Introducing Audio Excerpts on NetGalley!

“Promoting all book formats is good for all books”

The audio boom is finally coming to NetGalley! 

We are thrilled to announce that NetGalley is now supporting Audio Excerpts. 

Right now, publishers can add Audio Excerpts for any books listed on the site, regardless of publication date. 

“This is just the first step in our audio strategy,” says Kristina Radke, VP Business Growth and Engagement. “By summer 2020 NetGalley will also support full audiobook files so publishers can share their audiobooks with important publicity contacts, reach new, influential audiences who provide feedback and reviews, as well as track and report on access granted, feedback received, and trends in activity. Promoting all book formats is good for all books, and now audio publishers will have the same powerful tools that their print and digital counterparts have had for years.”

NetGalley members can browse for Audio Excerpts in the catalog and listen to them through an on-site, streaming player. As they listen to the Excerpt, they are then prompted to submit early feedback by responding to questions about their experiences. Publishers receive these aggregated responses, plus number of listens and average listening time, as part of the reports that already exist in their account. 

Members are just as excited as we are; they’ve been anxiously awaiting audio on NetGalley as much as publishers! Before launching Audio Excerpts, we asked our members via social media about their audio listening habits. Some of them hoped and guessed that we were going to be supporting audio soon. And once we announced the launch of Audio Excerpts on NetGalley, they weren’t shy when sharing their excitement

NetGalley clients can add their Audio Excerpts during this free trial period (until May 15, 2020). Just click “Upload/Preview Files” on any Title Details page. 

According to the Audio Publishers Association’s 2018 annual survey, audio is continuing to grow. And we’re happy to support that growth on NetGalley.

Image: Audio Publishers Association 2018 annual survey, illustration by Findaway

To see the new marketing programs designed to highlight audio on NetGalley, check out the 2020 Media Kit.

We look forward to promoting even more books, in every format!

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Penguin Random House is Bringing Back the Book Fair

Remember the pure, bookish joy of a middle school book fair at PRH’s
Book Fair for Grownups

“We took a playful approach with this event format to inject a bit of that joy into all our lives and to celebrate book nerds everywhere”

On Saturday, November 23, Penguin Random House is bringing bookish nostalgia to life in a Book Fair for Grownups. Attendees will be able to relive their school book fairs in the 80s and 90s, browse books curated by the PRH team, take pictures in a school photo booth, peruse retro crafts by Glue, and see special appearances from PRH authors.

Penguin Random House warns that attendees might experience “Severe middle school flashbacks! Tables stacked with books! Pencils! Mr. Sketch Markers! Erasers! Cubbies! Pins! Patches! Spin art! Snap bracelets! Custom Interactive Mad Libs!”

We heard from members of the cross-departmental team that created this Book Fair about how this event was born, how they are working with partners and sponsors like Belletrist, Urban Outfitters, and Out of Print, and how they are using it to connect with their readers. 

Thanks to Alison Rich & Rachael Perriello, PRH Author Platforms, and Carly Gorga, RH Events & Partnerships, who gave us an inside look at the creation of this event.

What’s the origin story behind the Book Fair for Grownups? 

The idea of Book Fair for Grownups has been floating around Penguin Random House for a while because for so many of us, the book fairs of our youth are what first got us excited about reading (not to mention all of the super cool pencils, markers, Trapper Keepers, etc). By the time this summer rolled around, we believed we had enough excitement among our staff that the time was right to make it happen for the fall.    

There’s been a lot of collaboration across various PRH teams including author platforms, consumer marketing, sales, events, and our publishing divisions to bring this event to life, which has been really fun.

Who is the audience for the Book Fair?

There is no one archetypal “student” at Book Fair. Whether you are a millennial, a mom, or a millennial mom – if you grew up loving book fairs, watching Reading Rainbow, and getting lost in the stacks, this event is for you.

Why this particular era of Book Fair? What are you hoping it evokes for the attendees?

“It made sense to us to try to capture some of that passion offline with an experiential format that would bring our childhood love of books to life, embrace the bookish lifestyle, and create a sense of community around our books and authors.” 

We focused on an 80s / 90s-era book fair because that’s when a lot of us were in school, and also because there’s a lot of nostalgia for that time. That’s definitely the feeling we’re hoping to evoke for guests – the magic of being back in school, shopping for books and school supplies, trading stickers, tie-dying t-shirts, wearing scrunchies, doing Mad Libs. Life gets complicated as you get older and we want to bring people back to a lighter, less complicated time in their lives . . . if only for an afternoon.

How does this event fit into PRH’s larger strategy for reader outreach?

Penguin Random House’s mission is to foster a universal passion for reading by partnering with authors to create stories that inform, entertain, and inspire, and connect them with readers everywhere. Given that reading is such a passion point, it made sense to us to try to capture some of that passion offline with an experiential format that would bring our childhood love of books to life, embrace the bookish lifestyle, and create a sense of community around our books and authors.  

It’s unique for a publisher to have public-facing events like this. Most consumers tend to think about buying books from bookstores or online retailers. How are you hoping this event will influence consumer perception of PRH?

Our booksellers and online retailers are invaluable partners. Consumer-facing events like Book Fair (among many others hosted by various divisions of Penguin Random House) are simply one of the many ways we can connect directly with readers: To meet them. To talk to them. To hear directly from them what they’re loving, what they’re reading, and how we can better serve them. It’s important for us as a business to know our audience, and events like Comic Cons, book festivals, and now Book Fair make that possible. Books serve so many purposes – they start dialogues, bridge gaps, connect individuals and communities, transform lives – but they also bring people so much joy. We took a playful approach with this event format to inject a bit of that joy into all our lives and to celebrate book nerds everywhere.

How did you decide what kinds of activities or giveaway items the audience would be most interested in?

“It’s important for us as a business to know our audience, and events like Comic Cons, book festivals, and now Book Fair make that possible.”

This was really a collaborative effort from our team. We have a Book Fair brain trust of folks from across Penguin Random House, and we did a lot of brainstorming, reminiscing and laughing, and that’s where we came up with most of the ideas and activations you’ll find at Book Fair. We also worked with a host of amazing partners and sponsors including Office Depot, Urban Outfitters, Glue, Tiger Beat, Mrs. Grossman’s, Lip Smacker and our colleagues at Out of Print.

Tell us about the partnership with Belletrist for this event. Why did you choose to work with them and what does that partnership look like?

Belletrist has been a fantastic partner for PRH since its inception. When we realized we both had the same instinct to bring readers back to the book fairs of their youth we immediately knew we had to partner with them on it. They’ve had a hand in inspiration, in bringing in sponsors, in promotion, and sheer enthusiasm.

What kinds of books can we expect to see at the Book Fair?

Because this event is for those 21 and over, there will be a wide assortment of books for grownups for sale (including YA!). The title selection was curated by Abbe Wright from Read it Forward. Some tables of our titles you can expect to see are “Brand Spankin’ New,” “Munchies,” “Heartthrobs,” and “TBT,” to name a few.

Can you give us a hint about any of the authors who will be there?

Principal John Hodgman will be joined by Deb Perelman, Adam J. Kurtz, Mya Spalter, Summer Rayne Oakes, and others. But you’ll have to come see for yourself to find out more!


Tickets are available for the Book Fair for Grownups here.

*Interviews have been edited for clarity and length.

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Mark your calendars: November 2019

Upcoming conferences, panels, webinars, and networking opportunities 

There is always a wide variety of programming available to help publishing professionals connect with one another, grow their skill-sets, and stay abreast of changing trends and emerging strategies. On NetGalley Insights, we share the events we’re most excited for on a monthly basis. 

This November, there are quite a few conferences, mostly focused on specific regions or niche areas of interest. Plus, NetGalley Insights Associate Editor Nina Berman will be making her way to speak at the IPNE Annual Conference. If you’ll be attending, be sure to say hello! And in the UK, Futurebook and Day of Code will have audiences thinking about 2020 and beyond. 

If you know of an upcoming event for December or after, email insights@netgalley.com so we can feature it.

US


IPNE 8th Annual IPNE Independent Publishers and Authors Conference

Conference – Strategy

Nov. 1 – 3, Marlboro, MA

“Our program includes experts and leaders from across the industry, sure to educate and inspire. This year’s program will focus on industry direction and trends, sales and marketing, and organic growth.”

ECPA: PubU

Conference – Strategy

Nov. 5 – 6, Nashville

“Training, Connecting, and Inspiring the Christian Publishing Professional”

The Charleston Library Conference

Conference – Library Acquisitions

Nov. 5 – 8, Charleston

“The Charleston Conference is an informal annual gathering of librarians, publishers, electronic resource managers, consultants, and vendors of library materials in Charleston, SC, in November, to discuss issues of importance to them all. It is designed to be a collegial gathering of individuals from different areas who discuss the same issues in a non-threatening, friendly, and highly informal environment. Presidents of companies discuss and debate with library directors, acquisitions librarians, reference librarians, serials librarians, collection development librarians, and many, many others. Begun in 1980, the Charleston Conference has grown from 20 participants in 1980 to thousands in 2018.”

Women’s Media Group: How to Sell Your Product, Your Brand, or Yourself on LinkedIn

Workshop – Social Media

Nov. 12, NYC

“WMG is pleased to have Afiya Addison the Education Lead, The B2B Institute @ LinkedIn, present all you ever wanted to know about LinkedIn, arguably the most import platform for your professional life. You’ll learn: How to optimize your personal profile, Best practices for brand pages, The art of engaging content, Effective advertising solutions, What LinkedIn analytics can teach you about your campaign.”

BIGNY: Program Night: Designers’ Roundtable

Panel Program – Design

Nov. 19, NYC

Moderated by Anne Twomey of Celadon Books and She Designs Books, a panel of New York Book Show award–winning designers will discuss what goes into a book’s design. Presenters include adam b. bohannon, NYU Press and adam b. bohannon design; Nicole Caputo, Catapult and Counterpoint Press and She Designs Books; Richard Ljoenes, Richard Ljoenes Design; Jen Wang, Clarkson Potter. The event will be held at Penguin Random House, located at 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019. Program begins at 6:30 P.M.; a professional networking event will precede at 5:15 P.M.

Penguin Random House: Book Fair For Adults

Book Fair

Nov. 23, NYC

“Back in the days of recess, snap bracelets, and Dunkaroos, life was simpler, wasn’t it? When your biggest fear was getting detention, and your best days were when you had the luxury to spend an hour picking out which book(s) to read next? We miss that, too—so we decided to bring it back for an afternoon.

Join us on Saturday, November 23rd for Penguin Random House’s first-ever Book Fair. All afternoon, we’ll have 60-minute sessions where you can browse the latest and greatest books and merchandise, participate in throwback activities, and get schooled by our beloved authors.”

UK


BookMachine: Can Design Thinking Transform Your Publishing Strategy 

Panel Program – Strategy

Nov. 13, London 

“Designers as creative thinkers are powerful problem solvers. But traditionally, colleagues in finance, editorial, sales or marketing are promoted to the top publishing jobs. What is lost without the transformative effect design thinking can add to strategy and leadership? How can design thinking enhance management decisions? What can publishing learn from our own and other sectors’ creative leaders?

Join our panel for an intriguing discussion on how design thinking can transform a business. Hear from an organisational behaviour expert on the theory, as well as a Creative-turned-board-member on the practice. And get inspired by the insights from a Creative Director who will show how design thinking really does make a huge difference.”

Futurebook: Day of Code, 2019

Workshop – Technology

Nov. 22, London

“As one of 40 bookselling and publishing delegates from across the book trade, supported by ~15 coaches, you will build a real website on your laptop using free technology showcasing your own selection of book data provided by Nielsen. You will publish your website to the web and can continue to develop it after the workshop. The results will be showcased the following Monday at FutureBook 19, to inspire and motivate your peers. This exclusive course, created especially for FutureBook 19 by publishers who code, is included in the price of your FutureBook 2019 ticket. But you must apply separately after buying your FutureBook ticket: space is strictly limited to 40 delegates. “

The Bookseller: Futurebook

Conference – Technology

Nov. 25, London

“For 10 years FutureBook, The Bookseller’s annual publishing conference, has tracked, interrogated, and challenged the way the international book business has embraced (and rebuffed) the digital content revolution. Today the event remains the stand-out gathering for smart thinkers, creatives and innovators across books, with FutureBook Live 2019 offering the most ambitious and far-reaching programme so far, with executives from Pearson, Hachette, Waterstones, Bonnier, Springer Nature, Faber, Booker, the BBC, Penguin Random House, Blackwell, and Lonely Planet, confirmed as speakers.

The conference will once again examine the burgeoning audiobook and podcast markets, the academic and educational sectors, and will also tackle the big themes dominating the book business right now, including the globalisation of platforms and audience, the threats to freedom to publish, the cultural importance of books and renewal of physical bookselling, the rise and fall (and rise) of female leaders, and the challenges (or opportunities) posed to reading by other entertainment sectors.

The prestigious FutureBook Awards will return, including BookTech Company of the Year, Podcast of the Year, and the FutureBook Person of the Year, who will once again deliver the closing keynote.”

BookMachine: Facebook Ads Training for Publishers

Workshop – Marketing

Nov. 26, London

“BookMachine Works is running a training session for publishing professionals who need a deeper Understanding of Facebook Ads, either for managing a team/agency; or for setting up your own campaigns. Understanding Facebook Ad Options, Building Facebook Advertising Content, Measuring your Facebook Ads Success.”

Global


6th Annual Sharjah International Book Fair

Book Fair

Oct. 30 – Nov. 9, Sharjah, UAE

“Featuring more than 400 literary events and a stellar line-up of authors, this annual book fair is one of the world’s largest. Returning for the 37th year, the Sharjah International Book Fair features 11 days of writing workshops, poetry readings, book signings, cookery demonstrations and children’s activities. The prestigious fair attracts more than two million book lovers and 1,420 publishing houses to the Expo Centre, with great discounts on books available in 210 languages. Entry is free and the fair is open daily from 10am-10pm (from 4pm on Fridays).” -via Visit Sharjah

6th Sharjah International Library Conference

Conference – Librarians

Nov. 5 -7, Sharjah, UAE

“The American Library Association (ALA) provides leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all. The Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) is one of the largest book fairs in the world, the most prestigious in the Arab world and home to the most exciting literary event in the region. ‘For the love of the written word’ is its inspiration, passion and reason for being.”

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NetGalley Advanced, providing in-depth data insights and productivity tools, launches in Europe

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

October 1, 2019—NetGalley LLC, the industry-standard provider of secure digital review copies and marketing solutions to readers of influence, today launched NetGalley Advanced for UK, French, and German publishers. Available in the United States since January, the premier level of service helps publishers track and analyze NetGalley trends across divisions, and make strategic decisions earlier. 

NetGalley continues to dovetail with publishers’ current marketing, publicity, and sales strategies, while expanding their pre-publication reach to new audiences. Called “NetGalley Premier” in France and Germany, NetGalley Advanced gives marketers and publicists access to tools that will help them spend less time executing strategies and more time refining them. Plus, new charts and customizable reports help publishers understand how their strategies are working, and if they’re reaching their engagement goals. New insights about audience, correlations between promotions and activity, and simplified title management ensure that employees at various levels of a publisher’s organization have what they need to make the most of pre-publication efforts.

“NetGalley Advanced has been well-received by publishers in the U.S.,” says Kristina Radke, VP, Business Growth and Engagement. “We’ve continued to introduce new and expanded features every month since the launch in January, and now feel that this powerful tool is ready for European publishers. I’m excited to see how publishers in these markets will use the early insights about their strategies, title activity, and audiences.”

Learn more about NetGalley Advanced by watching the most recent demo here

Interested publishers should contact your local representative: 

UK: stuart.evers@netgalley.com

France: maria.bodmer@netgalley.com

Germany: karina.elm@netgalley.com

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NetGalley LLC désormais l’unique propriétaire de NetGalley France

C’est avec plaisir que nous pouvons annoncer que NetGalley France, auparavant une coentreprise en partenariat avec le détaillant de livres numériques Feedbooks, fait désormais intégralement partie de NetGalley LLC, la structure en charge de NetGalley.com et NetGalley.co.uk !  

Lancée en 2015, NetGalley France est fière de travailler avec plus d’une trentaine d’éditeurs français, dont Hachette Livre, HarperCollins, divers pôles du groupe Editis et Actes Sud Junior, et d’atteindre une communauté de plus de 8 000 blogueurs, rédacteurs, libraires, professeurs et professionnels des médias. Lors de cette transition, les lecteurs et éditeurs utilisant www.netgalley.fr ne rencontreront aucun changement au niveau de la plateforme ou du service.

Maria Bodmer assure à présent, depuis Paris, la fonction de Community Manager & Chargée de Relations Éditeurs, prenant en charge les relations clients et la gestion quotidienne de NetGalley France. Maria reprend ainsi le rôle d’Astrid Pourbaix, qui a quitté l’entreprise pour poursuivre de nouveaux projets. Les éditeurs français peuvent contacter Maria à l’adresse suivante : contact-editeur@netgalley.com.

Veuillez lire l’intégralité du communiqué de presse pour plus d’informations. 


NetGalley France Now Fully Owned by NetGalley LLC

It is with excitement that we announce that NetGalley France, previously a joint venture in partnership with the French ebook retailer Feedbooks, is now wholly owned by NetGalley LLC–the team that runs NetGalley.com and NetGalley.co.uk!

NetGalley France launched in 2015 and is proud to work with over 30 publishers in the region, including Hachette Livre, HarperCollins, divisions of Editis, and Actes Sud Junior, to reach over 8,000 French bloggers, reviewers, booksellers, librarians, educators, and media. Publishers and members who use www.netgalley.fr will experience no changes in the service or platform as part of this transition.

Maria Bodmer, based in Paris, serves as the Community Manager & Chargée de Relations Éditeurs, supporting client relationships and daily management of NetGalley France. Maria replaces Astrid Pourbaix, who has left the company to pursue other endeavours. French publishers can reach Maria at contact-editeur@netgalley.com.

Read the full press release for more information.

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Mark your calendars: October 2019

Upcoming conferences, panels, webinars, and networking opportunities 

There is always a wide variety of programming available to help publishing professionals connect with one another, grow their skill-sets, and stay abreast of changing trends and emerging strategies. On NetGalley Insights, we share the events we’re most excited for on a monthly basis. 

In October, publishers all over the world will be gearing up for Frankfurt Book Fair. We wish everyone safe travels and the NetGalley and Firebrand teams look forward to seeing you there! (Reach out if you’d like to schedule a meeting!) But whether or not you’ll be making your way to Frankfurt, there are still plenty of opportunities to get together over a few drinks, tune in to a webinar about emerging technology, and celebrate excellent book craftsmanship.

If you know of an upcoming event for November or after, email insights@netgalley.com so we can feature it.

US


Women’s Media Group: Himalayan Happy Hour

Networking

Oct. 4, NYC

“Ease yourself into the weekend with friends and colleagues at Café Serai at the Rubin Museum! The Rubin presents art that traverses Asia’s diverse cultures, regions, and narratives. Its special exhibitions celebrate art forms that range from ancient to contemporary, including photography and multimedia, while its permanent collection galleries are focused primarily on art from the Himalayan region. WMG members and their guests will enjoy complimentary wine and appetizers with their registration, converse against the backbeat of DJ David Ellenbogen, and explore the museum’s exhibits to their hearts’ content. This informal mixer is a great opportunity to introduce other outstanding women in your orbit to WMG, so give some thought to your contacts—and have them join us, too.” 

BIGNY: The 33rd Annual New York Book Show

Awards – Design & Production

Oct. 10, NYC

“The New York Book Show offers publishing and printing professionals an opportunity to mingle while honoring the best examples of quality book design and production from the previous year. In 2019, we invite you to join us in celebrating the Book Show’s 33rd anniversary with a beautiful evening at Battery Gardens.”

PEN America: Lit Crawl NYC 2019

Networking

Oct. 12, NYC

” Lit Crawl NYC is a literary bar crawl where the cerebral meets the madcap with themed readings, trivia, and much more, all to celebrate the New York literary community. This year, PEN America and Books Are Magic present Lit Crawl NYC in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, on Saturday October 12!” 

BISG: Post-Program Update: “Technology Confidential”

Webinar – Technology

Oct. 15

“This session will update all attendees any progress or changes in publisher’s investing trends in regards to technology. Stay tuned for more information on what BISG has been doing to stay involved with technology advancement in the publishing sphere.“

Society for Scholarly Publishing: Are There Finally Real Use Cases for AI?

Webinar – Technology

Oct. 23

“In the last few years, a number of companies have come on the scene to tout new or better AI technology and propose new ways of using AI in scholarly communications. This webinar will cover real world use cases of publishers and AI technology, exploring what’s working and what, if anything, one should be aware of when considering an implementation.”

UK


The Society of Young Publishers: Freelance in the Publishing Industry

Panel Program – Professional Development

Oct. 2, Manchester

“Join the Society of Young Publishers for our Freelancing in the Publishing event taking place on Tuesday 3rd October at Gullivers, Manchester! Hear freelancers speak and learn more about what freelancing can offer in the publishing industry. Our first speaker is Jordan Taylor-Jones. Jordan Taylor-Jones is a freelance publicist, currently working on publicity and events for Bluemoose Books, Dead Ink Books, Influx Press and Peepal Tree Press.”

Global


Frankfurt Book Fair

Conference – Strategy 

Oct. 16 – 20, Frankfurt

“Frankfurter Buchmesse is the most important marketplace worldwide for printed and digital content and a great social and cultural event. In October, publishing experts, writers, players from the creative industry and culture enthusiasts from across the world will meet here to network, discuss, negotiate, make decisions, to marvel and celebrate. Frankfurt becomes the worldwide hub of the media and publishing industry in October, with ground-breaking contracts, innovative technologies and world literature you can touch.”

*Let us know what else we should have on our calendar! Email insights@netgalley.com with events so that we can feature them.

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Dispatch from Digital Book World

“You don’t have to do anything the way you’ve been doing it”

Lisa Lucas, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation opened Digital Book World with a keynote about innovation and experimentation, backed by practical takeaways for attendees. She told the audience, “You don’t have to do anything the way you’ve been doing it.” 

Lisa Lucas’s keynote was emblematic of most of the conversations at Digital Book World. Panelists and presenters explained their projects, companies, and initiatives while also sharing the practical tools and processes that they used to accomplish their goals. 

Tools 

Margot Atwell, winner of the DBW’s Outstanding Achievement Award and Head of Publishing at Kickstarter,sang the praises of Airtable to NetGalley Insights during a coffee break. She told us that the combination spreadsheet and database was indispensable for her when putting together the inaugural The Next Page: Creating the Future of Publishing, a full day of conversations shared digitally and available for free to foster a more inclusive, fair, and vibrant publishing landscape.

Margot Atwell presenting at Digital Book World

Amy Metsch and Dan Zitt of Penguin Random House Audio are expanding PRH’s audio offerings by going after new genres. They are transforming theater productions like Angels in America, graphic novels like Roller Girl, and Spanish language books like La primera regla del punk into audiobooks. Like any team going through a growth period, the PRH Audio team needed to develop a more streamlined and centralized ways of casting these audiobooks, many of which feature a full cast. To support their audio expansion, PRH developed an audio talent database called Ahab, which now has the profiles of 3,000 actors all over the world. They’ve used Ahab to match narrators and voice actors to their increasing roster of projects, plus expand their pool of talent beyond the actors that they already know. And soon other publishers will be able to use Ahab to find the right audio talent for their projects. 

Eleanor Long and Trevor Young, co-founders of indie animation studio Tapocketa, showcased their interactive children’s book Galdo’s Gift (which won multiple awards at DWB 2018, including Best Overall Book) and gave a sneak preview of their new interactive storytelling project, The Locksmith. They also shared the tools that they use to get this work done – from communication and productivity tools like Slack and Teux Deux (both of which are beloved by the NetGalley team) to animation software like Affinity and Hype.

Process 

Bluefire founder and CEO Micah Bowers shared the winding journey of the Bluefire Reader. We were surprised to learn that one of the earliest prototypes was an EPUB 2 compliant e-reader for a Sony Playstation device. The audience also learned that Bluefire was originally intended to contain both an e-reader and a virtual bookstore, plus the original conception of Adobe Digital Editions was an in-browser reader rather than a desktop app.
Bowers shared the roadblocks, surprises, and coincidences in Bluefire’s history, including the recent removal of Bluefire from the Android store (although it is still in the iOS store, and anyone who already has it on their device can still use it). In addition to providing the audience with a unique vantage point to think about the history of e-reading, Bowers’s talk was a lesson in how companies can respond to the unexpected with agility and creativity. Bluefire’s journey was full of iterations, failures, and pivots, all of which are crucial for anyone looking to be at the edge of technological innovation. 

Charlotte Abbott, founder of FutureProof Content Strategy, gave the audience a framework for thinking about creating brand stories that drive results. For Abbott, these stories “spark direct, ongoing connections with your customers, build community with customers and stakeholders, and drive revenue on a platform you own.” She used Berrett-Koehler’s 2017 online Servant Leadership Summit as a case study to demonstrate a simple framework for building those stories. Clear articulation of mission, goal, and story are the key to creating compelling narratives that bring in audiences and keep them engaged with your work. Seeing some raised eyebrows, she made it plain that even for for-profit companies, everyone has an overarching mission, even if it’s as simple as “produce world-class books and make a profit.” Abbott reminded the audience that publishers are “storytelling natives,” and advised us not to forget our storytelling skills when we are building our own brands. 

Charlotte Abbott presenting at Digital Book World

Audible’s Strategic Content Partnerships Manager Shira Schindel also gave a step-by-step structure, but for partnerships between companies and organizations. She instructed the audience to think of partnerships like stories; complete with plot, characters, goals, and challenges. Plot encompasses your company’s history and the history of a potential partner, plus the new directions for both of those companies. Character helps you figure out if you are connecting with the right person at another company. The goal crystallizes your objectives and your counterpart’s mandate from their company. And then the challenge helps you address potential limitations. She gave examples of recent Audible partnerships with Minetta Lane Theater and Alaska Airlines to show how this story-centric partnership structure lets both parties find meaningful and effective collaborations.

Joshua Tallent, Firebrand’s Director of Sales and Education, as he is wont to do, was sharing metadata best practices. And in addition to reminding publishers how crucial it is to fill in even the most basic metadata fields, he made some practical suggestions for how teams can best ensure that their metadata is being refreshed regularly and successfully sent to the appropriate retail partners. He advised publishers to have a dedicated position on staff for metadata. While editorial, marketing, legal, and other departments have a vested interest in metadata changes, he encouraged publishers to designate a point person. Then, he suggested scheduling regular metadata updates, monthly if possible. That way, publishers can have a built-in structure to check that their data is current, and can quickly see if anything has gone amiss. Plus, he also noted that Eloquence on Alert is a powerful tool to monitor any changes to books’ metadata across retail providers.


We’re leaving Digital Book World 2019 with our heads buzzing with new ideas and with some concrete strategies to implement more experimentation, more collaboration, and more innovation. 

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Mark your calendars: September 2019

Upcoming conferences, panels, webinars, and networking opportunities 

There is always a wide variety of programming available to help publishing professionals connect with one another, grow their skill-sets, and stay abreast of changing trends and emerging strategies. On NetGalley Insights, we share the events we’re most excited for on a monthly basis. 

As soon as fall starts, publishing kicks into high gear again. That means a month full of events about the big picture – digital and technological innovation, broad overviews of a book’s lifecycle, inside looks at publishing houses, and events that bring together readers, authors, and industry professionals. 

If you know of an upcoming event for October or after, email insights@netgalley.com so we can feature it.

US


Digital Book World

Conference – Strategy

Sept. 10-12, Nashville

“Thought leadership, best practices, and the gathering of community across the wide world of publishing.”

IBPA: “Ask an IBPA Board Member” Webinar Series: Robin Cutler, Ingram Spark

Webinar – Professional Development

Sept. 10

“During IBPA’s monthly “Ask an IBPA Board Member” speaker series, IBPA members meet and discuss book industry trends with a member of IBPA’s Board of Directors. The series features a different IBPA Board member each month, ensuring that IBPA members receive a unique point of view each time they join. Robin Cutler is committed to helping independent publishers easily get their content into the hands of readers around the globe. To help make this happen, Robin Cutler leads the development of IngramSpark and continues to support and refine the platform to better serve independent publishers around the world. Robin has broad knowledge of indie, academic and trade publishing and is an expert in content creation and distribution, on-demand models, marketing and author strategies. Robin is a leader in the independent publishing space, and when not developing new programs and services for IngramSpark, she can often be found sharing her expertise at industry events around the world.”

BISG: Book Publishing from Concept to Consumer

Conference – Professional Development

Sept. 16, Chicago

“Book Publishing: From Concept to Consumer” serves entry-level and mid-level professionals working across the book publishing supply chain. This career-development opportunity provides anyone interested in book publishing with a broader look at the life cycle of a book, from conception, development, and manufacturing to retailing and libraries. With detailed sessions on acquisition, editorial, production and design, distribution, returns, retailing, and libraries, this full-day event will build your understanding of book publishing as a whole. Topics covered will be more ‘how-to’ than ‘what-if,’ with practical advice and instruction provided by industry veterans.” [Check out our recap of last year’s Book Publishing from Concept to Customer].

Brooklyn Book Festival

Book Fair – Literary Event 

Sept. 16-23, NYC

Open to all, “the Brooklyn Book Festival is one of America’s premier book festivals and the largest free literary event in New York City. Presenting an array of national and international literary stars and emerging authors, the Festival includes a week of Bookend Events throughout New York City, a lively Children’s Day and a celebratory Festival Day with more than 300 authors plus 250 booksellers.”

Audio Publishers Association: Fall 2019 Social

Networking – Audio

Sept. 17, NYC

“Join us for ​2 hours of networking and fun with fellow APA members.”

BISG: Market Opportunities: Rights & Technology

Panel Program – Rights

Sept. 26, NYC

“This BISG series aims to demonstrate areas of potential growth, as well as cutting edge trends that could signify where the industry is heading.” This month the focus is on rights and technology.

Society for Scholarly Publishing: Early Career Edition: Falling into a Scholarly Publishing Career

Webinar – Academic Publishing

Sept. 26

“Are you just dipping your toes in the publishing world, or are you here for the long haul? What does a career in publishing mean in 2019, now that the digital transformation has finally taken hold? Wondering how to find the best fit for your background and skill-set? Join us to hear from an exciting slate of publishing professionals about the highlights, challenges, and responsibilities of their own roles, as well as the routes they took to get there – in just a few minutes each. A Q&A segment will follow the lightning presentations.”

BIGNY: Basically Books: Fall 2019

Workshop – Professional Development

Sept. 27, NYC

“We will cover: 

  • Manuscripts, Editing and Design: the first steps in “making a book”
  • Prepress: what you need to do to get ready for press, including a look at color, color management and proofing
  • Paper: all you need to know about paper
  • P&Ls: an overview
  • Printing and Binding
  • Digital Printing: a primer on the process                                          

There will be guest speakers for each step in the process. This program is absolutely free and is sponsored by the Book Industry Guild of New York. For more information or to sign up, please contact: Steve Bedney / 516-650-5251 / sbedney@gmail.com

UK


Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers: ALPSP Annual Conference & Awards 2019

Conference – Academic Publishing

Sept. 11-13, Old Windsor

“Our conference is a key date in the scholarly publishing calendar and attracts an audience of over 300 people from all sectors and levels of the scholarly communications industry. Spread over three days, the event provides a relaxed and friendly environment in which to share information and knowledge, learn about new initiatives, as well as engage in open discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing publishing today. Our expert speakers and the wide ranging programme ensure that our annual conference remains a must attend event for everyone involved in the scholarly publishing community. We also provide ample opportunity for networking with fellow delegates during coffee breaks, lunch and in the evening at our two social events (Welcome Reception and Awards Dinner).”

BookMachine: BookMachine Meets Bloomsbury

Panel Program – Strategy

Sept. 19, London

“Step inside Bloomsbury Publishing as we go into their London headquarters for a closer look at how they stay creative and strive to push the boundaries of publishing. For one night only, we’ll bring together four of Bloomsbury’s most energetic staff members to talk about how they stay creative in their roles in Editorial, Marketing and Sales and engage with colleagues, retailers and book lovers around the world. This unique event at the Bloomsbury Institute – Bloomsbury’s public events series – will feature exclusive stories and experiences from the team. Join them for a lively discussion on everything you need to know about publishing right now.”

BookMachine: Audio Across Publishing: How to Deliver More Bang for Your (Audio) Buck

Panel Program – Audio

Sept. 25, London

“Audio isn’t just about one format of a publishing programme. It has the potential to enhance your list as well as the publishing industry as a whole. It’s not just about a product revenue stream. Audio can boost marketing and publicity, enhance an author’s relationship with their readers, and encourage more people to listen then read. Join our panel of passionate audio publishers for an insightful look at how far audio publishing can take your business in 2019.”

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Maximizing Category Interest on NetGalley

You already know that NetGalley is a data-driven service. But did you know that in addition to giving publishers access to book-specific information about performance and member interest, we are also working with our own data scientist to dig into site-wide activity? We’re looking at data across publishers, categories, and years to examine trends and help publishers capture NetGalley members’ attention.

In this article, you’ll learn about opportunities you may be overlooking to reach readers interested in some underserved categories on NetGalley.

As a general rule, NetGalley functions as a microcosm of the book retail market. The titles and categories that perform strongly on NetGalley tend to also sell the most once they go on sale. This means that publishers can use NetGalley as an early indicator of success. The top 5 most popular categories on NetGalley are Teens & YA, Mystery & Thrillers, General Fiction, Romance, and Sci Fi & Fantasy. But there are plenty of other categories where you’ll find an enthusiastic readership on NetGalley!

While looking at this data, we discovered several categories with high median impressions (lots of views), but a relatively low number of books in the category. This means that there is less competition for more views!

Our data scientist helped us compare median impressions versus number of titles in each category on NetGalley, and we were able to discover which categories have a hungry audience and opportunity to expand the number of available books. 

The data set includes all books on NetGalley.com that were published between January 1 – December 31, 2018. We looked at the median impressions (views of the title details page) to ensure that extreme outliers of activity would not skew the data too much in one direction or another. The median number refers to the midpoint of the observed values, meaning that there is an equal probability of falling above or below it.

While looking at this data, we discovered several categories with high median impressions (lots of views), but a relatively low number of books in the category. This means that there is less competition for more views! Here are a few examples:

By comparison, some of the very popular categories like Romance and Mystery & Thrillers included many more titles, making the competitive field more challenging. (Romance: 706 median impressions and 2,224 titles. Mystery & Thrillers: 748 median impressions and 1,523 titles).

Keep in mind that some of the highest performing titles within these underserved categories are cross-listed in a second category. While this does mean that some of the impressions for these titles likely came from members browsing other categories, the success of cross-listed titles indicates the effectiveness of the strategy. Publishers can assign two different categories for each book on NetGalley, which we always recommend for increasing discoverability. 

For example, Bad Man (which was one of the top-performing Horror titles of 2018) is listed in both Horror and General Fiction. This means that members who were browsing in either Horror or General Fiction were able to discover Bad Man, and request it if it piqued their interest. If they browsed in both categories, they saw it twice! In total, only 13 books were cross-listed in these two particular categories in 2018. Similarly, Honeybee was one of the top-performing New Adult titles in 2018, and was cross-listed with Poetry. Some of the most common category combinations include General Fiction + Mystery & Thrillers, Romance + LGBTQIA, and Teens & YA + Sci Fi & Fantasy. 

Publishers also took advantage of on-site marketing to give their titles a boost in these categories. For example, The Kill Jar benefited from Category Spotlights in both Nonfiction and True Crime while it was active for requests, as well as a Dedicated eBlast targeted to members interested in True Crime and a list of comp titles—all of which helped it to become one of the most successful True Crime books on NetGalley in 2018. 

If you ever have questions about how to best position your titles on NetGalley in order to connect with readers who are most likely to advocate for your books, email concierge@netgalley.com

We are continually working with our data scientist to delve deeper into publisher and member activity, and will be sharing more of our findings here on NetGalley Insights. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter so that you don’t miss any upcoming data-driven strategies.

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