually producing a physical work. This makes it much easier for an author to self-publish electronically.

As one of the speakers in our Book production and Design class said, you have to consider: A book that is 99.99% accurate allows for 3-4 mistakes per page; there are several thousand characters on every page. Many publishers manage to make far fewer mistakes then that. This is because every document gets checked and rechecked by multiple pairs of eyes.

When you consider that, you can begin to truly appreciate the work for an author who wants to self-publish. Especially since they don’t have the expertise in all the necessary areas. Most self-publishers are doing so for the first time – they need to learn and establish marketing bases, self-edit and do their own design work. It is a monumental task.