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Monday, July 6, 2015

Catch Up On Post-Fireworks Book Publishing News

Ok, the long July 4th weekend has fried your brains and you haven’t been paying attention to the world/ But now it’s Monday and back to work – unless you are still milking some vacation days! You might need to catch up on important book publishing news but have little time to do so. Lucky from you I am happy to digest what you need to know.

Grey, the next book in the 50 Shades of Grey series by EL James, who has sold over 125 million copies of the mommy porn books, is No. 1 in the country for two weeks in a row since its release. It will be there until the July 14 release of Harper Lee’s 50-something year-old prequel, Go Set A Watchman.  Those two will battle it out for the top spot.

The number of book sold in the first half of 2015 increased from last year. Nielsen Book Scan said .3% more books were sold in the same time period from a year ago. Last year, compared to 2013, sales were up .6%. Nielsen believes it captures about 75 of all sales that take place. It recorded 286,000,000 books were sold from Jan 1 to June 30th this year. In terms of categories, board books showed the biggest increase – 10% -- and Audiobooks declined the most – by 17%. Hardcover was up a percent, trade paperback by 2%. Juvenile fiction, up 9%, was another hot genre to watch.

Apple lost its appeal before a federal court regarding the antitrust lawsuit and ebook pricing from a few years ago. This decision could cost Apple $400 million in refunds to consumers. But it might be a good way for consumer to reengage Apple if the refund is made by way of free or discounted ebooks.

Attendance at Book Expo’s Book Con was a hit – up 80% from a year ago. Floor space increased by 35%, but foot traffic outpaced that growth. Next year it will be held in Chicago for the first time, along with BookExpo, the annual industry trade show.

Mark down on your calendars Indie Bookstore Day, set for April 30, 2016. The ABA, along with the Northern California Independent Bookseller’s Association, sponsor the annual celebration in praise of small non-chain bookstores. Their survival is the key to the book industry.

Publishers Weekly reported recently about Gatekeeper Press, a startup self-publisher that allows authors to keep 100% of the royalty from sales. It is worth checking into.

The American Library Association has elected a new president – Julie Todaro. She begins in 2016. Libraries, like the Indie bookstores, are vital to the book industry.

Simon & Schuster announced it is partnering with Foli, a mobile content delivery service, to make free e-books available at 50 locations, including airports, museums, and hotels. 19 titles are currently available.

If you look at Smashwords’ self-published bestseller list, no book sells for more than $5.99. Some were at 99 cents and many were selling for just $2.99. Remember when people paid $25 for a hardcover book?

First Book is working with Target, JetBlue, and KPMG to hand out 60,000 free books to children in need. 10,000 copies of six different titles will be made available by the Washington DC literacy nonprofit group. The books, containing characters who are diverse and interacting under multicultural themes, will be made available to economically disadvantaged children and will also go on sale to 175,000 educators and other programs under the First Book e-commerce marketplace.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

Interview With Author Joshua Belcher


1.      What type of books do you write?  William Jarema & Joshua Belcher have published two books in the Dark/Science Fiction/Adventure genre. They are currently working on finishing the trilogy as well as a parallel novel. Fr. William Jarema has published seven books on health and mental wellness. 

2.      What is your newest book about? The Monastery of Fordosheol is the second book of this trilogy. It revolves around the heroism of a group of young Dwarves who have taken on the mission of the Caves of Longevity to invade and destroy the Monastery of Fordosheol in order to thwart the evil plans of Archbishop Haridan who is bent to destroy the world and conquer the Dragons.

3.      What inspired you to write it? William is the mastermind. He had a vision while on a flight over to England of all nine books planned.

4.      What is the writing process like for you? We write in conjunction with collaboration. We discuss, map out and pre-envision before taking out individual chapters. Writing is an enjoyable experience, though the difficulties of editing are endless.

5.      What did you do before you became an author? William has been a priest for 25 years and is the founder of the Mercy Center www.mercycenter.com, a holistic place of healing. Joshua's many adventures have taken him around the world and he has worked in the grocery industry for the past 18 years.

6.      How does it feel to be a published author?  For both of us it is a feeling of great accomplishment, though the era of buying books and authorship is in a very difficult stage and 'getting known' is a lottery.

7.      Any advice for struggling writers? Persevere. Don't give up on your dreams. Line out your plans on paper. Ask good questions. Give out a lot of books.

8.      Where do you see book publishing heading? The industry is in a transition. Many people don't want to spend money on paper books anymore, though there is room for opportunity online. 

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015



Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Top Publishers In The World Are Foreign-Owned


Recently Publishers Weekly released its annual ranking of the world’s largest book publishing companies and only one – McGraw Hill Education, a division of Apollo Global Management – made the list as a US-based company in the top 10.  In fact, only six companies in the top 50 were solely American, while another two were partially American-owned.

Of course, many major publishers have a strong American presence, including the German-based Bertelsmann AG, which owns Penguin Random House. Scholastic, Harper Collins, Wiley, Simon & Schuster, and the Perseus Group make up the other All-American publishers.  Reed Elsevier and Cengage Learning Holdings II LP, are partially American-owned companies.

China has the 6th, 7th, 15th, and 21st biggest publishers on the planet.  Given their population size, you’d expect them to be even bigger, but they are growing.  Germany has two of the top 10 publishers – and another five in the top 50.  The UK has four big publishers, including Pearson, the world’s largest with $7.072 billion in annual revenue, and partially owns the No. 3-ranked Reed Elsevier.  Japan, though it has none of the top 22, has six in the top 50.  France has five in the top 50, including No. 8 Hachette Livre.

I’m not sure why the Big 5 – Penguin Random House, S&S, Macmillan, Harper Collins, and Hachette – are called that when they are neither the top 5 in the world or as American companies.  Penguin Random House ranks fifth globally, Hachette is eighth, Scholastic 11th, Wiley 12th, Harper Collins 16th, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 17th, and Simon & Schuster 30th.

Surprisingly, several university presses are the largest book publishers in the world.  Oxford University Press ranks 19th and Cambridge University Press was 38th – both from the UK.

The big are getting bigger. Revenue collectively at the top 10 publishers accounted for 54% of all revenue generated by the 57 companies ranked on the list, up from 53% a year ago.

Interestingly, Amazon was not on the list, but one day the publisher/retailer will be a major player.  If you factor in Create Space, its POD arm, and its many imprints, Amazon is in a position to grow fast.

Wherever books are published, printed, sold, or read, Americans will always be a leading force in the book industry.  But the country that produces so much content should still be the biggest book publishing nation. We need to catch up to UK, China, and France.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015


Thursday, July 2, 2015

So Many Voices – Who Can Hear Yours?



The numbers are mind-boggling when it comes to our media and content.  Consider this:

There are up to 3,000 books published every single day of the year, including Sundays and holidays.  That comes out to 750,000 book pages per day (for 250-page books), or 250 million pages in 2015.

How is all of that getting purchased, read, shared, and talked about, whether through traditional media, social media, book clubs, or author appearances?

Time magazine calculated that 350 scripted series were available on broadcast, cable and stream this past year. It estimated that with 10-episode seasons it came to 3,250 hours of programming.

If one didn’t sleep, eat, or do anything else around the clock for 146 days straight, he or she could consume all of that. But that doesn’t include other TV: news, sports, talk shows, reality shows, game shows, commercials, and other TV fare.

Then think about radio, newspapers, magazines, newsletters, trade publications, podcasts, blogs, videos, movies, videogames, music and web surfing. Add in online chats, emailing, and phone calls. People have a lot of information and content to consume, share, download, and overload!

How do we come to know all of our options and make intelligent decisions on what to consume and when to digest it?

How do we filter what’s out there and obtain summaries of circulating materials?

Time is precious but our choices grow exponentially on what we can do in terms of reading, listening and watching the world. Everything is a click away, 24/7.

Just to read a two-sentence description of each of the things we could enjoy would take us all day to get through. Is this a golden age, to be overwhelmed by content and data to the point we don’t  even know what to take in?

Further, because so much content is created independently and doesn’t legitimately pass through any uniform standard of quality or taste, how do we know if the content is accurate, unbiased, and created properly?

We live in an era of having more information than we can handle, less time and fewer resources to double-check the veracity of the content, and worst of all, we are in a fragmented era where the nation or even the world can’t always be on the same page because everyone is listening to a different voice at a different time. Even when 50 million people watch the same video of a cat doing something funny, we are not on the same page, given there are 7.25 billion people on the planet.

There are still billions of people who lack access to information via technology. Not everyone is on Facebook nor do they have a way to even get onto it. Not everyone has a smartphone or an iTunes account. Amazon, for all of its reach, still doesn’t claim every home as its own.

So when you write, publish and promote your next book don’t feel bad if it sells a few thousand copies. So much content is out there. We are all fighting for attention.  But don’t think that even if your book sells a million copies that the world has taken notice. It has not. You still have over seven billion people to reach and impress.

We are each a drop of water in a vast ocean. Our content mirrors this ratio as well. It’s just the way things are – and it is likely to get more crowded soon.


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015




Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Interview With Debut Indie Author Heidi Dubois


Pens A Provocative Book: Open Wide: The 4 D’s

1.      What is your debut book about? I call it my Post Part Him journey.  It is about my life after my divorce and how I augmented my income as a dental hygienist selling sex toys. The title says it all.  Open Wide the 4 D’s Divorce, Dating, Dentistry, and Dildos. I got divorced in 2003. This is the first book of my trilogy – it covers the first five years after my divorce.

2.      What inspired you to write suck a wacky but true story? Let me start by saying it is an embellishment of the truth (wink). My life has always been kind of wacky, in a good way.  I learned early on to laugh at myself rather than get laughed at.  I am a dental hygienist.  I worked in the same office for many years and many of my patients became my friends. I would regale them with stories as I cleaned their teeth. Alan, one of my favorite friend/patients, an artist and a former writer himself, talked me into it. It was not that difficult, due to the fact I am an avid journaler.  Long story short, Alan’s daughter was in film school at the time, working as a summer intern for the guys that did Wedding Crashers. Her job was to read possible movie scripts. Feeling uninspired by anything she read, she called her father and asked if he could get his hands on his dildo-selling, dental hygienist’s manuscript. It was in its infancy stage, I was insecure of my writing capabilities, yet I took a risk and reluctantly sent it to her in Hollywood. Everything else in my life was proof that crazy things can happen, so why not? Within three days she called me and said let’s write a screen play. We began working on the screenplay and the book became the driving force. The screenplay and TV series are currently being shopped now. (fingers crossed). To sum it up my life made me do it!

3.      You found yourself a single parent and looking to augment your income. How did you come to sell sex toys? They found me. Very close family friends had been in the adult industry for years. They were the largest distributor of novelty products in the Midwest at the time; this was in early 2002 and a few “home party” companies were purchasing limited items from them (keep in mind Internet shopping was just getting started). They decided to launch their own party company. They were able to offer thousands of products without the middle person and they were building many web based product lines. They needed a “front man” to do the parties, and the rest as they say is history.

4.      So as a dental hygienist are you drawn to a nice mouth -- or something else? Some say the eyes are the window to the soul, I say the mouth is the door. LOL

5.      Do guys say they get turned on by your second profession or are they too intimidated to date you?  It certainly weeds them out.  As you can imagine some of the men assumed I was easy and some felt they could or would not measure up. I have been told that I am intimidating, but truthfully I am just very careful with whom I let into both my head and my bed. LOL

6.      How do you deal with family and friends who disapprove of your extra job? My family supported me completely, although this did spark some interesting conversations with my children at early ages. I was 100% honest with them. As far as friends go, this question hits home. I was definitely judged by some.  I lost several. Those that mattered stuck around and are very proud of how things turned out. (they also benefited from some of the fun gifts  I gave them over the years) (wink). I have grown tremendously as a person and have learned to ignore those that judge. My work ethic has been an inspiration to my children, I taught by example. Hard work pays off.  I am proud to say I kept my house, educated my kids and as hard as it was at times, I feel you need to do whatever you can (legally) to make it. Feeling sorry for myself was never an option. Everything happens for a reason. I was lucky that this opportunity came along. I am now a very successful dental implant salesperson and motivational speaker. Both require me to use the skills I developed at Heidi’s Passions. As I told my son, if you are in sales, it does not matter what you sell; you must work hard, gain product knowledge, and be the best person at it.

7.      Do you sample some of the products for yourself? Let’s just say:  See one, do one, teach one.

8.      What do women reveal to you when you start discussing sex toys? Just about anything and everything you can imagine. (And some things I didn’t want to imagine.)
Sex and intimacy are a very important part of a healthy relationship. Good sex makes it even better. Long-term relationships can stagnate; there are lots of ways to keep things new and exciting.

9.      Your story is one of empowerment. What do you hope people will learn from it? If you believe in yourself, you can do anything. My life has completely turned around. I am all about the power of manifesting. Set goals and dreams for yourself, take risks and work towards your vision. Learn to laugh at yourself and allow time each day to be grateful. (I cannot lie, for some days that was a challenge). Life is about choice, and we all have free will to choose the path we walk.  It takes a lot of balls to change your path and go against the norm. I feel that people should not stay married if the relationship is damaging. The reasons people divorce are very personal. I was in an abusive relationship that I stayed in for years thinking that it was better for the children. The day my daughter’s therapist told me that I was not the only emotionally abused woman in the house is the day I left. It was not easy, and I can look back, now 13 years later, and tell you I have no regrets. I chose to let go of the anger and resentment a long time ago. It is a cancer that will eat you alive if you let it fester. I was determined to not have my children suffer from my mistakes and their father’s choices. I would hope that people will learn to do whatever it takes to put their children first and to support them financially, emotionally, and spiritually. They are the future!  

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015



Interview With Forge Author Alex Gilly


A new author launched this past week. The publisher, Forge books, says this about the author and book:

"The debut thriller DEVIL’S HARBOR by international translator Alex Gilly, a pulse-pounding 
adventure involving drug smuggling and immigration that takes place on the dangerous waters off the Los Angeles coast. With a fascinating, Walter White-esque villain that turns out to be the unexpected hero, this is most definitely NOT your average thriller!"

Here is an interview with the author:

1.      What inspired you to write Devil's Harbor? I love crime stories and I love sea stories, and I wanted to write a novel that brings together the best of both genres. My aim was to blend Patrick O’Brian with Michael Connelly.

2.      What is this thriller about? The protagonist, Nick Finn, is a marine interdiction agent with Customs and Border Protection. He patrols the waters off Southern California, looking to stop smugglers. Early one morning, he and his partner find a body floating off Catalina Island. Then his partner is murdered, Finn is  a suspect, and he gets sucked down by the undertow of a horrific criminal conspiracy.

3.      Why should someone put down their beach read for your book? If you’re sitting on the beach and you want to know what’s really lurking in the water, I recommend you read DEVIL’S HARBOR! 

4.      The story revolves around drug smuggling. Is this something you know firsthand or did you need to research it? I did a fair amount of research. I read innumerable newspaper articles and referred to a few books. I also researched the Mexico-US border and the CBP. 

5.      What does your book say on the themes of power and greed? Greed is the implicit motive for why most of the bad guys in my novel do the bad things they do. As for power, I think in a thriller like DEVIL’S HARBOR, you want to make it look like whoever is holding the gun has the power. Then you want to flip that on its head in fun and unexpected ways. 

6.      What challenges and rewards did you receive in the process of writing it? That’s an interesting question. There were plenty of challenges during the writing, the biggest of which was actually finishing the book. I was a single guy when I started writing DEVIL’S HARBOR, so outside of work I had a lot of spare time, most of which I foolishly wasted. Somewhere in the middle of my third or fourth draft, I got engaged. My fiancĂ©e set a deadline: finish the book before the wedding. It turned out that a deadline was just what I needed. I quit my job, sold my flat, moved in with her and wrote full time for about a year. I sent the finished typescript to agents a couple of weeks before we got married. Getting a positive response from a few agents was a nice reward. So was getting married. 

7.      Any advice for struggling writers? Your writing time is precious! Don’t waste it doing things that aren’t writing! I’m now a father of a small child (with another on the way) and take it from me, your writing time is precious.  

8.      Where do you see the thriller genre heading? As the world keeps getting smaller, I’d like to think we’ll see a greater variety of cultures and geographies in thrillers, and heroes who go on adventures in a more multi-faceted and less Anglo-centric world.

For more information, please see: http://us.macmillan.com/devilsharbor/alexgilly

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Being Interviewed Online


Over the years, I have media trained over a thousand authors, guiding them on what to say and do – or not – during an interview with a television or radio show, or with a newspaper, or magazine.  All of these interviews were done in person, via studio satellite, Skype, or phone.  In all cases you heard someone’s voice, had a back and forth dialogue, and were able to have a sense of how it was going.  But with digital media, where most interviews take place silently and distantly through email exchanges that don’t even happen in real time, there’s a huge challenge for the interview subject.  How do you deliver a great interview when no one is there to interact with?

The first challenge with online interviews is that they create a perfect record of things.  If you fear being misquoted, that won't happen here, but everything you type can and will be used for the interview, so make sure you don’t reveal something you think is “off the record.”  Someone recently put down their true opinions in parenthesis in an interview she did for my blog, expecting me not to reprint her comments.  I chose to honor her wishes, but I didn’t have to, and others wouldn’t think twice about using such material if they think it’ll make for a better interview.

The next challenge is voice inflection – there is none.  Therefore, people will miss jokes, even sarcasm, and certainly could take something for anger or rudeness when that wasn’t how you meant to sound.  Re-read your answers to remove any doubts as to your “voice” and the impression you want to leave.

Third, often people like to use body language and eye contact to get a point across.  You only have words to do your talking, so use ones that give your comments some character and emotion.  Humanize the process.

Length is a big issue with online interviews.  Some give answers that are way too long, leaving the blogger or media to edit things down, which could get tricky if they edit the good stuff and leave a choppy answer in place.  Writing too little is even more problematic.  Your answers appear to lack substance or depth and sound empty.  I have had to go back to people that I’ve interviewed, including recently the head of a major organization in the book industry, because the answers were missing some meat.

Fifth, online interviews are great opportunities to insert links to things, but don’t overdo it.  You don’t want to look like an infomercial or advertorial.  Some people overpopulate links in their interview.  Save it for the end and just give the most important link – otherwise the interview gets cut short when readers leave to click on your links.

The online world seems like a huge universe, but when it comes to doing interviews through a screen, be aware of the pitfalls and limitations.  Good luck!

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015