Tag Archives: book publishing

The Secret of the New Amazon Kindle is revealed – ‘Operation Sandwich’

Operation SandwichWe’ve this week uncovered Amazon’s secret weapon in the eBook reader land grab. It explains why the new Kindle reader is selling in its droves and why the other eReader manufacturers need to retaliate very quickly.

Code named ‘Operation Sandwich’ it’s a devilishly clever new tactic in the battle for ereader supremacy – read more.

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Posted by on August 7, 2011 in Book Publishing


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How Books Change Lives – Battling Cancer with NLP

With our focus on new technology and industry trends, sometimes we can lose sight of the power of the written word to change lives. In an uplifting story, a book by a London cancer patient, himself given a 40% probability of survival, is helping thousands of cancer patients come to terms with their illness.

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Has Colour Print On Demand (POD) Come of Age?

I was there when it all started. Colour Print On Demand (POD). In the less than glamorous surroundings of a printing exhibition (IPEX 2002), a groundbreaking machine called the Xerox iGen3 was unveiled – and many others have followed. But in 2011 is colour POD still out of the reach of book publishers?   <<read more>>

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Posted by on February 7, 2011 in Book Publishing


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The Past, Present and Future of Book Publishing

A few days ago I was lucky enough to be invited to be a presenter at an ‘Authors Evening’ at the remarkable European School in Karlsruhe in Germany. The educational system abroad can be jarring in comparison to schools in the United States. Education in the States can be accused of having a more lax approach in standard and practice. Take for example the wide range of options available and even accredited college programs online, perhaps an oxymoron. So imagine my surprise when at the school I discover they teach children in five different languages

I’d been invited as two of the speakers are authors with us – Paul Spiring and Hugh Cooke who between them have published nine books with us. They are listed below. Introduced by the head of the school who in previous jobs had been both a printer and run a bookshop, the evening was a fascinating mix. Paul talked about his writings on Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes [there were several senior Sherlockians in the audience] and Hugh described himself as the ‘comic turn’, reading and performing several excerpts from his Panto For Beginners book. The other authors covered a German language novel and academic writings on ancient Italy. The combination of serious subjects with lighter elements throughout [accompanied by cheese and wine] went down very well with the 70+ attendees and has already got glowing reviews from the local press.

For the subject of the Past, Present and Future of Book Publishing I began by outlining how in the last few years the publishing world has changed beyond recognition. I then covered the product itself (books to eBooks), to the retail landscape (online, supermarkets), the publishers themselves and then through to some of the technology and exciting evolution in marketing with the arrival of social media. There are several author case studies featured as well.

The slides are available here through Slideshare.

Book Publishing Past, Present and Future

Book Publishing Past, Present and Future

Books featured on the authors evening from Paul and Hugh:

Bertram Fletcher Robinson (a biography)

Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle and Devon (biography and travel guide)

Pantomime for Beginners

Rugby Football During the Nineteenth Century

Aside Arthur Conan Doyle (twenty stories by Bertram Fletcher Robinson)

On The Trail of Arthur Conan Doyle (Spanish version)

Wheels of Anarchy (reprint of the original from 1900s by Max Pemberton)

Bobbles and Plum (the lost playlets of PG Wodehouse)

The World of Vanity Fair (colour caricatures from Victorian England)

Case Studies:

Bangers and Mash (battling throat cancer using NLP by Keith Hern)

Watson’s Afghan Adventure (Sherlock Holmes pastiche fiction by Kieran McMullen)

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Posted by on January 22, 2011 in Book Publishing


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The Last Book Shopping Day For Christmas?

The answer is 25th December if you are online – 24th if you are a physical shop. That’s not a typo, if you are a bookseller or publisher then the online appetite from consumers won’t stop when the tills in the shops close on Christmas Eve. Shopping on Christmas Day is a relatively new phenomenon. In 2008 as in years before, shopping online started to slow down around the 16th December and stopped almost altogether on the 19th.

In 2009 we passed a significant point in our shopping cultural evolution. Some time during 2009 shopping online became a daily activity and we saw purchases continue throughout the last week before the holidays and on Christmas Day itself UK consumers spent an unprecedented £120m+ online.  Read more

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Posted by on December 22, 2010 in Publishing


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An Independent Publishers First Electronic Christmas – Amazon Kindle, iPad and the rest

We are facing the first truly electronic Christmas trading period in the book publishing industry, and looking back on the last twelve months it has been an incredible period of change.

In November 2009 we were preparing for Christmas in a fairly traditional way as a publisher. Getting stocks in, a series of signings with Borders and Waterstones, and ten new books – everyone wants to be out for the big selling period.

Twelve months on and the publishing industry has changed beyond recognition. Borders have gone from the UK (RIP – we will miss them) and the electronic revolution is truly here – eBooks, social media, eCommerce, and POD all coming into their own in 2010. So what has changed and what will 2011 bring?

To read the full article click here Facing the First Electronic Chrismas





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Posted by on November 20, 2010 in Publishing


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Publishing Data Revolution Transforms the Humble Book Into a Powerful Marketing and Social Media Sales Tool

In the last two years something rather special thing has happened in the publishing industry. No, I’m not talking about the rise of the internet, or even the arrival of the eBook, it’s something in the background that has revolutionised the distribution of content. It means that businesses that want to get their name, brand and value proposition in front of millions can do so for the cost of a newspaper advert.

The best way to explain is to talk through an example. Imagine you are a specialist hypnotherapist with a practice that consults with children and adults. You have developed a very successful new way to cure bedwetting in children, and you want to generate as many bookings into your practice as possible. So you write a book that explains the methodology.

The book is published by a modern publisher that is connected into digital printing and they load your details into the major book databases. Within a few days, your book and your brand appears on literally tens of thousands of websites around the world including huge names like Amazon, Tesco, Waterstones, Barnes and Noble and more. This is because there has been a revolution in the distribution systems of content and within an instant the metadata and images are sent around the world – only a few years ago and the data would have gone out quarterly on a CD. See Stop Bedwetting in 7 Days.

The concept of a book as a marketing tool is not too new, but few realise that the revolution in book data distribution has turned it into a very powerful one. Coupled with digital printing bringing print runs from the thousands down to the tens, you have a very viable new marketing tool.

There are some very important elements here.

1. Title Keywords: You will see that the titles of the books are quite long. This is to ensure that they are carrying the necessary keywords that people are searching for. In addition to on-site searches in the bookstores, the search engines are also scouring the web for these keywords and many ecommerce website these days include the titles in the URLs – so for example –

2. You are presenting yourselves through your expertise. This is a subtle indirect sell for your organisation/brand. In the same way you promote yourselves using social media by providing interesting and expert content (Tweets, Blog Entries, Articles etc) publishing a book on your area of expertise is a way for people to see your expertise in a tangible form before contacting you.

3. Public perception of publishing is still one of reverence – despite the fact that commercial publishing has made it easier than ever to get a book on your subject area published, the general opinion of published authors is high “She must be an expert, she has had a book published on it”. For those of you worried that means anyone can do this don’t panic – the reality is that you still do need a very good product as a book because if the content is poor it will get bad reviews and put people off, but the beauty of the low entry cost is that more niche and specialist subjects can be covered.

I know many of you will be wondering if this is only applicable to professional practitioners but it really can be applied in most industries. In the marketing field an excellent example is The Hotel Success Handbook. A collaboration between two leading consultants – one in marketing and one in hospitality – that have put together their collective methods to help small hotels do their marketing. They launched in March and already have sold lots of books around the world but critically have the book on their stand at trade shows. Instant credibility especially with industry experts giving them quotes and endorsements. They have already had bookings for the consultancy as a result of the book. A book makes the expertise tangible – you can pick it up and dive in, it can give potential customers a lot of confidence. That neatly brings us on to an additional key point:

4. As with all good marketing tools the book is going to be successful if it is part of an overall marketing plan, and the ‘call to action’ is there for the customer to take. As most book distribution is by the web, customers and leads will be largely web based. Take a look at the Stop Bedwetting and Hotel Success Handbook websites for examples of how the authors are professionally capturing that traffic.

Let’s take another example. Imagine you are a sports club with a fantastic history and a website with loads of amazing content and pictures. You want to share that history with as many fans as you can but also you want to generate some income for your club. So you go to the digital publisher and once again the book is available worldwide. The description refers to your club website so visitor numbers grow significantly. You are working with a modern publisher so in addition to royalties on the book, you can also sell copies yourselves in the club shop. In fact, you recoup your publishing costs on the day of the launch of the book at the club lunch before the game (see For College, Club & Country – A History of Clifton Rugby Football Club).

So for a modest budget (a few hundred dollars), and some time organising your content, you can create and extremely powerful, mass exposure, tangible marketing tool. Combined with Social Media its strength becomes quite amazing – oh and we didn’t even cover yet how eBook versions take it to yet another level as you can include interactive content and hyperlinks in those…..

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Posted by on April 25, 2010 in Publishing


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Book Depository Launches Free Delivery On All Books Worldwide – Amazing for Authors and Publishers

We’re excited to report that The Book Depository is now offering free worldwide delivery on all the books that they carry including our NLP books like Seeing Spells Achieving for literacy, You Too Can Do Health for the law of attraction, Recover Your Energy for chronic fatigue and Stop Bedwetting in 7 Days.

Even better news is that they have launched an affiliate program where you can recommend books and get a commission every time someone buys something.

You can sign up here – there is no cost to sign up.

What we really like about the program is that there is the genuinely exciting message of free delivery anywhere in the world – we have people as far away as Australia using their service now and it means access to our books that we never had before.

We’d appreciate your feedback on the scheme and how it works for you.

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Posted by on March 27, 2010 in Book Launches, Publishing


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The Author and The Brand

With over thirty authors in our stable we have a real mix of the academic, the businessperson, the philanthropist and the storyteller. In a decade that will be dominated by online (only one large physical bookstore chain left now in the UK following the demise of Borders) there has never been a greater opportunity for the author to use their book as a marketing tool – for their own name as brand or their company brand.

There is much talk about ‘the author being the brand’ and there is a lot of truth in that though there is plenty of opportunity for those authors whose book represents a business tool to focus on the business brand as well as their own personal brand. Lets look at some examples.

Sue Ostler’s brand is ‘Flirt Diva‘ and her book is quickly becoming the training manual of choice of single women in the UK and beyond to tackle the challenging modern dating world. Sue links in with related activities to enhance and drive her brand – Hen Parties that include a flirting masterclass, Speed-Dating Evenings with her as the guru star guest and much more.

Alistair Duncan’s brand is himself. With two successful Sherlock Holmes books under his belt (Eliminate The Impossible and Close To Holmes) and a third being launched on the 1st March (The Norwood Author) Alistair is becoming established as a rising star in the Sherlockian and Doylean worlds. He’s building the brand with his Alistair Duncan Blog and Alistair Duncan Twitter account. Wherever his Sherlockian advertures take him he is building a credible brand underpinned by his books and supplemented by the social activity.

Olive Hickmott has several brands, one of which Empowering Health tackles health related NLP issues. Olive has two books in the field – Recover Your Energy and You Too Can Do Health and in addition to Olive’s Twitter Account and various blogs Olive is also a regular speaker at conferences and contributor to magazines and journals – in the autumn edition of Amoena Magazine for example where Olive feeds in to helping cancer sufferers who are ‘running on empty’.

So whether you are growing your personal brand or your company brand let your books contribute to and lend vital credibility to it.

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Posted by on January 30, 2010 in Publishing


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Publishing In a Digital World

With our feature in the Sunday Times a few weeks ago we have been approached by several would-be publishers and have consequently put together a simple consultancy package in 4 hour sessions that goes through all you need to become a book publisher in the new digital world. It’s been a fascinating process as it has reminded me of the bumps along the road in setting up the publishing company. It’s also prompted me to start the long overdue process of the publishing blog.

It’s three years down the line and we now have over 50 titles with around 30 authors. I look back and I wish I had had access to a mentor to explain this new world and the landscape that stretches from self-publishing at the one end and the major publishing houses at the other end. We are working now with our second ‘new publisher’ Matthew (Murielle Maupoint was the first and her debut title came out a few weeks ago) and have one session a week covering everything from distribution to setup, marketing to dealing with authors. Matthew commented that he learnt more in the first hour than he had gleaned from a couple of months of web research.

A few of my friends have commented on the logic of tutoring new publishers that are essentially entering our market of ‘partnership publishing’ but let me share a few revelations. Firslty the process of re-examining ones own business and putting down in writing the steps you would have done, had you know them, if you were starting again from scratch is actually an excellent experience. I’m able to sit down with my fellow directors and show the end-to-end of the business which until then was largely inside my head.

Secondly, its a brilliant form of networking. I feel I have made an excellent contact in Murielle and intend to keep in touch and be at the end of the phone as her business grows and I am getting the same feeling from Matthew too. Murielle has already referred business my way and in consultancy session 1 Matthew gave me some great ideas that I will be following up on too. Finally, an probably most importantly I am thoroughly enjoying it.

It’s a big market out there and there is space for thousands of partnership publishers – a learning from the process for me has been the need to begin to specialise when you reach a certain size – we will focus on NLP and therapy, Victorian Literature and ’cause based’ books (like Environmental) as the book sales do start to feed off each other.

So if there are any more would be publishers out there that want to accelerate their start and avoid the pitfalls we identified then we’d be delighted to hear from you. It’s not quite ‘digital publishing company in a box’ but pretty close.

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Posted by on September 19, 2009 in Publishing


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