Print Books Aren’t Dying, But They’re Definitely Changing

printbooksalesIt’s a new year. We’re humans, so we love the endless art of speculation.

If you’re a writer, an avid reader, or both, there’s probably one big question on your mind in particular: are print books going to stick around or are eBooks going to replace them?

What’s a bookshelf going to look like in the next few years?

Well, the data is in and the answers may surprise you:

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Why Instagram Selling Your Photos is a Lot Worse Than You Think

instagramsellphotos

Let’s be fair: it’s not clear if Instagram is actually going to sell user photos anymore.

And if you’re not on the Instagram train, let’s be clearer: Instagram is a mobile-based, photo-sharing service that’s popular because… well… it makes your photos look like they were taken in about 1975.

Recently, the terms of service for Instagram changed to include this hefty line, among others: “…a business or other entity may pay us to display your… photos… in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”

Instagram has since decided that so blatantly selling user photos may not be a good idea, but it’s obvious in what direction the social network (now owned by Facebook) is moving:

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The Death of the eReader

ebookereadersalesI think I’m a prophet. At least when it comes to the future of books and eReaders (like the Kindle or Nook).

A prophet that has the impressive power to tell… the present.

As I was swirling around in my office chair, ruminating about eReaders and how they’re probably going to be obsolete in the next few years, BAM.

A study conducted by IHS iSuppli confirms that eReader sales have dropped by 36% this year and are expected to plunge another 27% next year.

The reason?

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Learning Facebook Marketing from 50 Shades of Grey

When I set out to grade five author Facebook Pages, I wasn’t quite sure what I would find.

Mostly, I expected a vast treasure trove of disappointment. Mostly, I wasn’t disappointed in discovering that disappointment.

Until I took a look at the Facebook Page of E.L. James, author of 50 Shades of Grey.

Now, I’m not really convinced that Facebook is a useful tool for a self-promoting author who hasn’t published anything. After all, you can’t market hype about something no one has ever heard of before.

But once your book does come out, there are ways you can create an interesting, exciting Facebook Page for it.

Let’s take a look at how the 50 Shades of Grey team does it:

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How A Sci-Fi Magazine Uses Facebook to Sell Issues

When authors talk about promoting their books, the “S” word isn’t far behind.

Everyone knows social media is important for writers in some abstract context, but they’re not sure how it actually works.

That includes me.

I’ve tried investigating it all month, first by interviewing author Holly Robinson about how she uses Twitter. Then, by taking a look at the Facebook Pages of famous authors.

Now, I wanted to talk to someone who runs a magazine to see how Facebook is working as a marketing platform.

Here’s my interview with Shane Collins, the editor-in-chief of The Speculative Edge, a sci-fi magazine that’s just five months old.

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The Future of Books (Calm Down Edition)

Let’s talk about the future of books by stating the obvious: books take a long time to write.

In fact, per hour, I think they’re definitely one of the top most time-consuming forms of art.

Writing a book in a year is considered almost a heroic effort.

Two, three years, well, that’s about normal.

A lot of books are late-bloomers, too, and won’t get finished for years and years.

Authors are willing to put in the sweat, blood, and missed Life Opportunities to write.

When it’s done, we put every sentence to a magnifying glass, carefully scan the pages… then promptly decide we hate it, ALL OF IT.

We write and rewrite, which adds more time to the process.

But is that the way writers should be writing in the 21st century?

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5 Famous Authors on Facebook… Let’s See if it’s Useful

With more than 1 billion users registered with Facebook, when authors are considering social media to promote their books, it’s often the first Social Media Channel they explore.

Publishers urge authors to get acquainted with Facebook, too.

In fact, I recently overheard (at the gym locker room, believe it or not), that one guy who just landed a book deal has to maintain a Facebook and Twitter presence for the book as part of the deal.

So, yeah, Facebook is a big thing for authors… or so we think.

If you’re trying to start a Facebook Page, the experience is a lot different than if you’re just a writer trying to get more followers on Twitter.

Why’s that? Let’s take a look, then see how five famous authors are using Facebook Pages.

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