panel 6_bottom, By Jan Poynter

More Things to Read: April 19, 2012

  1. In this issue: content creation, writing advice, social media self-promotion, new publishing models, the Blue Like Jazz movie, crowd-funded publishing, top authors to watch, Robin Meyers’ new book, trust and online content, digital content for kids, scratchboard design, a new book from Ross Douthat, and Wiley’s bittorrent piracy trial.
  2. 58 ways to create persuasive content your audience will love

    « Would you like to become a better writer? Would you like to create content that people will remember, tweet, and plus? How about content that inspires your audience to click, subscribe or buy? That’s the Holy Grail, right? It may sound difficult, but it really isn’t. You’re about to become a writer that’s incredibly persuasive and completely unforgettable. Ready? Let’s start with structuring your content so your message becomes irresistible.… »
  3. Free newsletters help aspiring writers and authors to publish

    « Dan Pointer is probably the leading authority in the world on publishing as he has authored 102 books. Among his books are Writing Nonfiction, The Self-Publishing Manual and others. His own personal mission in life is to be sure people don’t die with a book still inside them.… »
  4. Social media self-promotion scheme draws authors—including Margaret Atwood

    « Audible opens $20m fund that will reward authors using social media to help sales… »
  5. Rolling up the rim on new publishing models

    « The increasing popularity of self-funding creative projects raises interesting questions about the future of publishing, especially when someone like McKay—who was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 1995 for his short story collection Like This—is abandoning traditional publishing models for ones like this. "I am one of the first Canadian literary writers with an established record in old-school publishing to make the giant step in the direction of going Indie," McKay writes on his Indiegogo campaign site. "You can help make this happen."… »
  6. Making Blue Like Jazz required faith and a little improvisation

    « It took a miracle, and fans’ financial support, for Donald Miller’s best-selling memoir Blue Like Jazz to reach theaters.… »
  7. World’s only book-centric crowd-funding site helps authors get paid to write their books and raises money to promote their work

    « Authr.com today announced the official launch of its crowd-funding site for aspiring authors to raise funds to get their books published. With the increased popularity of crowd funding for business ideas and projects, Authr.com is currently the only site to concentrate entirely on book funding for authors and writers. The Authr.com fundraising platform differentiates itself from other crowd-funding sites by continuing to support authors beyond fundraising as their book project transitions to pre-orders and sales once their book is published.… »
  8. Time 100: Authors to watch

    « The Time 100 Most Influential People in the World is, by and large, a grab-bag of politicos, entertainers and technology entrepreneurs. But it also gives a nod to the publishing world. Among the Time 100 are…… »
  9. Author Robin Meyers looks for link between liberal, conservative Christians

    « Robin Meyers, author of "Saving Jesus From the Church," grew up the son of a Church of Christ minister who was a Shakespearean scholar with a doctorate in English literature. Like his father, Meyers became intensely interested in the Bible as a work of literature, full of metaphor and deeply symbolic spiritual messages. In his latest book, "The Underground Church," Meyers looks for common ground between liberal and conservative Christians.… »
  10. Consumer Search Insights: Which source do you trust most?

    « People tend to trust friends & family and the mainstream media far more than they trust websites & search engines. Relative to one another, men tend to trust newspapers, search engines & weblogs more; whereas women tend to trust friends & family and social media websites more. The youngest age group tends to trust social media a bit more & newspapers a bit less than other age groups do. Outside of that, it is somewhat hard to see other age-based patterns.… »
  11. Penguin, Macmillan, and Nosy Crow talk digital books for children

    « How publishers can make reading experiences that parents feel ‘more positive about than Angry Birds’. For much of the book publishing world, the move to digital is all about e-books. That brings big challenges (and regulatory scrutiny) around distribution deals and pricing, but less around the actual content and design. For children’s books, it’s a different story. The text-centric e-books market has seen children’s publishers turning their picture-books into apps.… »
  12. Talking to the End-User—A Publishing Paradigm

    « For many publishers of academic and professional literature, focusing on the end-user is something of a dislocating thought process. A good part of the sales of professional publishers tend to be through intermediaries. For example, some portion, in some cases the largest portion, of professional publishing is sold to libraries. It’s hard to be user-focused when the library stands between you and the user. In other instances, you might reach the end-user through channel selling. For example, a book publisher might ship books to Baker & Taylor and not know where those books ultimately end up, whether in a library or in the office of an anesthesiologist. The common theme of all these methods of marketing publishing materials is that little is known about the people who actually read the works.… »
  13. What is Scratchboard Design?

    « Scratchboard was developed in nineteenth century England and France, where printers were looking for new ways to reproduce illustrations. Wood, metal and linoleum engraving all had their faults, and scratchboard seemed to be the perfect solution.… »
  14. Why Ross Douthat thinks we’re a nation of heretics

    « Since the 1960s, Douthat argues, institutional Christianity has suffered a slow-motion collapse, leaving the country without the moral core that carried it through foreign wars, economic depressions and roiling internal debates. In its place heresies have cropped up—from the "God-within" theology of Oprah to the Mammon-obsessed missionaries of the prosperity gospel, says Douthat, a Roman Catholic. … »
  15. Wiley seeks piracy trial

    « John Wiley has filed papers in New York demanding a trial by jury of four defendants accused of copying its books through BitTorrent, according to a BBC report. The publisher said the amount of revenue lost through illegal copying of its For Dummies guides was "enormous", with over 74,000 copies of its Photoshop CS5 All-In-One For Dummies guide pirated.… »

Note: This resource has been curated for your enjoyment and education. It is intended to reflect what publishers and leaders in the Christian publishing industry are thinking and talking about — it does not reflect the positions or opinions of Zondervan, its authors, agents, employees, or leadership.

More Things to Read: April 12, 2012

  1. All the extra stuff we couldn’t cram in the main post this week. Includes email marketing tips, a couple posts from Seth Godin, some stuff from “across the pond,” and an incredible infographic about consumer behavior.
  2. 15 powerful reconversion opportunities for your welcome emails

    « Marketers have a huge opportunity with welcome emails. According to Skyline Technologies, welcome emails have an average open rate of 50-60%. It makes sense; as the double opt-in process has become more commonplace, people expect to return to their inbox and receive one or two emails that confirm their request and welcome them as a new subscriber.… »
  3. Beware literary snobbery: Why we should read bestsellers

    « From the early days of the form in the 18th century, novel reading required no special education beyond simple literacy. All comers were welcome. More offensive still, to elitists like Steele, was the raunchy tabloid sensibility characteristic of those first English narratives. They were fun; they were coarse; they appealed unabashedly to the heart. They were about social mobility, about demystifying the secret worlds of high society. They put their characters in agonizing jeopardy. All things that contemporary popular novels still do.… »
  4. Warning, executives: avoid social media at your peril

    « I’ve noticed that my 18-month-old grand-daughter already knows ‘the swipe.’ If you hand her an iPhone-like object, including her play telephone, she’ll swipe her index finger across it, expecting it to respond. This new technology, which I still find somewhat gee-whiz-ish and amazing, will be as ho-hum to her as television is to me, as radio was to my mom, and – I suspect – as the telegraph was to my grandmother.… »
    Via Forbes
  5. Organized bravery

    « The purpose of the modern organization is to make it easy and natural and expected for people to take risks. To lean out of the boat. To be human. Alas, most organizations do the opposite. They institutionalize organized cowardice. They give their people cover, a place to hide, a chance to say, “that’s not my job.”… »
  6. Google ends ebook agreement with indies

    « On Tuesday representatives of Google contacted the American Booksellers Association and Powell’s Books to announce that it will end its Google eBooks reseller program worldwide. In February, it had seemed as if independent booksellers were getting a reprieve when Google reinstated some affiliate stores that had low sales. But in yet another sign of industry consolidation, Google will start selling e-books solely through its recently launched Google Play beginning January 31, 2013.… »
  7. Indie publishing is getting better

    « First bold statement: The quality of indie books has improved. We’re maturing. Ludicrously, readers expected the indie ebook revolution to produce immediate perfection, some even demanding a higher quality than they get from trad publishing. As soon as I post this, I expect a deluge of naysayers racing to come up with examples to disprove my assertion. That’s a misguided instinct, by the way. Yes, you could come up with lots of examples both tragic and comedic and I’d counter with a plethora of examples in favour of the indies. So let’s skip that and settle on this: I have over 200 books on my Kindle and my impression is that there aren’t nearly so many grammatical errors or typos as one might expect if you believe all those rabid grammarians moaning over on the Kindle boards.… »
  8. Communication: The link between social media and sales

    « Social media has completely revolutionized how products are sold, and yet there are still businesses that only use social media outlets to spam their followers with coupon codes and pointless blog posts about how great their business is. Back in 2010, a WhiteHorse survey found that only 52% of B2C business, and a mere 32% of B2B marketers, are using social marketing despite over 80% of marketers in both sectors using social media. While numbers have likely gotten a bit better over the past two years, that still shows a serious discrepancy between companies that make a Facebook profile or Twitter account and let it stagnate versus companies that actively sell on these mediums. The sales game has changed, and any company looking to increase sales numbers need to change with it. Take a good, hard look at your social media outlets and make sure you are doing the following.…… »
  9. Religion and “christian” suggest shifting vocabulary of faith

    « “Religion” is a loaded word — not just in the minds of people who reject and/or resent religious belief altogether, but increasingly among people of faith. As Christians prepare to celebrate Easter and their belief in the resurrection of Jesus, some of them cringe at the word “religion.” Many go so far as to resist the term “Christian” because, they say, it carries too much baggage. “When some people use the word ‘Christian,’ they mean right wing, Republican, white, judgmental. They don’t mean somebody who sees their life’s goal as carrying on the work of Jesus in the world,” says John Mark Comer, 31, lead pastor of Solid Rock, a growing community of 6,000 adults that meets weekly in three locations in Portland and the suburbs. … »
  10. When execution gets cheaper, so should planning

    « If you’re going to build a $10 million skyscraper, by all means, plan and prototype and discuss and plan some more. On the other hand, if the cost of finding out is a phone call, make the call. No need to spend a lot of time planning how to call or when to call or which phone to use when execution is fast and cheap.… »
  11. Amazon: £7Bn sales, no UK corporation tax

    « Amazon.co.uk, Britain’s biggest online retailer, generated sales of more than £3.3bn in the country last year but paid no corporation tax on any of the profits from that income – and is under investigation by the UK tax authorities.… »
  12. Waterside literary starts digital publishing division powered by Vook

    « Another literary agency is entering the digital publishing arena. William Gladstone, founder and owner of Waterside Productions in San Diego County, has entered a partnership with Vook and its new e-book program to create Waterfront Press and offer its authors a 75% e-book royalty. “My goal has always been to generate the maximum amount of income for Waterfront’s clients,” said Gladstone, who established his company in 1982 and represents such bestselling authors as Eckhart Tolle and Dr. Bonnie Eaker. “It’s all or nothing in New York, where the big houses either pay advances of a million dollars or ten thousand dollars, and offer e-book royalties as low as 25%. I hope to change that landscape with my own digital publishing division.” … »
  13. You’ve read Cameron’s easter speech, now read President Obama’s

    « Yet again I’m failing to stick to my blogging break, but having posted David Cameron’s Easter Speech yesterday, I thought it would be good for comparative purposes to post the transcript of Barack Obama’s Easter speech he gave today at the White House Easter prayer breakfast for church leaders. If having read David Cameron’s speech you’re left wondering which bits of the Easter story he actually believes, you’ll have no such doubts with President Obama’s blatantly Christian message… »
  14. Christianity isn’t the only thing in crisis: A reply to Andrew Sullivan

    « Andrew Sullivan has written a cover story for Newsweek (disclosure: where I also work) that I think deserves attention and scrutiny. It could not be more timely, and in many ways more needed. But even as it advances some crucial criticisms of the contemporary monstrosity that presents itself as Christianity, I think there is a lot more to be said. Specifically, I’m not sure Andrew’s political framework is up to the task of diagnosing the real crisis we face as inhabitants of Western democracy. If only things were as easy as putting a mutant political Christianity back in its cage. I have read Andrew’s bracingly honest writing about his own faith enough to know that his Christianity is deeply considered and deeply sincere.… »
    Via Patrol
  15. What content marketers can learn from publishers

    « Content marketers can learn a few fine lessons from traditional publishing companies, though they shouldn’t completely emulate them, says the Content Marketing Institute. “The key for both publishers and content marketers is to listen to your audience,” writes Blogger Rob Yoegel. “Look at which sections of your website they spend the most time on and which stories they read, share and comment on, and then write more about these topics and share this information throughout your organization.”… »
  16. Using social media to be a better leader

    « “Join a new online network? I’d love to!” In 15 years of helping business, government and nonprofit leaders make strategic choices about digital technology, I’ve yet to hear an executive utter those words. Sometimes that’s due to the risks of public embarrassment or conflict that come with online engagement. Sometimes it’s painful memories of previous tech projects that ran over budget and behind schedule. And sometimes it’s because executives would rather interact face-to-face than keyboard-to-keyboard.… »
  17. Culture shift: User to client

    « Fifteen years ago, Louis Gallois, the SNCF (French Railways) chairman decided to change the company’s lexicon: passengers were to be referred to as “customers” instead of the old bureaucratese “users” (in French: “clients” vs. “usagers”). The intent was to convey notions of choice and consideration for the rider. This being France, the edict led to convoluted debates. The upper management old guard held the company was on its way to betraying its traditional mission of service public. Unions—notoriously opposed to any forms of competition threatening their fiefdoms—saw the new word as a portent of evil mercantile designs. … »
  18. Are apps the future of book publishing?

    « We’re at the dawn of the tablet era now. Earlier this month, Apple sold 3 million of its new iPad during the opening weekend, with some analysts expecting over 60 million of the tablets to be sold worldwide. What’s more, e-book readers are selling even more briskly than tablets. People are using those e-readers, too. On Amazon.com, books for its Kindle outsell its paper books.… »
    Via Forbes
  19. Book marketing & publicity: Advice from three experts

    « A smart marketing consultant can be the secret weapon in an author’s campaign to market and promote a book. That’s according to Adrienne Biggs, one of three experts interviewed for this post…. I surveyed three veteran book marketing pros and here’s what they said about the changing world of promotion and publicity.… »
  20. Social commerce psychology of shopping [infographic]

    « When you combine the power of the mind and the force of social shopping, you have a mighty confabulation of social rules and subconscious needs. Together, these things play into the psychology of social commerce. Psychologists have defined six universal heuristics or learning methods that have been seen in shoppers and are now being seen in social commerce.… »

Note: This resource has been curated for your enjoyment and education. It is intended to reflect what publishers and leaders in the Christian publishing industry are thinking and talking about — it does not reflect the positions or opinions of Zondervan, its agents, employees, or leadership.