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Joe Wikert
I'm Publishing President at Our Sunday Visitor (www.osv.com)
Interests: Hockey, baseball, football, science and technology
Recent Activity
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Despite my strong interest in the digital content marketplace, I still read quite a few print books every year. I also like to highlight excerpts for future reference. That works great in the ebook world as those highlights are always... Continue reading
Marcy and Adam, I wonder if we're trying to set the bar too high. For example, 25 years ago, if everyone felt that web-based video distribution and consumption required professional, studio-level quality, YouTube would have never been born. I'm not suggesting books can take the next step forward by inserting videos of mentos-in-coke-bottles videos; rather, we should ask ourselves what the expectations are for the target audience. I listen to a lot of podcasts these days. Some of them are obviously professionally produced but many of them are clearly done on the fly, with little thought given to post-production work. Most of these lower production quality ones have more of a genuine feel. Btw, this is the same reason I've never warmed up to audiobooks. They don't sound like a book does when I read it, probably because of the highly polished, professional voice talent. I'd probably like them better if they were produced via text-to-speech or with a more informal sounding speaker.
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Why are ebooks still stuck in the print-under-glass model? Why haven't we seen anything new and exciting in the digital book transformation process? Those are questions I've been asking myself a lot lately. Ebooks are convenient in that you can... Continue reading
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I haven't attended or presented at a major publishing event since TOC ceased operation in 2013. Over these past five years I've returned to my roots on a couple of fronts. First, as a former software developer, it was fun... Continue reading
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What do you think about the KodakOne and KodakCoin strategies? If Wall Street is any indication, these might represent the long-awaited turnaround the tired Kodak brand desperately needs to regain relevance. Then again, the resulting Kodak stock surge might be... Continue reading
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My daily hour+ commute to and from work enables me to take in a variety of podcasts, a bit of SiriusXM Radio and, more recently, some quality time with Google Assistant. The latter simply means I press and hold the... Continue reading
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Yes, the grocery business is huge. And while it's one of several industries Amazon hasn't yet dominated, there's something way more significant about their acquisition of Whole Foods. This deal is about location, location, location. No, it's not just about... Continue reading
Thanks for sharing some of your stats, Adam. It's important to note that an upsell of the sampled book is only one of the benefits of this model. What's also important is to establish a direct relationship with prospective customers, so acquiring their names and email addresses is a critical benefit as well. A publisher/author is then able to share other promotional campaigns with that audience, potentially leading to transactions that might have absolutely nothing to do with the originally-sampled title.
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Book samples are one of the most under-utilized tools in a publisher or author's marketing arsenal. Most consumers will not buy a book without at least flipping through it, so many download samples before making a purchase decision. But how... Continue reading
Mike, you ask a very important question: Is the audio book market large enough to support two formats? If your last point is correct and the higher quality experience is preferred, what does the market have to lose by testing my theory? These cheaper, amateur editions would simply die on the vine and publishers would stop creating them. I think you're more concerned that the cheaper, amateur editions would be the winner though. And if so, wouldn't that mean consumers really don't place a premium on professional voice talent?
Hi Mike. Would my option really put people out of work? I suspect there's some significant number of current audio customers who prefer the more polished, professional voice version. If so, they'd probably opt for the higher-priced, higher-production edition available today. It would be very interesting to do an a/b test of both editions though to see if one ends up outperforming the other. At the end of the day, I'm not convinced the market should limit itself to only one option simply to preserve voice talent jobs.
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The answer might surprise you… Amazon’s Kindle format dominates the ebook market today and it’s easy to assume that will remain the case going forward. Despite that fact, I see a number of trends indicating the digital book space could... Continue reading
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As I’ve said before, the publishing industry needs to get beyond the current “print or digital” mindset and instead explore ways for one to complement the other. Plenty of industry stats show that most readers are comfortable with either format... Continue reading
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A recent trip to a local brick-and-mortar bookstore helped me realize that even the best algorithms and email campaigns can’t replace in-person product discovery. I noticed a book called The Content Trap sitting face-out on the shelf and couldn’t resist... Continue reading
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At first I thought it was an SNL parody about ebooks for kids. We’re so addicted to info snacking, seemingly less able (and interested) in focusing on long form reading, so let’s create a new platform that helps foster even... Continue reading
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How are you helping consumers find the perfect book for their needs or interests? If you’re like most publishers, you offer a search function on your site. Visitors simply type in a topic and relevant titles from your catalog are... Continue reading
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Even though you probably never stray from the Kindle reader app I’d like to encourage you to expand your horizons. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on Apple’s iBooks and Google Play, for example, to explore other platforms... Continue reading
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The Future Today Institute has created a terrific, free report summarizing key technology trends and what they mean for tomorrow. I’ve embedded the report below so you can quickly flip through it. I read the whole report and highlighted the... Continue reading
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The people who actually buy and read books are still mostly nameless and faceless individuals from a publisher’s point of view. This, despite the fact that there are plenty of opportunities for publishers to establish a direct relationship with consumers.... Continue reading
That's a terrific question, Lynn. Unless there's one hiding in plain sight the simple answer is that indies are few and far between out here in Indiana. I'd love to visit yours on the eastern end of the country but I can't tell you the last time I heard about one in the Fishers/Indianapolis area. You've given me something to research this weekend though...
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Do you still shop at your local bookstore? I typically go once, maybe twice a year, and the last time for me was December 2015. I made a rare summer visit to my local B&N this weekend in search of... Continue reading
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Long considered nothing more than a gimmicky fad, it turns out that augmented reality (AR) is actually alive and well. At least that’s the case when it’s associated with a brand as large as Pokemon. By now you’ve undoubtedly heard... Continue reading
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I remember the first time I heard the phrase “info snacking” back in 2007. It was when the Kindle launched and Jeff Bezos said his newfangled device would slow the info snacking trend and enable deeper engagement with content. The... Continue reading
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Trade book publishing is not a complicated process. Publishers acquire the rights to publish new titles primarily through relationships with agents. Once the agreement has been signed, the process from manuscript to shipping is fairly predictable and more or less... Continue reading
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Even though they’re gaining momentum I’ve never been a big fan of audio books. Amazon, of course, owns the market with both Audible and Brilliance. Although it didn’t receive a lot fanfare last week, Audible introduced one of the most... Continue reading