Tag Archives: books

The Elements of Content Strategy

Content strategy is the web’s hottest new thing. But where did it come from? Why does it matter? And what does the content renaissance mean for you? Content strategist and editor Erin Kissane tackles these questions in the latest A Book Apart publication, The Elements of Content Strategy. From basic principles to tools and techniques, this brief guide is great for both experienced content strategists and those making the transition from other fields.

We’re giving away a copy of this book to one of our readers. Simply leave a comment telling us your format preference (paperback or ebook). We’ll draw a name at random on Friday, March 11 at 5pm EST. In the meantime, be sure to head over to the A Book Apart site to read an excerpt and check out the other fantastic publications.

Update: The winner is Lori, congratulations! Thank you to everyone who commented. Be sure to enter our next giveaway in May.

Coming soon to a bookstore near you

I love going to the movie theater. There’s the smell of the buttery popcorn, the familiar routine of bickering over where to sit with my husband, and then the lights dim and my attention is captivated—it’s time for the movie trailers.

That sneak peek at special effects, snappy dialogue, and carefully crafted score promotes upcoming movies to an audience who are highly likely to come back for the rest. So what happens when you take that experience and translate it to books?

I have been coming across more and more book trailers lately, and it makes me curious about the strategy behind them. These are online videos for traditional books, promoted by both authors and publishers. It’s a creative idea, especially when a video link is easily shareable on social networks and the like. Here are a few examples:

What do you think—does a book trailer make you more likely to buy and read the book, or are you satisfied with the sneak peek?

Most Wanted: Freedom to read

Holden Caulfield. Atticus Finch. Harry Potter. Imagine never being able to meet the teenage rebel, ethical lawyer, or boy wizard because the books they come from are deemed unacceptable.

The freedom to read is what Banned Books Week is all about. From September 25 to October 2, the American Library Association is celebrating this freedom by calling attention to the harms of censorship with the help of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and readers like you.

Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week. BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.

There will be a Banned Books Week Read-Out! in Chicago today, as well as events across the country in local libraries and bookstores. Not able to attend? Curl up with one of the banned and challenged books, or check out The New York Times’s 10 ways you can celebrate the freedom to read.

Condé Naste and Disney make publishing news

Gourmet Magazine ceases print publicationThere has been some big news in the publishing industry recently, beginning with Condé Naste announcing the closure of four magazines. Gourmet, the oldest culinary magazine in America, will cease print publication after a final November issue, but continue to offer content via its website. Cookie, Modern Bride, and Elegant Bride are also being shut down.

Magazines and newspapers alike continue to struggle to generate profits with print publications — and print ads.

[...] publishers can no longer rely on the traditional print advertising model alone to see them through to profits. [..] Not only is the future of print in adapting to new models, be it digitally or beyond, but it also will be about finding several revenue streams from their content to offset losses from advertising, and rethinking the old — and sometimes cost inefficient — processes for producing magazines.

But as nice as “go digital” sounds as a solution, there is still the issue of how to generate revenue from online content. Should it be ad-based? Subscriber-based? Will readers pay for online content? These are just a few of the questions that are debated as publications move online and e-publishing continues to grow. Now the industry will have a big-name example to potentially follow: Disney.

Today The Walt Disney Company launched a subscription-based website — DisneyDigitalBooks.com — where it offers hundreds of digital children’s books for $79.95 a year. Users can choose stories that they read themselves, or follow along on the screen as voice actors read the books to them.

By pursuing a subscription online model — as opposed to focusing on downloads and sales for devices like the Kindle — Disney is placing a specific bet about where the children’s market is going, at least in the next three to five years. The move could send ripples through this corner of publishing, if only because of the size of Disney, which annually sells 250 million children’s books.

Disney’s plan is to utilize the online space to lead into other areas of the market that were previously unavailable to them, such as language learning. But as more content is being made available digitally, there are some fears that the increase in electronic publications will lead to widespread online file sharing and abuse of copyright, causing the publishing industry to suffer the same fate as the recording industry.

From choosing a revenue generating plan to choosing the best medium for their content, it’s clear that magazine, newspaper, and book publishers have many hard decisions ahead of them. It will be interesting to see how successful the industry is as a whole at adapting their business strategies to the digital world.

Never Sleep: Transitioning to design professional

Never SleepEMPRNT recently sat down with Andre Andreev and Dan Covert of dress code NY about their new book, Never Sleep.

When asked what triggered the idea for the book, Covert had this to say:

I was really influenced in school by “tellmewhy.” It kind of changed how I looked at design and we thought maybe we could do that for students…. And once we started teaching we realized how literally we had just gone through all the stuff they were asking about, so why not write about it?

The book features both early and professional work by the authors as they talk about what worked and what didn’t, giving design students insight into what the transition to design professional is all about. From the book’s website:

There is a major disconnect between the life of a design student and the transition to being a design professional. To demystify the transition, we share the failures, successes, and surprises during our years in college and progression into the field: the creative process, monetary problems, internships, interviews, mistakes, and personal relationships. We include the work from our first design class to our most current client work, along with side stories and interviews from our mentors, teachers, and peers. This book will serve as the ultimate companion for design students, educators, and anyone breaking into a creative field.

Be sure to check out the full EMPRNT interview and add the book to your Amazon cart or wish list.