Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Apple Promotes Indies, Big Six Promotes Big Six

Stephen Blackmoore, Christa Faust, and Russel D. McLean
at The Mystery Bookstore, LA, 2010.
By Steve Weddle

Some interesting developments this week in terms of book sales.

First, Stephen Blackmoore's DEAD THINGS dropped yesterday. I haven't received this one yet, though his CITY OF THE LOST (my review here) was one of my favorites.

One of the two big INDUSTRY NEWS briefs arrived in the DSD inbox in press release form.

Today we are thrilled to announce that Bookish, a LLC founded by Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster and Penguin Group, has officially launched with big exclusives from major authors, including Michael Connely, Michael Kortya & Harlan Coben. 
Bookish is an all-in-one book resource powered by book experts. By leveraging its deep knowledge, Bookish delivers a dynamic discovery platform with original content, a rich catalog of book and author information and a unique recommendation tool. ...
Celebrated authors, personalities, and public figures will be at the center of interviews, articles, opinion pieces and more throughout the weeks following launch, including [list of authors].

Authors with Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster and Penguin Group should be thrilled. (By the way, Stephen Blackmoore is a Penguin author, so there you go.)

And fans of these authors will be pleased to find yet another outlet in which you can find more news about the authors, including interviews with the authors and excerpts.

The press release is meant to spread the word, which it has done. Word is out. When half of the Big Six get together to promote their authors, it's news. The press release isn't meant to be poked at. For example, when the release says "Bookish is an all-in-one book resource powered by book experts," you're meant to just take that information. You're not meant to envision a basement of nerds, pedaling away to keep the web servers up. You're not meant to say, "Well, this is better than all those other book resources powered by furniture experts."

Three other ADDED FEATURES of the new Bookish site:

Robust book and author pages (Presumably these will have author photos, so now we can learn what authors look like. Also, maybe they'll have a list of other works by the authors. How exciting.)

First chapter previews (So instead of downloading samples to your Kindle and then buying, now you can read them on your computer screen.)

Convenient commerce options (Finally, you'll be able to purchase books!)

Big publishers getting together to market big books from their authors? As some idiot said on Twitter, this is as if 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros, and Sony joined forces to make entertainment suggestions, share trailers.

All kidding aside, this seems cool. The more publicity Michael Connely, Michael Kortya, and Harlan Coben can get, the better for them. They're some of my favorite white, male authors. Also, they seem like very nice people.

AND the iPod people are promoting independent authors. According to the payWall Street Journal, Apple's computer screen bookstore is adding a page for self-published authors.

The New York Times also had a rather silly piece about it.
Yet another sign that self-publishing is making inroads into the traditional houses: On Tuesday Apple will include a feature that organizes a group of popular self-published e-books together and then gives them prominent display on iBookstore.
Woohoo. Self-publishing is "making inroads." Neato. Pretty soon we'll be doing math on our watches and watching porn on our cellphones. This new technology is awesome. Have you heard about this Hulu that the kids are doing?

Of course, when people report -- with a straight face -- that Barnes and Noble has a plan for which bookstores it will be closing in 2020, I guess you can't expect much. (Hint: Ask Barnes and Noble which bookstores will be open in 2019? k thx)

Here's the thing: Big Six is publicizing Big Six books. Or three. Apple now has a section for promoting books that aren't Big Six. Breakout novels.

How cool would it be if we had a place where all the books could live together? Where you could choose books based on THE BOOK and not whether it was self-published or Big Six published? How neat would it be if stores were able to stay open by selling books instead of focusing on coffee and Michael Buble CDs? I'm not generally nostalgic, but I miss the good old days of 2012.


Anonymous said...

More book promotion. YAY!

EA said...

Thanks for letting us know what the old guard are up to. Now, if you could only let them know what we're up to.

Nick said...

This system is broken.