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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
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
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Did you make the same mistake I did and assume podcasts are yesterday’s platform, that interest in them has plateaued (at best) and they’re not worth thinking about today? If so, here’s a short article that might help you re-think... Continue reading
Michael, I think your self-driving cars analogy is a good one to consider. We're closer to that stage than most people realize and I doubt many people would have guessed that would be the case five years ago. The story doesn't go away in the model I'm describing. The model is less useful in the fiction world but the stories that need to be told in in the non-fiction space, including things like "here's how such-and-such is accomplished", are just as useful in the model I outlined. Just look at that Narrative Science example I also provided; they're able to spin up a story based on nothing more than names and numbers in a box score. David, I didn't say books and other containers will be totally eliminated. In fact, I noted that they'll fade into the background but they'll still be around for many years (see my opening paragraph in the original article).
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For the past several years I’ve been writing about how containers such as books, newspapers and magazines are slowly fading away. They’ll certainly be around for many years but their relevance will slip into the background as personalized, digital content... Continue reading
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Do you remember when Amazon introduced both “Look Inside” and “Search Inside” functionality for books? They were such simple yet revolutionary features at the time. Before Look/Search Inside it was impossible to do a simple flip test like you could... Continue reading
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If you only listen to one podcast this week make sure it’s the one embedded below. It’s one of the most inspiring and thought-provoking talks I’ve ever heard. The speaker is Bernard Roth and the talk is from a series... Continue reading
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We take it for granted that when we open our favorite ebook app it automatically jumps right into the last book we were reading. And while that’s handy, I’d like to see at least one other option when I open... Continue reading
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There are a number of key attributes successful publishers will be known for in the future. These core capabilities will be very different from the ones that have led to the modern empires of the Big Five. Some attributes will... Continue reading
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I spend a lot of time commuting to and from work in my car and I try to use the time wisely. I cycle through a playlist of podcasts every week but I feel like I’m missing out on other... Continue reading
You make an excellent point regarding the complexity of this task, Brian. I'm assuming this parsing tool would have some inputs (e.g., known keywords and perhaps synonyms for those keywords) as well as the ability to get smarter as it processes more text. It's easy for me to say and hard for someone to develop, I know, but I'd like to think it's possible.
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Last month I shared some thoughts about how indexes seems to be a thing of the past, at least when it comes to ebooks. I’ve given more consideration to the topic and would like to offer a possible vision for... Continue reading
Vourkos, you are absolutely right that models like this exist. As I mentioned in my article, I was inspired by Google's service as a standalone app. I haven't seen the model applied to ebooks though and that's why I wrote this piece. I'm curious to learn whether you feel your Pollfish service could be integrated with an ebook application. Drop me an email and let's continue the conversation there as it would be great to experiment with you on this. I can be reached at jwikert [at] gmail [dot] com.
Hi Ken. You could certainly implement what you described above but my biggest concern is scalability. You'd ideally want a model where the ads are more fluid and require no manual intervention (or selling). However, in the travel agency example you mention, I could see where maybe that agency might be interested in sponsoring and being the exclusive advertiser throughout that book. If so, and if the financials make sense, those survey questions that appear from chapter to chapter could be for the agency's questions and they'd have full access to all the answers. Ads in print are another option but they obviously won't have all the dynamics and flexibility of digital editions. Plus, you won't be able to get much data from them other than discount code conversions you insert in the ads.
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In today’s market there are typically two methods for ebook distribution: free or paid. I’ve said before that one day we’ll see an ad-subsidized model take hold. Purists generally reject that concept, saying they won’t let advertisements interfere with their... Continue reading
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I’ve been a fan of unlimited e-reading services for at least a couple of years now. When Oyster Books went under I shifted to Kindle Unlimited. For short-form magazine content I use Texture, the offering formerly known as Next Issue.... Continue reading
Thanks for your thoughts on this, Mike. Perhaps a real example will show you that this doesn't result in throwing the retailers under a bus. The ebook is generally created at the same time the print book is about to go off to the printer. Let's say that date is March 21. I'm suggesting the ebook becomes available exclusively on the publisher's website on March 21 while the print book is being produced. In all likelihood, that book going to the printer on March 21 doesn't hit physical bookstore shelves till at least two to three weeks later, typically April 4 or 11. In reality, it often takes even longer than that before it first appears on shelves. In the scenario I just described nothing much happens between March 21 and April 4/11. Sure, print backorders accumulate, but that process could continue in the scenario I'm describing. For those two to three weeks after March 21 the publisher could make the ebook available only from their website and print distribution is not affected. I suggested a monthlong period of ebook exclusivity in the article but it could just be two or three weeks. It depends on the publisher's schedules and how they decide to leverage this sort of approach.
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Ebook windowing is a technique designed to prevent ebooks from cannibalizing print book sales. The original thinking went something like this: Release a new title in print format only, thereby preventing e-cannibalization. The result? Frustrated consumers. If you’re an ebook... Continue reading
You're quite welcome, Brian. I'd like to clarify something... The vision I described in the article isn't mutually exclusive with an index in the back of the book. I can see where it would still be beneficial to include the back-of-book index as well as the inline one, mostly for the points you described.
Thanks for adding your valuable comments to this discussion, Jan and David.
You're right, Thad, and I believe our points of view are not mutually exclusive. The end-of-book index can co-exist with what I described in the article.