Tag Archives: Amazon

PaidContent: Telegraph looking to develop e-commerce linking project

Brian Harrison, Telegraph Media Group’s digital director, said yesterday that the group “is in the early stages of developing an e-commerce project to place links to sites like Amazon.co.uk alongside Telegraph.co.uk stories in a bid to replace some of the revenue lost from the declining interest in print ads and the slow-down in online display advertising,” PaidContent reports. Full story…

Launch round-up: USA Today, Daily Record, Economist

Round up of online launches from news sites:

  • The Economist has introduce a mobile update service for UK readers. Texting ALERT to 80801 will get you Friday morning round-up highlighting the key issues from the week’s edition.
  • The Daily Record has added to its online portfolio with a new motoring website. Car sales site www.roadrecord.co.uk features some very refined search facilities and tag clouds based on the most popular searches, a release from publisher Trinity Mirror says.

‘What I’ve learned as a published author’ by Linda Jones

Yesterday Journalism.co.uk posted part one of Maria McCarthy’s guide to getting a book deal. Freelancer Linda Jones has already done just that, and here she shares ten ‘blindingly obvious things’ she has learnt in her first year as an author.

The post was originally posted on her blog at Freelancewritingtips.com. Get in touch with your own stories: judith at journalism.co.uk. Here’s what Linda learnt, following the publication of the Greatest Freelance Writing Tips in the World.

1. A book launch may be more hassle than it’s worth: This time last year, I was feeling pretty pleased with myself. My first book, the modestly titled Greatest Freelance Writing Tips in the World had just been published. Holding some initial copies in my quivering hands, I’d felt a rush of pride. Now here I was, preparing for my very own book launch. Then one by one, more than half the confirmed guests dropped out. My heart sank. Even though local paper reports and reviews followed and those lovely guests who did come along were overwhelmingly positive, I was disappointed. In hindsight I can see my expectations were unrealistic. But I hated feeling like Billy no-mates.

2. Authors don’t always want to discuss sales: Go on; guess how many my book has sold. Bet you can’t. I’d rather not say, if you don’t mind. Of course if you know anything about publishing it won’t surprise you that my figures may not even rival David Blunkett’s. This wasn’t the outcome I was hoping for. I was so naïve. Wary of upsetting a PR team, sacred of jinxing future sales or plain embarrassed, other writers I know also prefer not to join this potentially humiliating ‘show and tell.’ Yet this ‘smoke screen’ allows wannabe authors to cling on to unrealistic dreams – creating a vicious circle of silence followed by dashed hope. Seriously, how many do you expect your book to sell?

3. They don’t always want to talk about rates either: My advance and royalties are modest by any standards. I was paid £1,500 in advance and have royalties of 10 per cent on further UK sales. Finding out how indicative this is of current rates, initially proved as effective as Russell Brand at a True Love Waits meeting.

4. However many positive reviews you get, you should be prepared for the possibility that you’ll care most about the bad one: I was bowled over when one reviewer said my effort was ‘the only book a writer will ever need.’ Then someone slated it. That’s the conclusion that lingers in my mind. I’m not sure why one negative comment is felt so much more keenly. Can anyone explain this phenomenon other than saying it’s basic human nature?

5. On the subject of reviews – they don’t sell books: The resoundingly positive reviews may have given me a warm glow inside but aren’t doing a thing for my bank balance. I’m advised they may help me if I ever go in search of an agent. But that’s a terrifying prospect. (See point number seven) I’ve learned that reviews are only a small part of the post-publication story. Without a prime time chat show or reality TV career, even the most wonderfully received non-fiction books from small publishers may be destined for an underwhelming future.

6. Checking out where you are on Amazon is pointless: It’s depressing to ride the roller coaster ride of Amazon rankings. I can sometimes make it to the top of a list of bestselling books by (ta da!) authors with the same name and some days I manage to hover around the 2,000 mark. I don’t think I’ll crack open the Aldi champagne just yet. But it’s pure vanity, desperation or complete madness anyway. It’s just one bookshop. I’m just glad I’m not alone.

7. Agents are scary: Who’d have thought I could have so much in common with John Prescott, apart from the waistline? Yet I feel bound to flounder as a working class outsider when it comes to understanding agents. I’ve read they prefer young Oxbridge graduates with a media profile. That’s enough to put me off. The one time I got over my nerves and was told a more recent proposal was ‘excellent’, I was later dismissed with ‘Sorry Dahling, I read it too quickly’. I rest my case.

8. Publicity and blogging is a long hard slog: I threw myself into promoting my book. Pieces have popped up in radio shows, newspapers, magazines, websites and blogs. I laughed my head off when a magazine called me a ‘celebrity’. I keep people up to date in a Facebook group. Funnily enough, each time I send an update, coupled with details of new opportunities for writers, someone drops out.

9. That thing in the movies where first time authors go misty-eyed over their book in a shop window, doesn’t happen to everyone: Yes I really did think about that. When a reader emailed me to say she had bought my book from Waterstones in central London, I was cock-a-hoop. When my publisher emailed to explain that really, major retailers weren’t that interested, I was crestfallen. I should’ve listened to Craig who said I should give the book away to create more of a ‘buzz’.

10. I should have known this stuff before my book was published: If you’re an aspiring author, please learn from my mistakes. Look past that joyous moment when you’re told your book has been commissioned and get real – it could be a rocky road ahead. Find out what you can about how book marketing, distribution and sales really work now to help you through the inevitable potholes later.

Amazon Kindle adds Financial Times and Times

The Financial Times and the Times are now available as e-newspapers on Amazon’s Kindle.

The partnership means electronic and automatically updated editions of the papers will now be accessible via the Kindle.

Editions of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Le Monde and the Irish Times are also available on the device.

Earlier this year the US Tribune Co. launched a magazine specially designed for the e-reader.

Folio: US newspaper company, Tribune Co, launches magazine just for Kindle

US newspaper company Tribune is launching a second digital magazine exclusively for the Amazon Kindle ebook reader – a week after launching its first magazine of this kind.

A week after launching Opinionated, a political magazine aimed just at Kindle owners, Tribune has launched its second Kindle-specific title – a daily electronic magazine focused on pop culture – after partnering with PopMatters.com.

According to Folio, the magazine is targeting 18-to-34-year-olds and is available for a free 14-day free trial and $1.49 monthly subscription at Amazon.com.

Howard Owens offers guide (and prize) for ‘non-wired’ journos

Howard Owens, director of digital publishing at US company Gatehouse Media, has laid down a personal gauntlet to ‘non-wired journalists’ to encourage them to be more active online.

Listing the full details on his personal blog, Owens is offering a $100 Amazon voucher (around £50) to the first journalist to complete his internet assault course. The currently unofficiated hack must, amongst other things satisfy the following criteria:

  • Get a small digital camera and start uploading photos and making videos
  • Join a social networking site
  • Learn to Twitter
  • Use social bookmarking
  • Set-up a blog

Financial incentives aside, Owen’s ten-step plan is straightforward and low-cost – a simple way to nudge even the most reluctant editorial staff into action.

Amazon Kindle – would you want to pull that out of your bag?

The simple answer is no. It looks like a piece of medical equipment. I don’t want to be sitting on the bus with everyone thinking I’m some kind of techy hypochondriac constantly monitoring my vital signs.

Apart from its general ugliness, I’m a little at odds with this type of technology. I can see the logic of an electronic reader for news (but why would you not want to use your mobile phone to get info on the hoof?) but for books? Why?

Books are simple technology that work perfectly. I doubt I’d want to take this speak and spell lookalike to the beach and I certainly wouldn’t use it to get my commuting news. An iPod moment for news, it is not.

Against all of which I’m completely staggered that this thing is selling like hot cakes. Fortunately for my schadenfreude gene the reviews aren’t too good. Next device please.