PublishDrive Blog

12
Oct

Blockchain: A Technology Publishers Have Never Heard of is Here to Disrupt the Industry

(This article was written in anticipation of the ALLi organized session at Frankfurt Book Fair on this topic and will be updated with the developments. It has been inspired by ALLi and the articles written by Orna Ross.)

Cutting edge technology is usually here to solve problems we never knew we had at the first place. There is much less talk, however, about problems that have been around for a while and have finally become close to being solved.

Some of the problems creative industry as a whole is facing concern author payments, licensing and rights. With an amazing amount of ‘free’ content available (speaking of music on Youtube or Spotify, news and other types of journalistic content, books and images), it is hardly traceable how and when the creators will get paid. With an astonishingly long chain between writers and readers, creators and audience, it is only a fraction of the money that gets back to the original creators of the IP. Not to mention that in addition to taking a big slice of the cake, end-distributors use data and advertising revenue generated mainly by content they don’t own – this data and revenue is never redistributed.

On the other hand, licences are difficult to get hold of. If I would like to find a picture for illustration purposes, I can search certain databases for free-to-use images and then hope that the information is correct. While the creative commons standard improved this area a lot, there is still a lot of unauthorized use. (This could be due to mechanisms being mistaken and only partially automatized.)

Unauthorized use can range from posting a cool gif on tumblr without crediting the original creator (as there is literally no way to find it) to obvious theft. It is not only end-user piracy content creators are afraid of, but monetizing stolen IP. There is always the option of better DRM. But does it really solve the problem?

Continue Reading…

11
Oct

How Can Writers And Publishers Utilise Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Putting aside the constant scare of whether robots will soon take our jobs – coming even from creatives -, AI is already here and more and more companies are using it. But what does AI stand for and how can writers and publishers utilise artificial intelligence? This article starts with a little history for newcomers, then explores some solutions that are already existent and available for all and poses some questions about the future.

This year’s Frankfurt Book Fair is all about innovation and technology. On this note, let’s explore what AI can do for publishers, and whether there is anything publishers can do for AI.

Artificial Intelligence: Definition and brief history

Audience analysis and engagement

Content analysis, recommendation and creation


Continue Reading…

06
Oct

How Do Audiobooks Work? – Choose the Best Service

With the Canadian company Rakuten Kobo finally launching their audiobooks service worldwide, appearing as a long awaited competitor for Amazon’s Audible, audiobooks became a hot topic once again, living their revival. But how do audiobooks work, where to get them from and are they still overly expensive?

Although they have been around for a while now, they only became popular during the last couple of years: with almost everyone in the world having access to some kind of mobile device, listening to podcasts and audiobooks became increasingly popular. What once was thought of as a necessity for people with sight loss became a viable and popular alternative to listening to radio and podcasts. Because yes, audiobooks are not here to take readers away: quite the opposite, they are here to bring reading-like experience into situations where you couldn’t normally read. Like when you are driving. Never read and drive!

Jokes aside, let’s have a look at what are these audiobooks anyway, why are they good and what do the biggest players on the market have to offer.

audiobooks

John Karakatsanis | Sony Headphones | 2013 | CC-BY-SA

Continue Reading…

03
Oct

What is the Secret of a Successful Ebook Launch

Are you ready to get published? Great! Why not throw a party? A book launch is not only a great opportunity for you to celebrate this amazing achievement but also an event that can affect your future sales. While you should not forget about the power of building a brand and creating a fanbase (people who love your style and are happy to buy everything you write), the book launch itself is a powerful marketing tool you can only use once and have to make the most of it.

But wait, aren’t all ebook launches boring and obsolete? And how to throw a party if your potential readers live on the other side of the planet? Read on for tips and tricks of an interesting, exciting and successful ebook launch your readers will talk about.

Continue Reading…

29
Sep

Ebook Pricing for a Foreign Market – Eurozone and Eastern Europe

It is always exciting to read and write about faraway lands and cultures. But our ebook pricing tour has finally reached my home market: Europe. Is there more to the Eurozone than just – Euro? What and who decides ebook prices?

As many of our readers are indeed from Europe, we would be really interested to know what works for you, what strategies have you used?

What influences pricing in Europe?

One of the biggest challenge publishers of mainland Europe face is the case of high VAT. Unlike American and British ebooks, books bought all over Europe are subject to high (even as much as 27%!) VAT. This results in higher ebook prices in general: in order for the publishers to get anything back after VAT and distribution costs have been deducted the prices can’t be kept at 1 euro. (VAT is calculated based on the buyer’s country.)

Continue Reading…

25
Sep

Self-Publishing Podcasts: Everything You Wanted to Know

self publishing podcastsPodcasts are like Marmite: love it or hate it. With an overwhelming the majority of the Western world’s population having a smartphone (and commuting long hours every day), podcasts are once again on the rise. Many of them are produced by self-publishers: but who is the audience? Should you go for fiction or nonfiction? Stay with us to learn more about how self-publishing podcasts help readers, writers and authorpreneurs. Our special guest for today’s post is Tim Lewis, host of the Begin Self-Publishing podcast who has kindly agreed to share some of his insight us.

What are podcasts?

Although podcasts have been around for a few years now and have developed a loyal follower base, there are still millions of people who don’t know what they are missing out on. Podcasts are like a radio show but on demand. Once you sign up, you don’t have to worry about downloading and deleting content, managing your phone’s storage and keeping up-to-date. Your daily news, interviews, analytics and fiction will just magically be on your phone when you get on the bus and realize that you forgot about your book.
Continue Reading…

22
Sep

Distributing Public Domain Books: Should You Do It?

When US federal judge Jed Rakoff ruled against KinderGuides in August, one of the main arguments used against the company cited public domain books. Indeed, if the publisher wanted to bring classics closer to the kids, they could have chosen from millions of available books, including the works of Jane Austen, Mark Twain and Dostoevsky.

This prompted us to revisit the question of public domain.

publishing-public-domain-books
Continue Reading…

20
Sep

How to Convert Your Book to Get Accepted by Shops – Sigil for Dummies

Following the success of our last article on ebook editors, we decided to create an Ebook formatting 101 with the three most popular converters: Sigil, Calibre and Vellum. The series starts with Sigil, that being the one true professionals use and the one our team recommends for instant success – and the one we receive the most questions about. If you always wanted to try it but never dared, stay with me: I’m just as a beginner as you are.

(If you need your manuscript converted to an epub before distribution, PublishDrive can do it for you: simply save it as a .docx file, and drag & drop it to the “Content file” field.)

Sigil: The first steps

While I consider myself highly computer literate, I was always reluctant to use it: why should I switch to a code based editor to create ebooks when Calibre can do it for me with one click?

But then our in-house ebook editing superstar, Csilla convinced me to give it a go. She argued that I won’t only get clean code (about which I as a reader and writer couldn’t care less) but my books will display more consistently across devices and apps. I documented my journey, so you can follow it step by step. You can download the file I made by clicking here and use it as a template. Sigil can obviously do much more than this: I just wanted to help you get started on your journey and give a guide for using it. I’ll try to use the html editor as little as possible – it really gives me the heebie-jeebies anyway.

Continue Reading…

18
Sep

Ebook Pricing for a Foreign Market – East Asia and India

This article is the second part of our series, Ebook Pricing for a Foreign Market. You can find the first article here: it covers general rules of pricing for a foreign market and the advantages and disadvantages of territorial pricing. It also covers pricing for the Southeast Asian ebook market: Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore.

Today’s article will focus on East Asian markets (Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, China) and India.

ebook pricing for east asia
Continue Reading…

13
Sep

How to Publish Internationally – Author’s Tips

Nobody knows better how self-publishing works than our self-published authors. In our series, Self-Publishing Success Stories, we ask our authors about topics we believe they know best. In the first post, we talked about how to self-publish a cookbook with Kendall Harrison. Today, internationally acclaimed author Jean Joachim is sharing her tips and tricks with us about publishing internationally: she conquered the Italian and Spanish market. Do you agree with her about how to publish internationally? Did you have similar or different experiences? Share with us in the comments.

How did you decide to go on the Italian and Spanish market? Did you know in advance that you are going to be successful there?

One never knows in advance if he/she is going to be successful. Every new venture, big or small, is a risk. If the reward is big enough, then the risk becomes worth it.

Through the urgings of a Facebook friend, I had become curious about getting my books translated, but didn’t know where to begin. Italian translation fell into my lap. My former publisher, still a dear friend, had commissioned an Italian translation of one of her books. The translator requested other authors to work with and my friend recommended me. That’s how it began. The translator looked over my work and came to me with a request to translate one of my books.

Continue Reading…