Getting the most out of Pinterest

Pinterest. We all know what it is: reams and reams of pictures arranged on a host of online pin boards. And as with all new social media platforms, we should be using it and loving it. Right? Well, that’s the big debate. What exactly is Pinterest, is it really worth all the hype and how can we use it to our advantage? Read more »

Off the Page and in the centre

London is brimming with creative digital talent that sits on the doorsteps of the country's publishing powerhouses... but many rarely meet to talk business, let alone work together. That’s why we’re starting “Off the Page”, a new event series that brings together the publishing, arts and creative technology sectors to look at ways that they can learn from each other. Read more »

Off the Page: Narrative, the glue that binds

I gave a keynote at The Mobile Show in Dubai last May, where I emphasised the importance of an engaging narrative in almost everything we produce.

I made the point that narrative wasn’t the preserve of publishers, words had many routes to a page (be that paper or digital) and more options were opening up to connect authors, creatives and narrators of all shapes and sizes with their audience. Read more »

Future of Foyles: Shelving the Bookstore?

I recently had the pleasure of attending Foyles’ ‘bookshop of the future’ workshop. The iconic Charing Cross bookstore is about to relocate and, in so doing, create a new bookstore designed for success in the modern book-selling landscape. The workshop served to gather insight from a cross-section of the industry, to help them achieve this ambitious goal in what they hoped would be potentially disruptive ways.

The fight you will have to fight

As I wrote earlier, the book world is facing a series of unmatched challenges. Never before did we had to deal with so many changes in such a short time. And never before was the industry as we all knew it for so many decades, forced into a 180 degree turn in no time. Read more »

Five Small Ideas for Publicists Working with Bloggers

When I started blogging there wasn’t a relationship between bloggers and publishers. Blogging and blogging about books relatively was new and publishers only sent review books to known media outlets. So trying as a blogger to get review copies from publishers was interesting. That was until some smart publicists realised the potential. 

Now publishers see the benefit of having engaged readers on their side. Readers who spend hours and hours of free time every week talking about books. Read more »

What an advertising agency would do with Oliver Twist

I’m going to call you Mr Dickens. I’m going to call your book/product Oliver Twist. For the purposes of debate you’re a brand new author with a brand new book. No one, in short, has ever heard of you. You arrive, in the shiny Soho offices of an advertising agency, with a heavy heart. Having looked at your Amazon KDP report last night you have realised that, despite being published for two whole months now, you have only sold two copies. You bought one and you’re fairly certain your doting Aunt Agnes in Market Harborough bought the other. Read more »

If you're in marketing, kill yourself now

There have been a couple of articles over the last few days voicing a proposition that seaped out of the Book 2 Camp ‘unconference’ (don’t get me started)  that discoverability isn’t a problem for readers, it’s a problem for publishers.

Well D’uh. Quelle surprise mes amis. What you gonna do for your next trick? Knock up a few hundred words on the pope being a catholic? (he is still a catholic right?) Read more »

Vertical Publishing. Take it to the people.

The relationship between publishers and readers continues to evolve at a bewildering speed.

It could be argued that until very recently publishers had almost no relationship with their readers at all. The entire supply chain of the publishing industry was set up around a premise that essentially ignored the end user (the readers) and mistakenly identified the means of distribution (the booksellers) as their key relationship. Read more »

The perfect strategy for not getting an agent

So, there I was in my best bib and tucker; sitting on a table in one of the Hilton’s many cavernous conference suites surrounded by fellow nominees of the Publishing Innovation Awards and New York’s digital publishing glitterati. The President of the Publishing Association of America gave the keynote speech and then the CEO of Digital Book World stood up to announce the winners. Best e-book: Fiction was first up. He glanced down at his gilded lectern and read out the name of some odd-sounding bloke called James T. Raydel. I felt a momentary surge of disappointment. Read more »