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CUNY Publishing Institute, 2014: Book Publishers on the Web

CUNY Publishing Institute, 2014: Book Publishers on the Web

An informal talk for the 2014 class at the CUNY Publishing Institute.

Bud Parr

June 05, 2014
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  1. CUNY Publishing Institute June 5th, 2014
    Bud Parr, sonnet media

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  2. Have worked with HarperCollins,
    Knopf, Other Press, New
    Directions, Bellevue Literary Press,
    New Vessel Press (CUNY alums),
    among others. Also do work for
    the Dutch government, the
    American Bar Association, New
    York University, New York Institute
    for the Humanities, Words Without
    Borders, the Literary Review, The
    Hudson Review, authors such as
    New Yorker writer David Grann,
    James Ellroy, Linn Ullmann.
    Bud Parr
    • Former finance guy

    • Started a book blog in 2002
    called “Chekov’s Mistress.”

    • Started Sonnet Media in 2003.

    • Started a social network for
    book bloggers called “Metaxu
    Café” in 2005.

    • Started ad network for literary
    sites called “Brainiads” in 2006.

    • Started an author/publisher
    website service called
    “PubSpring” in 2012.

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  3. Have worked with HarperCollins,
    Knopf, Other Press, New
    Directions, Bellevue Literary Press,
    New Vessel Press (CUNY alums),
    among others. Also do work for
    the Dutch government, the
    American Bar Association, New
    York University, New York Institute
    for the Humanities, Words Without
    Borders, the Literary Review, The
    Hudson Review, authors such as
    New Yorker writer David Grann,
    James Ellroy, Linn Ullmann.
    Bud Parr
    • Former finance guy

    • Started a book blog in 2002
    called “Chekov’s Mistress.”

    • Started Sonnet Media in 2003.

    • Started a social network for
    book bloggers called “Metaxu
    Café” in 2005.

    • Started ad network for literary
    sites called “Brainiads” in 2006.

    • Started an author/publisher
    website service called
    “PubSpring” in 2012.

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  4. Design & Content
    Do as little as possible and
    avoid busy
    don't try to put everything
    "above the fold”

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  5. “I have dipped into books of
    aesthetics, but I had an
    uncomfortable feeling that I was
    reading the works of
    astronomers who had never
    looked at the stars. They were
    writing about poetry as if poetry
    were a task, and not what it
    really is, a passion, and a joy.”
    - Jorge Luis Borges

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  6. Care about the presentation of your books
    online
    in the same way
    you care about every other step
    of the
    publishing process

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  7. Book cover design is even more
    important than it every was
    They travel around the web
    Create a connection between
    web and physical stores
    They must work in small places

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  8. not a commerce-driven site, but focus is on the book

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  9. example of a Shopify site

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  10. Design & Content
    Be mindful of your audience(s)
    Readers;
    media/reviewers;
    booksellers;
    if non-profit, potential donors,
    potentially academics.

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  11. Design & Content
    Use what you have…
    covers,
    review quotes
    blog posts,
    interviews

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  12. –Roberto Bolaño
    “The cowardly don’t publish the brave”

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  13. – ME
    “I Love Blurbs”

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  14. Design & Content
    Innovate

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  15. Design & Content
    Be about the reader, not you - put yourself in their place
    and try to think about what they need.
    !
    Site search is important
    !
    SEO is somewhat important -
    use good copy and links and don’t sweat the rest
    (like keywords).

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  16. Design & Content
    Serendipity Principle:
    Design first for the least engaged viewer
    !
    Make it easy for for people to find what they want…and make it easier for
    people to discover what they didn’t know they wanted.

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  17. –Guido Anselmi (8 1/2)
    “If we can’t have everything, true perfection
    is nothingness.”

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  18. A note
    The web is not print

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  19. A Note
    If your site isn't optimized for mobile devices you aren't
    really on the web
    !
    If your site isn't fast, your viewers will
    abandon you.

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  20. www.feedthebot.com/pagespeed/
    Performance is the new SEO

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  21. E-commerce
    • Can be expensive. Start slow.
    • Use platforms where it makes sense.
    • “D to C” will be important s o o n .
    • Lots of opportunities to “know your customer” when you
    engage them on your site.
    • Start your mailing list now.

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  22. Social Media

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  23. Social Media
    • Better to be really present on one channel than to be
    mediocre on many.
    • Be genuine and personal.
    • Don’t be afraid to change strategies.
    • Beware the false feel-good of hits from Facebook.

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  24. Platforms
    Everybody’s favorite with 60m + users: Wordpress
    But beware of hidden costs. It must be maintained, or risk hacking; hosting
    must be robust or your site will slog; add-ons can be a pain. Developer
    quality variable. And, themes are obvious.
    Good place to start if you have very limited resources:
    Squarespace
    (or others depending on your sensibilities and other needs)
    Commerce: Shopify?
    Ultimately, you will want to own your content.

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  25. CUNY Publishing Institute June 5th, 2014
    Bud Parr, sonnet media

    !
    Sonnet Media LLC

    Centre for Social Innovation

    601 West 26th Street, Suite 325

    New York NY 10001

    http://sonnetmedia.net

    http://twitter.com/@budparr

    !
    !

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