Sunday, July 6, 2014

Time Inc Focusing on Digital


Time Inc publishes close to 130 magazines every single month, including Sports Illustrated, Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, Fortune, People, InStyle, Life, GOLF Magazine, Southern Living, Essence, This Old House, All You and Entertainment Weekly. The new SVP of Digital M. Scott Havens made it clear he wants to focus on digital in a big way, and not just publishing digital editions of the magazine.

In a recent interview in The Guardian he said “"We are not a magazine company," he explained. "We are a media company with a portfolio." Time Inc. staffers, please note this change when talking to relatives about your career.

"We want to build the next LinkedIn, the next Gilt , the next Facebook," Havens adds. "We have got really smart people and we need to let them use their brains." Such flattery is likely to go down well with his employees but it comes with a stark warning: "If they are not up for that then we need to bring in some new people," Havens says.

One of the non-magazine aspects Time is working on is a series of videos. They are borrowing a page out of Conde Nastby developing original content. The company has 50 different series in development and will seek to monetize it. In fact Havens believes that the company could probably sell advertising against 500m video streams a month, more than six times its current total of 80m monthly streams.

It will be interesting to see if Time Inc’s digital strategy will play out. Haven has made it quite clear in his various interviews that you are either onboard with the new strategy or you can leave.

Time Inc Focusing on Digital is a post from: Good e-Reader

e-Readers Must be Turned on According to the TSA


The Transportation Security Administration has announced that e-readers must be turned on when going through customs for travelers taking international flights headed to the US. They are concerned that your trusty Kindle may be hollowed out and explosives planted within.

"During the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some devices, including cell phones," the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said in a post on its website. It warned: "Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft. The traveller may also undergo additional screening."

US officials are providing extra screening for flights originating from the United Kingdom, Europe and Africa. They are mostly concerned about intelligence originating from Syria and Yemen that they have developed bombs that could be placed in mobile telephones and e-readers to avoid detection to bring down aircraft bound for America.

Travelers are implored to make sure that your phone or e-reader are turned on when going through customs. If they are out of batteries or turned off completely you could be in for secondary screening and possibly can miss your flight.

e-Readers Must be Turned on According to the TSA is a post from: Good e-Reader

Nook Press Blog Offers Support to Indie Authors

There’s a lot of talk about Amazon and what it has done to revolutionize both bookselling and publishing, namely in the doors that it opened for self-published authors to put their books in front of readers. There’s so much talk, in fact, that it’s easy to forget that there are other platforms out there that also do great work for authors and readers.

Nook Press, the self-publishing platform from Barnes and Noble that allows authors to sell their content on the iconic bookseller’s website, reaches a significant percentage of the reading public through both the Nook family of devices and the Nook ereading app for tablets and PCs. Nook Press offers a number of tools for authors, including both a blog filled with advice and information and a dynamic Facebook presence where its authors connect with fans.

“We started the Nook Press blog in late February, and we had a couple of missions in mind,” explained Julia Coblentz, Senior Marketing Manager – Digital Marketing for Nook. “The main thing was really to bring writers and readers together more and to offer a place where we can hear more of the voices of self-published authors in the retail setting.

“We do three different things here. We do guest posts, which we’ve had a great response to not only from the author side as they have an opportunity to tell more of what they’re doing. We also feature articles on marketing, which we’ve done for years in our newsletter and on our Facebook pages where new authors and successful authors get together and learning marketing tips from each other. We also go ahead and highlight interest ways that authors are already out there. The third thing we’re doing is using it as a platform to highlight titles that are coming through Nook Press. Whether it’s based on this is a great deal or this is a great beach read, and I kind of group them thematically in some way.”

The blog is heavily promoted through the Nook Press Facebook page and through the other associated social media channels to give authors–especially new writers who may still be in the process of making publishing decisions–the tools they need to take charge of their own careers. The articles cover a broad spectrum of topics that affect authors, and supports the decisions they make about their content with information and advice.

The Nook Press blog can be found HERE, and readers and authors alike are also invited to connect through the Facebook page.

Nook Press Blog Offers Support to Indie Authors is a post from: Good e-Reader

eBook Review: The Silkworm by Robert Gilbraith

Verdict: 5 Stars

Rowling/Gilbraith has done it again, and this one may be even better than the first in her Cormoran Strike series.

It was both sad and amazing when JK Rowling returned to fiction writing after closing the covers on her Harry Potter series. As she transitioned into becoming the head of the worldwide wizarding empire that has seen a movie franchise, interactive website world, licensed products, and even a theme park, her writing bug may have been quieted by the other projects, but it certainly hadn’t died. With her embarrassingly disappointing first adult novel, no one could argue that Rowling didn’t stay true to herself and write the book she wanted to write, critics be damned.

But with her second series, Rowling smartly opted for a pen name to avoid the comparisons. Her adult fiction is nothing like the world she built for avid young readers, and she avoided being associated with the first book for as long as she could. Still staying true to her literary choices, she penned the book she wanted to write and her audiences responded favorably.

With the second installment, The Silkworm, Rowling crafted an even more gripping story than the first Strike novel, this time focusing more on the literary world. After a novelist goes missing and Strike is called in by the wife to find him, Strike discovers that the writer’s most recent manuscript is a tell-all that would expose people who know the novelist personally, including his own wife. Someone has a motive for murder, and Strike must sift through the saga of dirty laundry in order to beat the killer to it.

Even more than the ever-present writing ability of an author who has the ability to put her readers in the setting, whether it’s a dark alley or Diagon Alley, this is one book that might hit too close to home for the world famous author herself. Who better to write about the perils of literary fame than one of the highest grossing authors of all time? It was easy to wonder “what if” as I read, wondering how much of the torment her character feels applies to her own life.

Despite the ongoing dispute between Amazon and Hachette, this title is now available in all formats (paperback still pending).

eBook Review: The Silkworm by Robert Gilbraith is a post from: Good e-Reader

Big Five Back in Court over eBook Pricing

When the dust finally settled from the Department of Justice lawsuit against Apple and five of the then-Big Six publishers for illegally colluding to inflate the price of ebooks, essentially bilking consumers out of hundreds of millions of dollars in an effort to grab some more market share away from Amazon, the terms of the judge’s ruling included a caveat. That statement was that Apple could not engage in book discounting under the agency model for at least two years, and then it could only negotiate terms of the so-called “agency model” (in which the publishers set the prices of their books, not the retailer) with one publisher at a time spread out over a period of six months each.

Guess who the first publisher in line is? Hachette.

Yes, Hachette, the company who is in heated, contentious dispute with Amazon, currently isn’t allowed to sell titles through Apple without giving Apple the right to discount as the court ruling from Judge Denise Cote states that Apple cannot engage in agency pricing for a predetermined period of time.

Hachette wants Amazon to have to submit to the no-discount policy of agency model pricing, knowing full well that Apple is legally bound to not enter into that agreement and can therefore discount ebooks all it wants to. Amazon will be held to whatever price Hachette decides to charge, while Apple can set its own prices, including selling titles at a loss.

I’m sorry, I’m confused…who’s the bad guy again?

Interestingly, two other publishers have jumped into the debate. Macmillan and Simon&Schuster have filed court documents contending that the entire situation will work to harm their businesses. Since Apple is filing appeals and has therefore not resolved the issue on when agency model can be reinstated, and since Macmillan and S&S are presumably now at the back of the line of publishers, they cannot institute agency pricing with Apple (and therefore, by common sense, any other retailers) until sometime in late 2017.

Is it any coincidence that Hachette attempted to return to agency pricing with Amazon (and not Apple) at nearly the same time that Apple’s new iOS 8 update will make the iBookstore easier to access from its mobile devices?

While the open letter writing, name calling, and petition signing in the Amazon-Hachette battle continues to rage on, it’s important to remember that the end result of Hachette getting its way will be that Amazon will not be allowed to discount ebooks, and by law Apple will. I seem to recall there was a massive lawsuit because one retailer had too much of an advantage…

Big Five Back in Court over eBook Pricing is a post from: Good e-Reader