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198 billion Euros the cost of GDPR for the European companies, Intrum report says

The annual European Payment Report 2018 (EPR) by Intrum shows that 27 percent of all businesses in Europe state that they have not heard of GDPR. The survey conducted between January 24 and March 23, 2018.

According to an Intrum report released on 21 May 2018, to many, it will be even more staggering to note that every eight (12%) large corporation, defined as companies with more than 250 employees, said that they have never heard of GDPR. The businesses with the least knowledge of GDPR are based in Greece, 69 percent), Bosnia and Hercegovina (67 percent), Slovenia (62 percent), Norway (51 percent) and Lithuania (49 percent). In Denmark, only 2 percent of the businesses state that they did not know about GDPR, followed by Czech Republic (6 percent), Sweden (9 percent), Portugal (11 percent) and Austria (12 percent).

The report says that the average cost for implementing the mandatory GDPR ranges between at 8,000 Euro for SMEs and 65,000 Euro for large corporations, according to 3,717 companies surveyed in the EPR 2018. Intrum will present the full EPR 2018 in 29 European countries on May 28. That gives an assumed total cost of 198 billion Euros for the 26 million businesses in the European Union, based on data from Eurostat.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is designed and decided by the EU and is mandatory for all companies handling data concerning EU citizens. All companies and organisations must comply with the GDPR by May 25, 2018.

When asked about the impact of GDPR on payment routine, 27 percent of the responding businesses said that they had “never heard of GDPR”.

“At Intrum we have more than 50 000 contacts with private consumers or businesses on a daily basis and to manage personal data and be compliant with existing regulations is a prerequisite for us to run our business. We already have a strong track record of protecting the data that we handle, having worked on these issues for many years and complying with local data privacy rules. The GDPR paves the way for common rules across the EU and the consequences of not complying will be far-reaching. Therefore it is somewhat surprising that a large share of European businesses still is unaware of the regulation at this point”, says Lina Rollby Claesson, Group Compliance Officer at Intrum.

Intrum is the industry-leading provider of Credit Management Services with a presence in 24 markets in Europe. Intrum helps companies prosper by offering solutions designed to improve cash flows and long-term profitability and by caring for their customers. To ensure that individuals and companies get the support they need to become free from debt is a critical part of the company’s mission. Intrum has more than 8,000 dedicated and empathetic professionals who serve around 80,000 companies across Europe. In 2017, Pro-forma revenues amounted to SEK 12.2 billion. Intrum is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden and the Intrum share is listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange.

Source: intrum.com

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How publishers can utilise artificial intelligence (AI) - bookmachine.org

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 can AI do for publishers, and is there anything publishers can do for AI?

Read the original article.

Reflowable Vs. Fixed-Layout eBooks

Image: Stergiou Books Limited

(UK - 30 April 2018) The difference in textbooks is not so significant.

There are two main formats in eBook editions: standard/reflowable and fixed-layout or print replica.

Briefly, a reflowable eBook cannot replicate your print edition design. This can be supported by fixed-layout eBooks only.

• Fixed-layout: It supports enhanced layout and book feel, and the look. However, it may be not supported by old devices or accepted by all retailers and distributors. They are supported by Amazon (KPF files) and Apple/iTunes (ePub 3). Amazon calls this format “Print Replica” and indicates on each product page a list of compatible devices. It is recommended for books with complex layouts, illustrations, images, or interactive elements (e.g., children or comic books, cookbooks, architecture books, etc.).

Recommended input files for fixed-layout ebook production: Word, txt, rtf, odt, pages, PDF, InDesign.

Commonest output formats: ePub, KPF.

Compatible devices (according to Amazon):

Kindle Fire Tablets

Kindle Fire HD

Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9''

Kindle Fire HDX

Kindle Fire (3rd Generation)

Fire HDX 8.9 Tablet

Fire HD 7 Tablet

Fire HD 6 Tablet

Fire HD 10

Fire HD 8

Fire

Free Kindle Reading Apps

Kindle for Android

Kindle for Android Tablets

Kindle for iPhone

Kindle for iPod Touch

Kindle for iPad

Kindle for Mac

Kindle for PC

• Standard/Reflowable: Fully functional eBooks and compatible with all devices and platforms; relatively poor layout (usually no headers, no wrapped text around images, no backgrounds, etc.). It is recommended for textbooks such as novels.

Recommended input files for standard ebook production: Word, txt, rtf, odt, pages.

Commonest output formats: ePub, Mobi.

___

Sources

  1. http://idpf.org

  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflowable_document [A reflowable document is a type of electronic document that can adapt its presentation to the output device. Typical prepress or fixed page size output formats like PostScript or PDF are not reflowable]

  3. http://acepub.com/fixed-layout-vs-reflowable-ebook-which-format-is-right-for-me/

  4. https://www.edrlab.org/epub/reflowable-vs-fixed-layout/

  5. https://pressbooks.com/blog/ebook-formatting-answers-reflowable-vs-fixed-layout-ebooks/

  6. Amazon.com

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The Difference Between Self-publishing and Traditional Publishing

Comparing costs, advantages, disadvantages, and author's earnings.

Self-publishing gives you the ability to be the publisher of your work (book, ebook, audiobook, magazine, et.c.).

The advantage of self-publishing is that you have the total control of your publication and do not share the sales income with your publisher. However, you bear the cost of production (design, formatting, editing, printing, and distribution). Putting together all of these costs, a self-publisher takes up to 20% - 30% of the retail price of the book in the best case.

If you decide to publish your book with a publisher, the royalties would be approximately 10-15% of the retail price or a percentage (around 30%-40% at the most) of the net publisher’s receipt. For bestselling authors, or in cases of good sales in the past, the publishers may pay advance royalties to the author. In other cases, the publisher may start paying royalties after an agreed amount of sold items (e.g. over 1,000 items). This means that the author does not receive any royalties until the 1,001st sale. All of these details are included in the publishing agreement.

A self-publisher should pre-pay publishing services such as design, editing, etc. Next, he must decide between offset printing or print-on-demand service. The cost per printed item with an offset printer is usually more cost-effective than a print-on-demand service. However, offset printing is worth its weight if you place a huge order (e.g., over 500 or 1,000 items). Then, another cost arises: stock and distribution.

Stergiou aims to converge the advantages of self-publishing with the quality, standards and the consultations of traditional publishing at affordable prices.

COMPARING COSTS

The cost per printed item is higher with print-on-demand services. On the other hand, you do not need to retain a stock or deal with the distribution to retailers and the delivery of your book to your customers.

Here is an example of a cost breakdown for a self-publisher who intends to publish a paperback book of 180 pages, full color, white photo paper, and size 6.14x9.21 inches.

  1. Production (design, formatting): £200

  2. Cover page (custom design): £150

  3. Editing (assume 81,1000 words): £220

Subtotal: £570

EXAMPLE: PRINTING AND DELIVERY COSTS

Printing alternatives for 300 items

  • Offset: £2,493 (unit price: £8.50)

  • Print-on-demand (high-quality paper): £3,067.25 (unit price: £10.21)

Delivery cost: £56 to £400 (depending on destination). The example assumes deliveries to Europe and the US.

Thus, the unit cost ranges between £10.40 and £13.46. This cost does not include the cost of a warehouse for the stock and marketing cost.

AUTHOR'S EARNINGS

If the retail price is £15, the net income for the author will be £4.6 to £1.54 (44.23% to 10.27%) per sold item.

Print-on-demand and distribution/delivery costs result in the difference between a margin of 44% and 10%. Now, if we take into account other costs such as marketing, the profit of 10% (print-on-demand) may disappear. The same for the margin of 44%. If we take into consideration marketing, warehouse and distribution (logistics) costs, this profit may reduce by 50% or more.

Artificial Intelligence and its Use Cases in Publishing - rave-tech.com

Everybody is talking about Artificial Intelligence (AI) right from Google, Facebook, Amazon to small companies. There are many tech startups trying to solve industry challenges through AI solutions. Most of these companies are acquired by the big companies to scale up their AI capabilities and use the solutions to solve their own challenges or innovate new products.

Continue to the original source

Image: geralt / Pixabay.com

Artificial intelligence and the art of reader-driven publishing – 7wdate.be

In April, data-driven publisher Inkitt announced that it is partnering with Tor Books to release the first novel selected by an algorithm for publishing. Here, Inkitt’s founder and c.e.o Ali Alibazaz explains why he believes that AI is reaching a tipping point in the industry – but not in the way you might think.

Original post for more

Image: pixabay.com

Image: © 1588877 / Pixabay.com

On that 80% Accuracy in Predicting the Next NYTimes Best-Seller | The Digital Reader

By Andrew Rhomberg, founder of Jellybooks The upcoming book The Bestseller Code?

Anatomy of the Blockbuster Novel is getting a great deal of buzz.

Can one genuinely predict what kind of book will become a NYTimes best-seller?

The promise of a formula for predicting a best-seller is getting many in the publishing industry and those who write about books excited. Several journalists contacted me for an opinion about the book because of my background in pub tech and reader analytics.

Thus I became interested in reading the book and the book’s publisher St. Martin’s Press was kind enough to provide me with an advance reader copy last week.

First of all this is a delightful book to read. I would recommend it as both an entertaining and educational read for anybody interested in the business of books. This is not a magisterial work like “Merchants of Culture” by J. Thompson, but a book written for the mass market with lots of anecdotes and examples that readers and authors can relate to. It is a book for a general audience and avoids as far as possible jargon and “academic” language. The “code” is based on some of the latest advances in […]

Source: Guest Post: On that 80% Accuracy in Predicting the Next NYTimes Best-Seller | The Digital Reader

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Artificial intelligence and the art of reader-driven publishing | The Bookseller

AI is reaching a tipping point in the industry – but not in the way you might think.

Source: Artificial intelligence and the art of reader-driven publishing | The Bookseller

Images: © Vangelis Paterakis / Stergiou Limited - Stergiou Books Limited

Mmm!... Delicious

Every March 25 (National Holiday) in Greece, we cook cod with skordalia (garlic dip).

Who said it is difficult to make cod with garlic? Break the cod into bite-sized pieces and nobody will be able to stop eating...

Are you ready to taste a Greek traditional plate? It’s very simple. Our world awarded Greek chef Eirini Togia (“Rena tis Ftelias”) presents this recipe. It serves 4-5 persons. The preparation time for cooking is 45-60 minutes.

INGREDIENTS

1000-1200g salted cod, oil for the frying, 1 water glass of beer, 1 water glass & 2 tbsp self-raising flour, a little paprika, 1 garlic, 1.5kg potatoes boiled and peeled, 2.5 teacups of oil, half a teacup of vinegar, half a teacup of lemon juice, salt and pepper.

METHOD

Cut the cod into pieces, strip its skin off and put it in a large bowl of water to desalt it. Leave it in the bowl for about 12 hours and make sure you change the water four to five times. Drain it well and remove its bones.

In another bowl, mix beer with flour and add the sweet paprika along with a little bit of pepper. Mix the ingredients well to make a batter. In a pan, add the oil and, when hot, dip the codpieces one by one in the batter and fry.

Prepare the skordalia dip separately. Peel the garlic cloves and crush them well in a mortar until melted. Scoop out the garlic into a mixing bowl and add the potatoes one by one by melting them and adding oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper alternately. The skordalia dip must become like a paste. Serve the cod hot with a tablespoon of skordalia dip.

Classics, well written, newly published, and movie-tied books hit record sales last week

George Orwell’s classic, 1984, remains a top best-selling book, having sold 34,790 copies in the week leading to February 9, 2017.

1984 is ranked sixth on Amazon’s best sellers and first in the categories Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, and Science Fiction & Fantasy. According to Amazon’s description, “written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, his dystopian vision of a government that will do anything to control the narrative is timelier than ever."

The statistic illustrates the top ten best-selling books in the United States in the week February 3 to February 9, 2017. Danielle Steel's, The Apartment (January 17, 2017), ranked fourth on the list, having sold 19.36 thousand copies in the week leading to February 9, 2017. "This vibrant, tender, and moving tale pulses with the excitement of New York City, as Danielle Steel explores twists of fate and the way that sometimes, in special places, friends can be the family we need most," the New York Times said.

In the second position, we see the number one New York Times bestseller Hidden Figures (film tie-in) by Argot Lee Shetterly. “The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA at the leading edge of the feminist and civil rights movement, whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space—a powerful, revelatory contribution that is as essential to our understanding of race, discrimination, and achievement in modern America, as Between the World and Me and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner,” the New York Times wrote.

The novel, A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman is ranked third on the list. The book is also a New York Times bestseller and was published in 2015.

The fifth position sees the number one New York Time bestseller, A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans, by W. Bruce Cameron, published on December 6, 2016. Bailey's story continues in A Dog's Journey, the charming New York Times and the USA Today bestselling sequel to A Dog's Purpose.

Image: © Andres Rodrigues | Dreamstime.com

Growth for educational and professional eBooks

The invoiced value of reported digital sales rose 3% in the first 4 months of 2015 vs 2014, to £126m, according to The Publishers Association Sales Monitor.

The figures saw a growth for educational/professional titles (up 9% to £45m), but sales of consumer titles level (at £81m).

According to the report, in the consumer sector, a 5% value increase for fiction contrasted with a 7% drop in digital sales of adult non‐fiction, and a 24% decrease for children’s titles. The increase in digital sales of educational/professional titles reflected double-digit increases in the school and STM sectors, and single digit growth for social sciences/humanities and ELT.

Note that digital book products are defined here as including e‐books, audiobook downloads, downloads of all/part of books, subscriptions/access to online book publications, and any other wholly digital material delivered online or via CD‐Rom.

January‐April 2015 over 2014 saw a 1% decrease in the invoiced value of reported sales of consumer ebooks, which fell from £79m to £78m. In contrast, the reported value of consumer audiobook downloads rose by 21% to £3m.

Outside the consumer market, the reported value of ebook sales rose 5% to £21m, while the value of online subscriptions/access increased by 11% to 17m. An additional £6m worth of educational/professional revenue came from digital sales in other or unspecified formats.

The UK Publishers Association (PA) has been running the PA Sales Monitor (PASM) since 2000, collecting data on UK publisher sales of books from distributors and large publishers, on a monthly or quarterly basis, to allow it to measure the performance of the industry over time.

In total, data from companies estimated to represent c65% of total UK publisher digital sales are included in the analysis. It should be emphasized that the data provided in this document show patterns and trends in sales only for participating companies. Data collected, analyzed & compiled by Nielsen Book Research.

Image: © Dawn Hudson | Dreamstime.com

Mistakes That Costs Your Sales

There’s way more to creating a wonderfully captivating book than just writing it.

With the increase in self-publishers and a high number of books available for free online and across eBook platforms, the competition is higher than ever. If you want to avoid making common mistakes that can hinder the sales of your book, read on to find out more.

WRITING FOR THE WRONG REASONS

One of the most common reasons that a book fails is because the author has written it purely to make money. These types of books are instantly obvious as there’s a lack of passion and input in it. Often, these kinds of books are self-published or only just make it onto the market and don’t sell much.

If you’re stuck for ideas but know that you want to write a book, make a list of all the things you’re interested in and make you happy or feel emotion. Work your way through the list and decide on what you think you could honestly write about.

NOT HIRING A PROFESSIONAL COPY EDITOR

It doesn’t matter how many times you read your book, there will be mistakes that you’ve overlooked. Yes, you can ask friends or family members to read over it to spot any obvious errors, but they won’t find anywhere near as many as a professional copy editor will. Don’t avoid paying for someone to do it because you think the price is too much. Essentially, people will be put off your book if there are a number of obvious errors.

DESIGNING YOUR OWN COVER

The cover of your book is one of the most important marketing pieces, so hiring a reputable and professional designer is money well spent. Shop around for a designer that jumps out to you.

USING WRONG WORD PROCESSOR

No other word processor has the paragraph capability of Word. It’s also a universal processor that’s used by individuals all over the world. This means that it’s easier for any proofreaders, editors, and publishers to read and edit your document. Thus, use Word or another word processor that is compatible with Word (Apple's pages, google docs, etc).

DEPENDING SOLELY ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND WORD OF MOUTH

There are various forms of online marketing tools out there that can help you promote your book. For example, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are powerful and inexpensive methods. However, old-fashioned PR is still necessary. Spending a little extra on a marketing campaign may seem like an expense but it’s definitely worth it.

NOT HAVING A PLAN B… AND C

Having only one plan is not a good idea. There should be at least three plans to getting your book published. There is no right and wrong when it comes to publishing. There is only a way in which works for you, so be as flexible as possible.

• Plan A is to find a traditional publisher.

• Plan B is to self-publish.

• Plan C is to implement Plan B in order to attract a traditional publisher and reinstate Plan A.

Image: © Dawn Hudson | Dreamstime.com

Image: pixabay.com

Could a computer predict the next blockbuster bestseller?

Scientists claim to have written an algorithm that can predict bestsellers. Lewis Jones isn’t so sure.

In his entertaining Bestsellers: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2007), the indefatigable John Sutherland concluded that “to look for significant patterns, trends or symmetries” among bestsellers “is, if not pointless, baffling”.

Source: Could a computer predict the next blockbuster bestseller?

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How to profit from your books

There are many free eBooks out there. Just download them and start reading. But, how discouraging if you are looking for a way to make money as an author, editor or agent.


Free eBooks are meant to draw attention to a specific issue and get people interested in specific organizations or companies. Free eBooks are also a kind of marketing. Perhaps people will buy more after you read up on a specific service or item.


But, what if you're an author and you want a book - any type of book - to turn a good profit for you. Actually, it's not a problem, given that you have readers that are willing to pay for your book. In fact, it's just as easy - perhaps easier - to charge buyers/readers for eBooks as for printed copies.


Today it's common also to self-publish and raise the chances of making money for yourself. Self-publishing has opened the way for many interesting ways that you can use to promote, sell and distribute your book - and you're making all the decisions about content and the price and business yourself.


Remember - you can earn more if you self-publish.

You may believe that it's safer to have a normal contract with a publisher like Stergiou and get paid a royalty fee for every book they sell. Publishers have after all already a lot an experience (perhaps even of distributing books in your specific field) and they have contacts and agreements ready to use with book stores - both physical stores and online book stores.


Self-publishing, however, can pay better. When you self-publish you have to pay more initially and take care of all preparations yourself. You have to prepare the manuscript and book cover design, take care of printing (perhaps use Print-on-Demand to keep the cost down) and marketing.


You may want to hire someone to edit and make the layout. Why not Stergiou? There are eBook readers that require specific layout and you need to know how to prepare your book for this and for reading on tablet computers.


But, when readers pay for the book - they pay to you and you can keep all the profit. Think about it, you can - under the right conditions - make more money from self-publishing than from a traditional contract with a publisher.


Find out more. Try browsing for eBooks on online book stores or search for the price of printed copies. Try different scenarios where you make some guessing about the price you would like your book to have and the costs you will have to write, prepare and distribute it. Perhaps you can have a business plan ready in no time.

Everyone can't be as successful as our most famous authors - but everyone can try self-publishing. Good luck!

Image: © Wavebreakmedia Ltd | Dreamstime.com

Work with a professional editor

One of the men from the book publishing industry in the US who has had an influence on writing and beginning authors in the last years is editor Gerald Gross - who unfortunately passed away last year. However, it's still possible to pick up from his wisdom.

In an edition of Editors on Editing from Grove Press in New York, he summarized a lifetime of editing experience. The book also contains a large number of essays by other American editors on different editing topics.

Isn't editing exactly the thing that an author would leave out if he's walking the self-publishing way? It can be, but it's also possible to hire and work with an editor - perhaps a freelance editor who has time to go through your manuscript and discuss it with you. Some people would highly recommend it. Gross was one. It can, in fact, be the first contact you make with the publishing industry and (besides the help with the fact checking and revisions) may turn out to be a good contact in the self-publishing world.

Ask the editor if he has self-published a book himself or worked with other self-publishing authors. There are many examples of writers (at least in the English-speaking world) who both self-publish books and edit books and manuscripts for other writers. There are also examples of writers who swap manuscripts with each other in order to help each other out.

Editors are as self-conscious about their profession as writers are. They are proud of their skills. You may want to find one that's happy to help you or one that has skills in your book's area. It's certainly different to work with someone who has only general skills on the topic that your book is about - or one who knows the area well. The interesting thing is that both the one with a general knowledge and the one who knows a lot could add much to your book and your self-publishing experience. Because, the most important thing could, in fact, turn out to be how well they know the market and the publishing industry - and what you can learn from the editor.

The main problems when you want to self-publish is to see your book through the readers' eyes. Isn't it? That's exactly where a professional editor can help. Another thing is how to organize the book (chapter by chapter), put a tile on it, have it printed (or should it be printed at all in this era of digital tools such as e-readers), distributed and sold. How will you market the book? How will you price it and in what way will you sell it? Self-publishing on Amazon Kindle is a trendy thing to do at least in the English-speaking world. And Kindle is a e-reading tool that many both readers and writers like.

But, how will you find one? Many editors advertise their services on the Internet. You can also check if there's a writer's conference to go to in the city where you live and make your first contacts there. Perhaps you can ask at your local library if they know of a writers' conference.

Gross - who summarized 30 years of experiences - wrote that editors and authors can work together symbiotically. When he first started his editing career many agents complained that editors edited too much. Today, he wrote, editors care and know enough about shaping the theme and content of a book to make it the best possible expression of the writer's intent and art.

There are many creative, technical and empowering ways in which an editor can work with a writer - published or a beginner.

© Tashatuvango | Adobe Stock

Marketing tips for your book

There's a lot to do to market a book. Here are a list of simple ways you can use.

Write blog posts: You can look into the possibility of guest blogging. Find blogs that other people have started and ask if they would like you to write a few blog posts for them. At the end of each article you can write a short bio on yourself where you mention the book.

Appear at at book fair: Find out if there's a suitable book fair and try to sell some books there. Perhaps you find people there who are not just interested in buying a personal copy of your book, but also are willing to promote the book for you.

Contact local media and ask the if they can interview you about the book. A lot of their readers, viewers or listeners may be interested in fiction - and if your book is about a burning topic, they will very likely ask you to come and talk to them. If it's a newspaper, perhaps you can place an ad with them too.

Create a yearly event that has to do with the content of your book. Find out if you can arrange something together with other writers who work on the same topic.

Get work as a speaker: Find out if anyone is interested in having you as a guest where you speak about your book. Bring a few copies and try to sell them.

Send out e-mail: While you're researching for your book you're very likely to interview people and get in contact with others who would be interested in reading your book. Save the names and addresses and when the book is finished you can send them an e-mail to let them know.

Sign books: Book signing is a well known type of event that's often held at the bookstore where they market your book. Ask the book store what they do in order to arrange book signings. Let them know that you're interested in coming for an event. They will probably ask you to speak about the book and then give buyers the opportunity to have their copies signed.

Meet with a book reading group: Find out if there are book reading groups that would be interested in having you come to one of their meetings. The members are usually interested in the authors of the books that that they read - and perhaps authors in general. They want to know why you wrote the book and what it's about. Pick out a section of the text and send it to them in advance.

Start Social Media on your book: When people ask you about your book, you can send them there to pick up information. You can also work on other social media and let people know that they can reach you there, such as on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc.

Alas, you will find out that everyone is interested in an author - in You. However, you need to share your story and your experience. Talk people and interact with them.

© Robert Kneschke | Dreamstime.com

The Rapid Growth of the Audiobook

While it’s been announced that eBook sales have continued to rise over the past few years, another trend that shows no signs of stopping in the near future is the audiobook.

With so many genres voiced by various actors (including Kate Winslet, Colin Firth, and many other well-known famous people), the audiobook provides the listener with an easy to understand format that can be used on the go.

How Big is the Audiobook Market?

A recent consumer survey revealed that audiobooks have exponentially grown with 46% of survey respondents having listened to audiobooks. This is compared to the 2010 findings whereby 37% claimed to listen to audiobooks, and 24% in the previous year. The audiobook industry is now claimed to be worth over a breathtaking £40m with Audible reporting sales of £29m last year alone.

Who’s Listening to Audiobooks?

Studies have found that audiobooks tend to appeal to well-educated and affluent adults of various age groups. It’s been found that those who listen to audiobooks channel their time into reading print books and taking part in activities rather than watching TV.

The average age of someone who listens to an audiobook is 51. However, those that are slightly older tend to prefer hard copies of the audiobook while those between 18 and 30 prefer downloadable audiobooks.

Where Do They Listen?

Three of the top reasons that people enjoy listening to audiobooks are:

• They can be listened to in the car

• They are portable (you can download directly to your phone)

• They help individuals to multitask (often it’s soothing to have calm noise in the background).

Audiobook listeners are quick to admire the convenience and ease of the format, especially during car travel. Many find them to be the perfect entertainment during a long trip. Surveys reveal that the CD format continues to be popular when it comes to audiobooks.

Key Challenge

One of the biggest challenges that audiobook publishers and distributors face is finding new listeners out with the book reading population. However, essentially, those who use audiobooks are the same users of eBooks or print books; they’re simply using a different format to take in the information.

Moving Forward

Audiobooks do have two things in their favor when it comes to gaining further fans from out with the book world. The first is podcasts. These allow anyone and everyone to access radio shows, discussions and other forms of audio and download them for consumption.

The second is how fast audio technology is developing and growing. Before long, more and more readers will be turning to audiobooks as an easier way to ingest the story – through listening.

With the fast paced lifestyles that many people have these days, it’s no wonder that audiobook sales continue to rise. For many, it’s a question of why take unnecessary time to read a book when you can listen to it while driving to work or walking the dog?

Image: © Halfpoint | Adobe Stock

5 Ways to Boost Your Sales

Have you written your novel but struggling to sell it? We’ve put together 5 fool proof ways in which you can successfully boost the sales of your book. If your book hasn’t yet been published, keep these tips to hand for when it’s finally released.

1. TRY AND GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME

When it comes to your book, it’s so important to get it right the first time. In terms of proofing, you may want to consider paying a professional proofreader to read over the book in order to pick up any last minute edits. Otherwise, give the draft to friends or family to look over and ask them to provide feedback.

In addition, ensure that the formatting is up to scratch. Again, you can pay a professional typesetter to do this for you. Or, if you use a publishing house, there will be someone who can do this for you. If your book has already been published and you haven’t made these all-important checks, do so. It may be costly to edit and reformat the book you’ve written, but you’ll make the money back in no time if it’s professional and presented to a high standard.

2. CREATE A COVER THAT GRABS ATTENTION

Stop people in their tracks by creating a cover that grabs attention. It’s really important that your cover is bold and professional. Hire a professional designer who has a large portfolio and has worked on a range of design projects. Don’t skimp on this part of your book as it’s essentially what will encourage people to buy.

Even if you think you’re good at designing, take a seat back and pass the work off onto a professional so you can focus on other areas such as promotion and sales.

3. SHOWCASE YOURSELF

Your book should include a professional bio that engages readers and draws them to your book. Write compelling copy that shines a little insight on you and why you’ve written the book. Adding a photo of you smiling and happy is also a great angle.

4. PROMOTE YOURSELF

Throughout the entire writing and publishing process, you should have continued to promote yourself. This includes making important contacts, mingling with your audience and reading excerpts at local functions or parties. You should also look into advertising your book.

If you’re using a publishing company to release your book and boost sales, they’ll be able to help you with all your promotional needs. At Stergiou, we offer a range of services to help you create, publish and promote your book. Get in touch to find out more.

5. GET LEGITIMATE REVIEWS

Ask friends, family members and professionals to read and review your book on sites such as Amazon. The more reviews your book has, the bigger the buzz around it there will be. Send the finished book to people who you would like to read it and ask for their honest feedback, providing information on where they can leave a review.

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How to Market Your Book

If you’ve written a book, or are in the process of writing one, and are struggling to reach your audience, there are a number of steps you can take to help you increase your book sales.

Let’s have a look at what you should be doing to effectively market your book.

Start the Promotion of Your Book Early

One of the most important steps of marketing your book is to begin the process before you’ve even written it. If you have an idea in mind and you know want to have your work published, reach out to a network of supporters and reviewers and make a note of who shows enthusiasm for your writing. Keep in touch with these individuals as the project evolves in order to keep them updated and in the background for when you’ve completed your book.

Plan out significant events such as the signing of your book contract, the completion of your manuscript or the arrival or the finished book and consider holding celebratory parties or gatherings to get as many people talking as possible.

Build an Engaging Website

Eventually, you’ll need a website in order to entice and attract your audience. This online space can be used to tell the world a little bit about yourself, your book and promote your work. Your site should include excerpts from your book, a link to the Amazon page where your book is sold (if already on the market), book reviews and blurbs and your schedule of appearances, signings and speaking engagements. Don’t forget to include your contact information!

Start a Blog

If you don’t already have one, start a blog or an online space where you can write interesting and stimulating posts that are relevant to your book or aspects of it. By creating an online blog, you’re inviting your audience to get to know your subject matter in advance, which in turn, can increase sales.

Even if your book has already been released, you can create a blog in order to spread the word of what it’s all about.

Create a Media Kit

A media kit is a very important tool in the marketing of your book. For a start, you should get professionally printed business cards that feature an image of your book on them. Business cards are an investment so should not be printed out manually. Instead, enlist in the help of a professional designer and printer. You should also have a headshot that’s been taken by a professional photographer.

Whether you want to only include it in your book or on your website too, as a writer, you’ll want to craft a unique biography to tell your audience why you are qualified to have written this particular book.

Create at Least Three Book Pitch’s

It may sound excessive, but you should consider writing, at least, three book pitches; 10 seconds, 30 seconds, and 60 seconds. This means that when someone asks you what your book is about, you’ll be prepared with your answer, regardless of the setting!

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What Genre of Publication Sells Most?

When it comes to reading, there are so many different genres out there – some much more successful than others.

You’ll probably find that even you have a favourite genre that you tend to not move away from. To find out more, we’ve put together the top 5 most popular genres on the market today.

1. ROMANCE AND EROTICA

With releases such as the Fifty Shades of Grey books, erotica and romance book sales are at an all-time high. However, the genre is more popular in eBook purchases as people tend to be too shy to purchase the books in print.

But before E.L James hit the scene, there was Danielle Steel who to this day, is worth millions due to her very successful romance and erotica novels. When it comes to writing romance books, there’s a lot of methodology behind it; certain storylines need to be featured in order to draw in the same audience time and time again.

2. CRIME AND MYSTERY

The most successful crime and mystery novels feature a protagonist that the readers connect with and root for throughout the book. For example, readers grow to become the Watson, working alongside Sherlock, analysing every clue before moving to the next case. Crime is an interesting genre as it’s an easy way into the mind of a villain or bad person.

3. RELIGIOUS AND INSPIRATIONAL

With the Bible being one of the biggest selling books around the globe, it’s no surprise that religious and inspirational books rank as number 3 in our list of the most popular genres.

Motivational and inspirational books have been on the rise since the early 90s with authors such as Deepak Chopra, the late Wayne Dyer and Paul McKenna releasing a number of books to improve the lifestyles of many.

4. SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY

Both the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings series’ have been hugely popular, and since the release of their films, their popularity has grown. This genre is a huge example of a money spinner with authors such as J.K Rowling and Suzanne Collins topping the ‘World’s Richest’ lists.

Fantasies are commonly written in sagas which have a lot to do with this genre’s popularity – always drawing the audience back for more. The science fiction and fantasy audiences love to stay with the characters for as long as possible.

5. HORROR

With Stephen King worth millions of pounds and topping many rich lists, it’s clear that horror is a very popular genre. Dean Koontz isn’t far behind with fans remaining faithful to their favourite authors. Both writers are excellent examples of prolific writers, having each released over 50 novels throughout their career. King is best known for his The Shining, Salem’s Lot, and It and roughly releases a new novel every year.

Horror explores shocking subjects, often incorporating romance, fantasy and action along the way. However, many readers don’t have the stomach for horror or simply aren’t brave enough which is why it comes in at number 5 on our top genres list.

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Benefits of self-publishing over traditional publishing

These days, modern ways of publishing a book offer writers and authors various opportunities and options that were not available before. Innovations in the publishing industry, like e-book publishing and print-on-demand services, are allowing writers and authors who were never able to show interest or trust traditional publishers to publish their own publications using web-based platforms.

Traditional publishing and self-publishing each have their own pros and cons, which authors should consider before deciding which way of publishing will work better for them, depending on their needs, goals and costs.

Advantages of self-publishing:

  1. Publication speed: Self-published books are easy to get into the market within a few months, whereas printed books with traditional service providers can take years to reach their target markets. E-books are fastest of all, with the complete process taking just a few weeks. This does not mean that harms the quality if you have prepared properly and cooperated with experienced self-publishing services or advisor.

  2. Author control: With self-publishing, authors retain full control over the planning, execution, and publication of the book in the market. Book formats, cover designs, and other such decisions are made by the author.

  3. Retention of rights: All rights of the work being published using self-publishing belong to the author, meaning the author can do whatever he or she wants to do with the book at any time, instead of having constraints set by a publishing house.

  4. Online marketing: It is seen that the number of internet users is doubling every year. With growth like this, book marketing is very easy, compared to traditional publishing.

  5. No excess inventory: Print-on-demand systems in today’s publishing world are allowing self-publishing authors to save money and energy to stock books as done by traditional publishers.

Book publishing has changed to a great extent in the last decade and most people believe that this change is for the better. Self-publishing is empowering authors in new and exciting ways.

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Expertise Makes the Difference

Why the most best-selling books are delivered by the traditional publishers. Is there a possibility for self-publishers to reach the top?

One of the reasons why the majority of best-selling books have been delivered through traditional methods is because traditional publishers have become experts in the business. Every big publishing house has expert editors, cover designers, marketers, and so on. The team that is behind the majority of best-selling books has been thoroughly doing its homework.

Many of the current best-selling authors have had their work rejected at least once by traditional publishers. However, through perseverance, they eventually managed to publish their work. Some fought against the current until a traditional publisher accepted their work, while others turned to self-publishing solutions.

One of the best advantages offered by traditional publishers is quality control. The rigorous control of an author's work will almost always produce a best-selling book. The majority of experienced editors and advertisers can tell whether a manuscript is worthy of publishing or not.

Unfortunately, with traditional publishers, the whole publishing process can take anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years. Large publishers work through hundreds and hundreds of books, meaning that it may take a lot of time before a particular book gets read. Moreover, there's always a chance for the book to be rejected. That's not the case with self-publishing.

Authors who decide to self-publish, take matters into their own hands. The entire process depends entirely on the author. However, in order to become a best-selling self-published author, your work needs to be above a certain standard that was, ironically, established by traditional publishers. Paying out of your own pocket for a professional editor can transform an average book into an excellent one.

If you want to become a best-selling author, you have to commit to writing. Nobody is born an expert, and as history has shown us, even best-selling authors have at least a mediocre book. The key to success is to never stop writing. Most best-selling authors have had their first taste of success after their 2nd or even 3rd book. However, by the time they finished that third book, their writing skills and creativity levels had reached new levels.

The most important aspect to keep in mind when trying to reach the top as a self-published author is to make sure your final manuscript is of the highest possible quality. Both the text within the book and the outside cover should be inspected by at least one professional editor and designer, respectively. Moreover, authors should fully understand that self-publishing involves dedication and a decent financial support.

Nowadays, the barrier between traditionally and self-published books is almost non-existent. Although the stigma against self-published books still exists, it's not as strong as it was in the past. Successful self-published authors such as E. L. James, Amanda Hocking, or James Redfield opened new horizons in the publishing game.

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What You Should Know About Shakespeare

23 April 1564 - 23 April 1616

To mark this 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, we present some interesting facts about this most famous playwright.

1. Shakespeare’s father was paid to drink beer at one point of his life.

2. Shakespeare married an older woman (Anne Hathway) who was three months pregnant with Shakespeare’s child. William was only 18 years old at that time and Anne was 26.

3. There are no records of Shakespeare's life between 1585 to 1592.

4. Shakespeare, who is one of the literature’s greatest figures, never attended university.

5. It is difficult to truly pronounce Shakespeare's name since some called him “Shappere”, “Willm Shaksp”, “William Shakespe”, “Wm Shakspe”, “William Shakspere”, ”Willm Shakspere”, “William Shakspeare”, “Shaxberd” awifeany more. In total, about eighty variations recorded in spellings of his name.

6. Shakespeare was a father of twins: a boy named Hamnet and a girl, Judith. Shakespeare and his wife, Anne Hathaway, had a total of three children, including daughter Susana, and the twins, Hamnet and Judith.

7. Shakespeare wrote his first poem in 1593; it was called “Venus and Adonis”.

8. Shakespeare lived through the Black Death. This epidemic killed over 33,000 people when Shakespeare was 39.

9. Shakespeare wrote the first recorded use of the word, “assassination”.

10. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets and thirty-seven poems. None of his plays were ever published during his lifetime. What we know today is only because of his fellow actors John Hemminges and Henry Condell, who recorded his work in 1623. The first ever performance of his plays took place in 1623.

11. Females were not allowed to act in plays of Shakespeare's time. Hence, other male actors were required to act the female roles in his plays.

12. William also performed his own plays as an actor. He once performed one of his plays in front of Queen Elizabeth I. Other roles he played included the ghost in Hamlet and Adam in As You Like It.

13. He was a wealthy man with a large property portfolio and was known as a great businessman of his time.

14. On his death, he gave all his wealth to his daughter Susana with several other gifts to his loved ones. He mentioned his wife only once in his will by saying “I gyve unto my wife my second best bed with the furniture”. He made his will on 26th March 1616.

15. Shakespeare died in 1616 with the words “Curst be he that moves my bones” written on his grave.

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The most frequent mistakes that self-publishing authors make

A lot of independent authors believe that self-publishing is a form of circumventing the hassle of traditional publishing. However, more often than not, self-publishing is just as complex as its traditional counterpart.

In the past years, self-publishing solutions have gained popularity among authors. More self-published books have hit the best-seller status than ever before. However, many more have been published, read, and forgotten.

The self-publishing business is not a walk in the park, like many new authors consider it to be. Anything and everything can go wrong, especially if you're not prepared for it. However, making mistakes is part of our nature. Learning from past mistakes, whether yours or someone else's, is the best way to move forward.

NOT HAVING A PROFESSIONAL EDITOR

A large amount of stigma against self-published books comes from the fact that the vast majority of authors don't send their manuscript to an expert editor. Grammar mistakes or unfinished sentences will not only hinder your chances of success, but will also notify potential readers that you're not serious about your work. Your editor can work through mistakes, text-flow, chapter outline, etc.

NOT HIRING A PROFESSIONAL COVER DESIGNER

If you want to play in the big league, the cover of your book should be done by a professional. Of course you can do it yourself, if you have extensive knowledge in the field, but otherwise, you should be hiring a professional book cover designer. An eye-catching book cover can substantially increase your sales.

INEFFICIENT USE OF FINANCIAL RESOURCES

Self-publishing can prove to be a financially demanding process. All the costs of editing, printing, distributing, and marketing will come from the author's pocket. If you're on a tight budget and don't want to fail halfway through the process of publishing your first book, you have to be aware of the financial drawbacks and unexpected expenditures beforehand.

HAVING AN IMPROPER MARKETING PLAN

Marketing should be one of your main concerns. If your books are not advertised well enough, they won't generate enough revenue. There are hundreds of marketing options, from different social media platforms, to blogging, book signings, and more. Don't limit yourself to a single platform, but don't exhaust yourself by starting your marketing campaign on all platforms at once.

STOPPING AT ONE BOOK

Probably the biggest mistake that an author can make is to stop writing after the first book. Thinking that success is achieved after a single book is a misconception. Studies have shown that it takes approximately 3 books before authors achieve success. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but taking your chance might not be the best solution. Starting work on your next book, once the previous has been published is both good for marketing and for gaining more experience in the art of writing.

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How can an author become a high quality publisher?

The main disadvantage of self-publications: low quality. True or false?

Ever since the possibility of self-publishing has hit the markets, it has been widely stigmatized in the publishing world. One of the main reasons for this initial attitude was that, given the possibility to circumvent traditional publishers, many indie authors would start publishing books that were considered substandard by both the readers' and the critics' community.

Low-quality books have flooded the market, giving self-publishing a bad name ever since the concept was first introduced. Even today, as the number of best-selling self-published authors is on the rise, the majority of books are considered to be of lower quality than those published traditionally.

One of the main reasons that account for the low-quality of self-published books is the fact that authors simply don't fully understand how publishing works. Being a good writer doesn't always mean you're also a good publisher.

UNDERSTANDING SELF-PUBLISHING

Authors who want to avoid traditional publishers need to understand that through self-publishing they become solely responsible for their work. Editing, proofreading, formatting, and other aspects must be done by the author, either alone or with the help of others. Moreover, the financial aspect of publishing, printing, and distribution also become the responsibility of the author.

More often than not, authors are overwhelmed by the amount of work they need to put in to publish a book. Poorly written books are the direct result of thousands of authors that forgot to hire a professional editor or even a proofreader. An expert editor can provide valuable information about the text – regarding format, general flow, and in most cases about the story itself.

Once readers come into contact with these poorly written books, the general opinion about self-publishing is affected.

HOW TO PUBLISH HIGH-QUALITY BOOKS

The simplest way to publish a high-quality book is to do your research beforehand. You can be a great writer, but without good publishing, you will never get noticed. Grammar mistakes, typos, and writing errors can put off even the most enthusiastic reader.

Moreover, your book should have an excellent cover. The largest traditional publishers have professional cover designers in their teams. Although the idiom is "don't judge a book by its covers", in the book business, most readers do just that. There are thousands upon thousands of books that are waiting to be read. People will quickly judge a book by either its covers or title. So if you're planning to self-publish a book, make sure you hire a professional cover designer.

Being a self-published author means you have full control over your work. A lot of authors make the mistake of not revisiting their work. Understanding the audience and making adjustments accordingly is something that most authors omit. The liberty provided by self-publishing should be embraced, not ignored.

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Best-selling books written by self-publishers

Writing a book is no easy task, especially if it's you are on your first attempt. The creative process alone can be exhausting in most cases. However, there's much more to writing a book than being creative. A lot of editing, re-writing, tweaking, and more re-writing is involved. However, finishing your book is only half the battle.

Publishing your book with a well-renowned publisher might prove to be harder than you thought. Many of history's greatest authors have been rejected by publishers at least once. Take Stephen King, for example. His first manuscript, "Carrie", was rejected multiple times by publishers. So was J. K. Rowling's first "Harry Potter" book. Regardless of the cause of rejection, it can have a painful impact on the writer.

Luckily, in recent years, the book publishing industry has seen many changes. One of the biggest changes is the rise in self-publishing possibilities. Although self-publishing was once a stigmatized subject, it is now gaining popularity and success among authors and readers alike. Many self-published authors have become best-selling authors in recent years. Here are 5 of the best-selling titles that have been initially self-published.

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY

Probably the best known self-published book around the world, E. L. James' first book of the trilogy was initially published through a virtual self-publish company based in Australia. The book was almost an instant success and James has since written 3 more books in the series. The series has sold over 70 million copies worldwide.

A TIME TO KILL

John Grisham's first novel was allegedly rejected 28 times by traditional publishers. Grisham took the matter into his own hands and managed to publish the first 5000 copies through a small private publisher. Although the book wasn't a great success, the success of his next books would eventually led to the republishing of the book by a traditional publisher.

STILL ALICE

The debut novel of Lisa Genova was rejected by multiple publishers before Genova decided to ignore her literary agent and self-publish it. The initial success of the book led to it being republished by a traditional publisher. It was eventually translated into more than 25 different languages. A film adaptation starring Julianne Moore was released in 2014.

THE CELESTINE PROPHECY

James Redfield sold his first book out of the trunk of his car. The book was a great success, and although it received controversial reviews, he managed to sell almost 100 thousand copies before being contacted by a traditional publisher. Currently, the book has been translated into more than 30 different languages, and has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.

MY BLOOD APPROVES

During her period of group home working, Amanda Hocking wrote 17 novels. In 2010 she decided to self-publish 9 of these books as e-books. By the time a year had passed, her books had sold more than 1 million copies worldwide. Her success brought her more than $2 million, an amount which was unheard-of for self-published authors, at the time.

See the presentation of January 2015: The Changing Mix of What Sells in Print - Jonathan Nowell, Nielsen Book from Publishers Launch Conferences

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The Growth of the eBook Market

(UK - January 2015) Granted, it initially took many people a while to warm to the idea of eBooks – many simply preferred physical, tangible books.

However, it was recently revealed that there has been a 15% average growth in eBook sales across the main publishers in the past year. Thus, the consumer eBook market is predicted to be worth £350m.

There are a number of reasons as to why eBook sales are growing and the market is gaining momentum over physical books. So, let’s take a look.

NEW MARKETS

In 2013, there was a considerable opening of new markets available in eBook with publishers selling to a third of more countries. Since then, this has continued to steadily rise around through wider and new eBook channels.

While predominantly the UK and US based product, since 2013, new countries started to become interested in eBooks with publishers selling more and more to South America, Japan, Germany, France, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, and Belgium.

RETAILER REACH

As Apple, Amazon, and Kobo have expanded to new countries and opened up specialized stores in each of them, European publishers are in prime position to be able to publish throughout the different countries due to their open rights policy.

In addition, publishers have begun to list as many currencies as possible, providing specific pricing in varied currencies rather than the typical dollar, pound, and euro. This helps the eBook and publishers perform significantly better in both new and existing territories. This is an increase of managing two or three currencies to now managing up to 20 – it’s a step in the right direction.

PRICING

Historically, publishers have simply converted the price of a book from dollar, pound or euro, directly to another currency. However, it’s important to realize that in different countries – cities even – a direct translation of price may not be the best thing.

It’s important to conduct research when it comes to that as many countries may have a lower cost of living than the UK or US. In turn, if pricing isn’t well thought out, it’s possible to lose customers in certain territories.

SELF-PUBLISHING

EBook self-publishing means that any writer in the world has easy access to the tools and knowledge of professional publishing. Writers can now make their books instantly accessible and affordable to billions of readers around the globe.

However, we are still in the early days of self-publishing, so it’s important to try to understand how effective it will be down the line. Recent years of exponential eBook growth means that self-published work is taking a backseat due to a disruptive business model and greater competition.

WILL THE MARKET CONTINUE TO GROW?

While the eBook market continues to grow, it’ll be interesting to see how this continues over the next few years. Essentially, it’s a case of having to ‘watch this space’.

2014

Nielsen's Steve Bohme presented the latest findings from the 2014 UK Books & Consumer Survey.

The survey provides interesting and useful insights indicating that eBooks are gaining ground. It is indicative the fact that the UK "digital" book market increased by almost 100% in 2014.

The main results of the Nielsen survey are as follows:

Nielsen’s UK Books & Consumers survey reveals the extent to which UK book buyers are increasingly ‘digital’, with 56% owning tablets by the end of 2014 (compared to 41% in Q4 2013), 25% owning e-readers and 84% (up from 76%) owning either tablet, e-reader or smartphone.

Overall, e-books accounted for 30% of book units purchased in 2014, and while the e-book share continued to be higher in Adult Fiction than other sectors – at approaching half of all volume purchases – growth in e-books was faster in the Non-Fiction and Children’s categories in 2014.