Monday, June 1, 2009

The Savvy Self-Publisher, June-July 2009

Tip of the Month:

The title of your book (or at least the subtitle) must include
key phrases used by readers when they use search engines to find
books. For example: "Writing Nonfiction" by Dan Poynter gets
top rankings from all major search engines. The "shelving code"
(such as "Language Arts and Disciplines / Authorship") should
also be part of the title or subtitle if possible:

Book publicity in the 21st century is increasingly driven by
Web exposure. These tips will help your book get more attention
from search engines. Read our guide for more good ideas about
online marketing.

Lead Story: BEA Bombshell: Google to Challenge Amazon:

[June 1 -- New York] At BookExpo America in New York over the
weekend, Google announced a program that would allow publishers
to sell digital versions of their books directly to consumers.
According to the NY Times, "The move would pit Google against, which is seeking to control the e-book market with
the versions it sells for its Kindle reading device." FMI:

As brick-and-mortar bookstores struggle, Poynter and Snow pre-
dict that Amazon and Google will capture more and more of the
$25 billion annual market for books. Meanwhile, e-Books will
represent a growing share of the total.

Two trends are intersecting: online bookselling is overtaking
brick-and-mortar bookstores, while e-Books (though still in
their infancy) are gaining ground on tree-Books.

A titanic battle is shaping up between Amazon -- which uses
proprietary hardware and software -- versus Google, which
favors "open platform" reading devices and file formats.

Whatever the outcome, we remind authors and publishers that
2009 and 2010 will be watershed years, as the book industry
follows music (and newspapers) into the digital world of the
21st century. Now is the time to anticipate dramatic changes,
and position yourself to sell books online, whether in print,
digital formats, or both!

275,232 Books Published in 2008:

A staggering 275k new books were published last year, down 3.2%
from 2007, according to a report this week from R.R. Bowker,
publisher of Books in Print. However, the number of POD books
grew 132% in 2008, further accelerating the boom that began in
2006: is a POD book, and it shows others how to use POD
to slash the cost of self-publishing. POD is increasingly used
by mainstream publishers too. POD makes book publishing more
efficient, greener, more democratic and more equitable to both
readers and writers.

Poynter and Snow predicted the POD boom as early as 1999. Now
it is rapidly becoming the dominant technology of the book world.
More changes are on the horizon; please read our books and reports
to keep ahead of the times!

Snow Joins IBPA Board:

Danny O. Snow has been elected to the board of directors of the
Independent Book Publishers Association (, the
largest association of independent publishers in North America.
IBPA represents more than 3,500 publishing firms coast to coast:

Snow adds: "Your suggestions for priorities will be welcome.
Please e-mail with ideas, and kindly
include a daytime phone number for follow-up questions."

The Write Stuff:

The word "media" is plural, though frequently mis-used in the
singular form -- even by members of the media! When a reporter
says "The media covers breaking news..." s/he should be scolded;
the correct usage is "The media COVER breaking news..."

By popular demand, this newsletter will feature a similar tip
in each issue henceforth.

Help from Bestselling Author:

Afraid that reading is dead? That printed newspapers and
books are doomed?

Dave Eggers, bestselling author of "A Heartbreaking Work of
Staggering Genius," will personally give you encouragement: