Link of Week: University Presses

An online interview goes into the different practices of university presses versus commercial publishers and what larger publishers can learn from them.

The Huffington Post posted an interview with Peter Dougherty, the director of the Princeton University Press, about the press’s success and growth. Over a century old, the press has evolved from being a publication aimed at only the university to attaining a global reach through digital library subscriptions and e-book adaptions. Dougherty explains how university presses tend to get overlooked and considered specialized and academic-oriented, which was true in the past, but these days they all also publish more general titles as well. He adds that university presses get overlooked in traditional advertisement spaces, such as larger bookstores and news paper columns, that a lot of their revenue and reviews come from online sources, and how imperative maintaining healthy relationships with book blogs and reviewers is for publicity.

Smaller university presses, Dougherty also mentions, are forward-thinking, and their approach to creating online digital libraries that can be accessed through subscriptions is something that larger publishers should pay attention to. Princeton University Press wants to allow anyone to access a number of titles for a set-fee, both academic and otherwise, which is much different than the typical process of publishers’ charging for one book.

Other major institutions interested in the future of digital publishing that larger publishers can learn something from include Stanford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Yale University Press, and Oxford University Press. The unity of the shifting approach to include digital publishing, and how these presses are going about handling this shift, says a lot about the direction of publishing’s possible future.

Link of the Week: Social Media Book Tags

Keeping track of social media tags for books makes it easier to follow trends and interact with other people about what’s popular in publishing.

Figuring out the tags most commonly used to share books on Instagram, Twitter, or other social media platforms can open up a lot of possibilities. Whether you’re trying to keep up with what’s popular, share what you’re reading, or market up-and-coming books getting published, the right tag can make the difference between getting noticed or slipping under the radar.

#Bookstagram on Twitter and Instagram is perhaps the most widely used hashtag for sharing all things books. Given the popularity of the tag, the community of casual to heavy #bookstagram users generates plenty of online advice on how to succesfully use and navigate the tag, which has more than 10 million posts on Instagram alone.

Other lesser-used but still popular tags include bookwormbibliophileinstabooksbooktography, booknerd, bookaholic, and booklove. Finding and including niche tags to get in touch with a particular readership, such as yalit and yafiction for Young Adult books, can also be beneficial to clicking with the right audience. Using and being aware of the tags is important on sites where the right hashtag can unlock more viewers, or the right kind of audience, versus not getting noticed at all. So keep checking out tags and seeing what works for projects that trend to stay in-the-know on tag-heavy social sites!

Link of the Week: Incorporating Augmented Reality Into Books

Traditional print books and ebooks are getting technological facelifts that aim to make readers’ experiences more immersive, and publishers are only just starting to discover the possibilities.

Considering the constant advancements in technology, coding print books for e-readers is far from the end of the evolution timeline for interactive books. Established publishers are currently exploring how to use phone apps to interact with readers, such as what’s being done by Melville House‘s HybridBooks Project and Sourcebooks’ DragonHunters trilogy. These examples typically use apps as quick ways to search text in a book or to give pictures 3-D effects.

What it looks like to view the Modern Polaxis app over images in the book.

Modern Polaxis and Head and Neck Anatomy, which are both successful Kickstarters, use their apps as crucial storytelling and learning components respectively. While HybridBooks Projects and DragonHunters don’t require apps to fully appreciate or understand the material in the book, Modern Polaxis and Head and Neck Anatomy include so much information across these platforms that having just a copy of the book is having only half of the full experience.

What it looks like to read a Sensory Fiction book with all the gear needed.

There are even projects that take the blend of books and technology beyond including apps and ebooks. Sensory Fiction is one company that aims to accomplish this by using a vest and a digital e-reader to generate physical reactions (like temperature and vibrations) to complement what’s being read.

The amount of progress being made in the world of book publishing to create new and memorable reading experiences using technology feels like it’s only just beginning. There’s going to be room for exploration and growth in this area that will impact the future of publishing, whether it’s discovering new ways to incorporate technology or helping to carry-out ideas that become the norm in publishing. These changes happen so fast, it’s important to be aware of now and consider as we move forward with our publishing careers.

Link of the Week: National Library Week

“Libraries Transform” is the theme for this year’s National Library Week, which started on April 9th and will end on the 15th.

With observance led by the American Library Association (ALA), one week every April is dedicated to recognizing the importance and contributions of libraries and librarians nationwide. This week will include events such as National Library Workers Day, National Bookmobile Day, and Take Action for Libraries Day, as well as other celebrations.

To commemorate specific, timely aspects of the library industry, the theme of this year’s week is “Libraries Transform.” “Libraries Transform” is meant to draw attention to how libraries have grown throughout American history, and how they still strive to be an essential resource and hub of knowledge for the community.

Libraries around New York are posting activities to take part in, and getting involved is also easy to do to show support for the work of local libraries and librarians.

Link of the Week: National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month, which is dedicated to celebrating poetry’s impact on culture and society.

Publishers from W.W. Norton (and their poetry oriented website, Poets Out Loud) to Scholastic are amongst the many organizations participating in National Poetry Month. Helmed by the Academy of American Poets, participants are encouraged to host, participate, or attend poetry readings and similar events, share poetry and writing challenges online, get involved with poetry-based activities, and find other ways to inspire and be inspired by poems all month long.

Another way to show support during National Poetry Month is to check-out some poetry journals. Poetry journals are a great way to explore trending themes in poems and to analyze a wide variety of work from different poets, especially for someone who doesn’t know a lot about poetry. For anyone looking for longer collections, some recent must-read titles to start with are  Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong, Bestiary by Donika Kelly, Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet, and The Chaos of Longing by K.Y. Robinson.

Link of the Week: Bookwitty

Bookwitty is an online service designed to simplify readers’ discovery of books, and other book-relevant information, by providing  recommendations based on context rather than popularity.

One of many online-based resources to match new specific types of books and authors to its users, Bookwitty is a growing platform that posts books and pertinent publishing articles. A multicultural catalogue of upwards to 26 million books, Bookwitty not only matches readers with books but also sells them at discounted prices. Bookwitty also encourages social media practices by offering playlists of books, information and novel discovery pages, and other services to help and appeal to book lovers and publishers.

Link of the Week: Hootsuite

Hootsuite helps interns and/or employees who handle social media platforms stay organized and informed while managing posts across multiple channels.

Social media is crucial in publishing, and being on top of what is getting posted where and keeping track of analytics for multiple sites can be tricky to balance. Known as being one of the most reliable social media dashboards, Hootsuite is a social media manager that hosts noteworthy social media sites (such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Tumblr, YouTube and Google+) in one place to allow users to easily cycle through them without clicking between tabs, schedule and post messages to one or all platforms, track mentions of your business and related tags, and analyze traffic on all attached channels. Hootsuite is meant to make utilizing social media sites simpler while also showing areas of potential growth and weakness to get the most out of each platform.

By using Hootsuite and other social media tools, interns and employees can get a stronger handle on how to optimize their communication with followers and better operate these aspects of the business.

 

Link of the Week: HarperCollins Bots Recommend Books Through Facebook Messenger

HarperCollins has added two new AI services to Facebook Messenger, which are designed to give on-demand book recommendations.

Publishers are continuously working to find new ways to interact with readers and give recommendations online as effectively as Amazon has managed to. As the first publishers to utilize Facebook and the Facebook Messenger feature, HarperCollins has added two new bots that Facebook users can access: BookGenie and Epic Reads. BookGenie is available on HarperCollins main Facebook page and the YA-focused Epic Reads is available on their Facebook page.

It all begins with you engaging either BookGenie or Epic Reads in a Facebook Messenger conversation. From there, the bots ask questions to determine what books you may be into, starting with a book you’ve recently read and how you enjoyed it. After you stumble upon a title that looks interesting to you, the bot provides a link directly to the HarperCollins website to encourage people to buy from them.

It’s interactive, definitely, and a fun way to get to know new titles directly from the publisher. While it’s not nearly as pervasive as what Amazon does with their recommendation bars on search pages—especially since they restrict their recommendations to books published only  by HarperCollins—it’s a new way to get people to feel more connected to the HarperCollins brand and have fun while doing it.

Link of the Week: Women’s National History Month

The official site for Women’s National History Month is documenting all the major American institutions that are taking part in “commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history” this March.

The Library of Congress and National Archives and Records Administration are just two of the many noteworthy organizations that are participating in Women’s National History Month. The official site for Women’s National History Month is a great jumping-off point to finding out what is being done to honor women in American history.

The literary and publishing achievements of women are also being recognized outside of government-funded establishments. Big publishers like Penguin Random House are featuring a reading challenge of books written exclusively by women. The New York Public Library is also dedicating this month to sharing everything from digital collections of published works by and about women to posts about notable leading ladies in books. These sources are all good to look into for getting into celebrating a month of the importance and strength of women.

Link of the Week: NYC Wix Lounge

 The Wix Lounge in New York City is a membership-based program that offers space to hosts events, exhibits, and collaborations, as well as workshops, online website assistance, and other support for professionals in young, growing businesses.

The Wix Lounge caters to individuals and groups who need space to work or guidance to incorporate technology into their marketing plans. While useful for smaller visions, Wix has about 90 million users worldwide and operating out of 190 countries, allowing them a firsthand understanding of global outreach to better assist larger projects. Though they do emphasize providing in-person workspace access in Manhattan, Wix also gives members access to website building that doesn’t rely on a knowledge of coding and help with how to lay it out. This is a great company for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and free-lancers to consider signing up for because of the amount of services and aid that Wix gives to members.