Showing posts with label Publishing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Publishing. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

BuzzFeed Success "Secrets"

Chris Dixon is sharing some insider information.

BuzzFeed’s strategy
BuzzFeed. We passed 30M unique visitors last month, our revenue is on pace to be more than 3 times what we did in 2011, we have grown from 26 full-timers at the start of last year to 117 today ..... Nobody has built a truly great publishing company for the social age and we have a good shot to be the ones who do it. ..... we don’t publish slideshows. Instead we publish scrollable lists so readers don’t have to click a million times and can easily scroll through a post...... we don’t show crappy display ads and we make all our revenue from social advertising that users love and share. ...... we focus on publishing content our readers love so much they think it is worth sharing ...... We manage our own servers, we built our CMS from scratch, we created our own realtime stats system, we have our own data science team, we invented own ad products and our own post formats, and all these products are brought to life by our own editorial team and our own creative services team. We are what you call a “vertically integrated product” which is rare in web publishing. We take responsibility for the technology, the advertising, and the content and that allows us to make a much better product where everything works together. ........ skill is 63% luck. ..... “social advertising will be the biggest media business since cable television.” ...... we are equally obsessed with 1) entertaining content, 2) substantive content, and 3) social advertising. The teams that focus on each of these areas are equally important which is a key part of our success. We want our cute animals, humor, and animated gifs to be the best of their kind on the web – they aren’t just a cheap way to generate traffic. We want our reporters to have the best scoops, the smartest analysis, and the most talked about items – they aren’t just a hood ornament to lend the site prestige. And we want our advertising to be innovative, inspiring, and lead the shift to social – and not just be a necessary evil that pays the bills. ....... We love the silly, we love the substantive, and we love making advertising that is actually compelling

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Dream: A Netflix For Books

In 1998 Reed Hastings founded Netflix, the lar...Image via Wikipedia
The Next Web: Amazon reportedly in talks to launch a Netflix for books: charging a fixed monthly fee for access to a library of books. Amazon will reportedly offer book publishers a substantial fee for their involvement in the program. ..... With Amazon’s Kindle platform and intimate relationships with every premium publisher on the planet, this is a unique new space only the likes of Amazon and Apple are likely to be able to cater to. ..... my bet is on Amazon to dominate thanks to its first mover advantage and a name synonymous with books. Let’s face it, iBooks hasn’t had quite the impact we would have expected to see from a digital giant like Apple. I’d argue this is because of its lacking selection of books
Your Local Library On Kindle
A Netflix For Books Needed (October 2009)

AllThingsD: Amazon in Talks to Launch Digital-Book Library: Several publishing executives said they aren’t enthusiastic about the idea because they believe it could lower the value of books and because it could strain their relationships with other retailers that sell their books

CNet: Amazon eyes Netflix-style service for e-books: publishers are wary and the latest titles may be excluded--just like with Netflix's streaming service.

Business Insider: Amazon Is Trying To Launch A Netflix Style eBook Subscription Service: the subscription service could take some time to launch since Amazon is busy trying to woo publishers and get them on board.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Me: Author

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...Cover via Amazon
Business Insider: This 26-Year-Old Is Making Millions Cutting Out Traditional Publishers With Amazon Kindle: 26-year old Amanda Hocking is the best-selling "indie" writer on the Kindle store, meaning she doesn't have a publishing deal ...... She gets to keep 70% of her book sales -- and she sells around 100,000 copies per month. ..... Hocking sells her books for $3, and some $.99. ..... she can make more on volume, especially impulse buys. Meanwhile e-books cost nothing to print, you don't have to worry about print volumes, shelf space, inventory
I write, I write a lot, I write daily, but I am not a writer. I get offended when I get called a writer. I am not. A writer. No.

People who disrespect my political work into the Nepal democracy movement of 2006 call me a journalist. Fuck no. I am not a journalist. That was digital activism. That was political work.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

eBooks: Yet Another Technology Looking For Business Models

Bill and Melinda Gates during their visit to t...Image via Wikipedia
CNet: New study suggests e-book piracy is on the rise
It started with music. Movies and books will not be spared, are not being spared. It is a mindfood thing. The Internet is like this vast farm custom made for the production and consumption of mindfood in its various forms.

The first instinct of the industries has been to fight the technology. It is not true that people seem to have this unbeatable thirst to steal that which comes out during the night that is the internet. People like the convenience of the digital format. In digital formats these products - books, movies, music - take no space. Your device does not count, it is not music, it is not a book, it is no movie.

Just like the pharmaceutical industry does not have the same static price globally - it charges less in the poor countries and even gives it out for free in some - the textbook industry has to be the same way.

Maybe the price of that eBook is not $9.99. Maybe the price of that song is not 99 cents. Those prices have to go down. And they have to go even further down in the Global South.

And then the industry has to make peace with the fact that there will be some leakage. Like Bill Gates said a long time ago about China, "We want them to pay for our software, but if they are going to steal it anyway, we want them to steal our software." That has to be the spirit. Have you even been to a supermarket where some guy/gal is standing outside an eatery giving away free samples? It might be just one bite, but it is good business. I get the impression even free is a business model. When you are not raking in the cash, you are giving stuff away for free and you are building your brand.

Even when people don't give you cash, they give you mindshare. The whole advertising industry revolves around that mindshare. Don't complain when you get it.

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Friday, June 05, 2009

All Books Need To Go Digital

Google Books: Primitive

The book industry is in the grips like the music industry used to be. Then Steve Jobs came along and said we are not a nation of crooks, it is not that people don't want to pay, they just like the idea of digital. Don't fight the technology.

Music is like movies, like books. Books and movies are like music. They are mindfood, and they beg to go digital, full-fledged.

All books ever written and to be written should go digital. That is what the technology asks for. That is the consumer wanting. But that does not have to mean money will not be made from books.

Digital is more efficient, cheaper, easier to move around. How is that bad for business? There are millions of in-copyright, but out-of-print books. Are you telling me the digital option is bad for them? Digital will bring them back to life. Digital will give them immortality.

Every book ever written has to be digitized. But I am also all about authors making money. How do you make money?

(1) Self Publish

Publish books like blogs. There are several good, free blogging platforms. And monetize. Run ads. This is not vanity publishing because if you don't get many readers, you don't make much money. Everyone can get published, but not everyone will get a mass readership. As an author I would rather get rejected by readers than by publishers. What about you? You go global without going on a book tour.

(2) Kindle/Google Publish

Find a digital publisher who will put forth digital only editions. So if the paper book had been out there for $29, the digital version will be sold for $9. But how much you make per book sold will not change. Why are you complaining? And you have a much larger potential audience. So you will likely sell more books.

(3) Monthly Subscription

What if I was made to pay $20 per month by a digital books vendor? Or what if there were a Netflix for books? You could pay per book, or for a certain price you could read as many books as you want. And then it would be the vendor's responsibility to pay the authors, give them their cuts.

(4) The Public Library Option

In-copyright books have been available for free at public libraries. There is no reason why they should not be available also digitally. Think of it as free marketing for your books. You do want buzz.

(5) Ads Inside Books

There are ads inside TV shows. Why can't there be ads inside books? You turn from page 25 to page 26, and boom, there is a full page ad that just paid for your first 25 pages of great reading material. This way digital books can be stand alone digital objects, they don't have to stay online and look like webpages.

Of the four options, I think the best one is the ad supported version. Go free, go global, go massive.

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Monday, February 02, 2009

Onto Digital Publishing

I don't know a whole lot about publishing but I have an Internet enthusiast's feel for some of what is going on. There is a tectonic shift underway.
" I'm interested in your thougts on the matter. I'm a magazine publisher, and we're transitioning from print into digital I'm trying to figure it all everybody else in print and TV....."
That is such a huge topic. A paradigm shift is under way. And there will be winners and there will be losers. The winners will be those who choose to ride the wave. The losers will be those who stay stubborn and get washed away.

Murdoch said while buying the WSJ, people don't want to pay. As in, he was thinking of turning the WSJ into something entirely ad supported, give everything out for free. No subscription, nothing. Print will not go away completely, and subscriptions will not go away completely, but that top dog just might have a point.

(1) Focus like crazy on serving ads. Have a good ad team. Gawker Media asked for and got premium prices. They did not exactly do AdSense.
(2) Your site should be a multi media experience.
(3) There should be the latest web functionalities. Which these days seems to mean the web experience should feel social.
(4) Remember, you are serving content, but you are also building community. But never forget content, your number one offering.
(5) Keep an open mind. Change should be not a decision for today, it should be a lifestyle, or rather, workstyle.
"I felt like I was previewing the future of media." (on the CNN Facebook collaboration for January 20)
Case in study. Plum. Comes out once a year. Has a niche market that I am going to call prime real estate, beachfront property. Some of what might apply to Plum would also apply to the New York Times. When the New York Times goes completely online, it gets read globally. Its readership expands like huge. But the revenue per reader is less than it was with print circulation. You lower the price and you make money on volume. Check out the 99 cent pizza place on 41st and Ninth.

There are pregnant women above 35 in America. Well, they also exist in Europe, and Japan, and India, and elsewhere. In going digital a media property like Plum could go global with no additional cost in terms of content creation. And if you manage to build community, many users create content for you for free.

You are looking at becoming a global brand name, and a media powerhouse. From coming out once a year, it becomes a web destination that people visit every day. It already has a great ad base, it looks like.

What makes Plum cutting edge is it has a very sharply defined niche, this collection of rich women, to put it mildly. So Plum is digital edge cutting edge. The new medium is all about niches. And the niche you find can be global. Plum got there in terms of concept before it got there in terms of technology. My friend Upendra seems to be doing some cutting edge, insane quality work, right at the edge.
Daylife Select a game-changer for online publishing: the mind-bending Daylife Select. ...... gorgeous new pages of constantly updating content ...... lets publishers launch instant content portals containing thousands or millions of pages, with stories, topics, photo galleries, search (much like you see on our showcase,, all in their own brand, voice, look, and feel. And without developer resources. It all happens through a simple point-and-click interface, not unlike launching a social network on Ning or a blog on WordPress. ........ through our integration tools, it can blend seamlessly with (or around) your existing property. ...... a content cloud computer ...... not only Daylife-collected content, but a huge range social media sources ...... videos from YouTube, photos from Flickr, topical streams from Twitter, search results from Yahoo!, comments from Disqus, and entries from Wikipedia. ....... ANY Google Gadget. .... not only do you have millions of pages – but every piece of every page is embeddable and shareable – so you now have millions of widgets ........ Smart Context automatically inserts hyperlinks into topical keywords ....... increase your URLs exponentially, which have huge downstream impacts on SEO and, of course, organic traffic acquisition. ...... let’s you curate the world around your content – do what you do best and outsource the rest.
The New Architecture of News news consumption is, if anything, increasing – it remains one of the top three activities on the web ...... news organizations are just now turning from self-preservation to re-invention ...... all about offering superior navigation to the content ...... do what you do best and link to the rest. ........ More than ever, publishers need something unique - in voice, brand, content - around which to build. ...... even more need for differentiation. ...... unique, differentiated content & products can see increasing returns. ....... intelligent, malleable technology platform for organizing news from thousands of content-creators ...... News will do more than survive. It will flourish.
Ethic of the link, revisited « The Future of Journalism

MediaTalk; A Journal for Women Pregnant Later in Life - New York Times
Plum, the first pregnancy magazine aimed at women over 35 .....
produced by Groundbreak Publishing, is described as a joint effort
with the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. ........
Rebekah Meola, Groundbreak's principal ..... The 200-page glossy, to
appear annually ...... 400,000 readers who are typically well-educated
and affluent. award-winning
title's creative team. ..... Plum magazine, the award-winning
publication for pregnant women 35 and older .... world-renowned
publication designers ...... "We immediately recognized in Plum the
spirit of a great magazine," says Milton Glaser. ...... Plum's
commitment to continued excellence in both editorial and design. In
just its second year, the magazine is building on the successes of its
landmark debut by aligning itself not only with the leading
practitioners in the fields of obstetrics and gynecology, but with the
best the design industry has to offer. ....... wide range of
editorial subjects, including health, fashion, child care, personal
memoir, celebrity and personality profiles ......... text,
photography, illustration, and exclusive graphic elements .......
educated, sophisticated, established women facing motherhood at a
critical phase of their lives. ......... New York-based publisher
Rebekah Meola ...... scheduled to be published only once per year and
distributed exclusively through doctors' offices, is "a cross between
a woman's beauty and lifestyle magazine and a health/pregnancy manual
...... "one of the country's fastest growing demographics" -- older
pregnant women. ....... between 1990 and 2002, the birth rate among
women ages 35 to 39 increased 30%, while the birth rate among women
ages 40 to 44 increased 51% women who
do not know what to expect while expecting .... Plum, the first
pregnancy magazine aimed at women over 35 ...... Rebekah Meola,
Groundbreak's principal, said older, expectant mothers shared many of
the same concerns as younger ones, but often had greater anxiety about
medical complications, infertility and return to work. Many of these women put kids on
hold as they climbed career ladders. Translation: they're smart,
they've got money to spare and they want the absolute best for their
babies. As a result, advertiser interest in the magazine--which will
be distributed free to patients by the American College of
Obstetricians and Gynecologists--has been "exceptional," says Plum
publisher Rebekah Meola, with heavy hitters like Volvo,
Hewlett-Packard and Johnson & Johnson signed on.

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Saturday, August 13, 2005

In Defense Of Google Digitizing Books

It would be flat out wrong to get in the way of technological breakthroughs that bring the cost of books down. And make their reaches wider. It is just that a way has to be found to ensure the authors do make money in the process.

I think Google should consider becoming a publisher itself. So you publish your book on Google property. Revenue is generated through ads. You and Google split the money made. For the reader it is free books. For the author there is money.

The library concept hit the snag. Because the money part was not handled well. On the other hand, if it is okay to read a book at some library for free, why is it not okay to read that same book in digital format?

The publishing industry feels the threat, and rightly so. Because of the web, the barrier to entry to getting published is literally zero. As to whether or not you get read is another thing. As to whether or not you make money is another thing.

I think this free for consumer revenue through ads model would work also for other media, audio and video. Prices come down to zero, but volume goes up, way up. You could have consumers all over the planet.

This model preserves the copyright thing.

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