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Interesting free online conference on e-books

I’ve signed up to “attend” an interesting event, Digital Content Day @ Your Desk, a free virtual conference with what looks like a lively agenda. You can participate online on October 29, from 10:30 AM to roughly 5 PM Eastern by registering here. They are talking everything from DRM to social media.

The Bookends, Pt. III

….continued from previous entry When William P. Young wrote The Shack in 2005, he intended it as a Christmas present to his friends and family. Unlike Fra Franceso Colonna, he didn’t have to consider the challenge of getting copies made, because he had Kinko’s to duplicate and spiral bind the book before his personal release […]

A la carte and the Apple tablet

Wired‘s Brian X. Chen has a vision of Apple’s tablet with an interesting angle: The potential for a la carte pricing of books. It’s not a new idea, but his point about college students being excited about buying individual chapters of a textbook rather than the whole book rings true to me. Would publishers consider […]

Writing improv as service

Name Your Tale, a site operated by writers Nick Faber, Jeremy S. Griffin and Jenny Nicholson, introduces a novel approach to engaging readers: They write stories in response to suggested titles submitted by the audience. It’s improv performance brought to the (Web) page. The group writes 100-word stories for audience titles including, at this writing, […]

Old readers discussing new books

Mike Shatzkin describes the results of a question he asked the audience at NYU yesterday: So, with time running out, I got the indulgence of the organizers to ask the crowd a couple of questions. The first one was: “how many of you read ebooks.” Two hands went up. Two. The next question was not […]

Reviews are still king

As long as you don’t handle negative reviews the way Alice Hoffman did, they remain the most effective way to reach and engage potential buyers, eclipsing Twitter and Facebook, according to Ad Age‘s Abbey Klaasen. Reviews offer fully explained reactions to products purchased by real customers in contast to the fragmentary telegraphic conclusions posted to […]

Using Twitter and blogs to drive book sales

Charlotte Abbott writes about the increasingly perennial question, does blogging and Twitter marketing help drive book sales. She points to several anecdotal examples of sales increases, and raises some interesting questions. As co-founder of, and the author of the influence algorithm used by, BuzzLogic, I do believe it is possible to measure influence within networks. […]

Ouch! Elsevier admits payola for positive reviews

InsideHigherEd.com has caught Elsevier’s textbook marketers in a payola scheme, which the company admits and has said violated its own rules, encouraging contributors to post positive reviews at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. In an email, the company offered $25 gift cards from Amazon in exchange for positive reviews. The company’s director of corporate relations issued a […]

A million little author presences

As writers, we seek to develop a relationship with our readers. It can be a relationship of service, one that entertains, one that informs or that argues, among others. Without the relationship, there’s no next step, no story to be told. If you can’t keep the reader’s attention on the first page, they won’t get […]

Where games are going, books will follow

Follow the gamers, they know. Electronic Arts COO John Pleasants told VentureBeat: “If you believe all games will eventually be services — as I do — then the idea of game teams that make a game, ship it, and then do something else goes away. They will now ship and day one begins when the customer […]