"The Narrator" an illustration by artist Duncan Long for Poe's Poem

"The Narrator" an illustration by artist Duncan Long

Sometimes I discover a variety of tidbits that aren’t quite enough for a blog entry, but which I suspect will be of interest to those connected to the publishing industry.


Authors can now autograph their Kindlel ebooks for fans — via KindleGraph. Authors may sign onto the service via Twitter accounts or set up a new account at the site.

Encyclopedia Britannica announced that after over two centuries, it will discontinue its print volumes. Talk about an end of an era. One has to wonder if many newspapers and magazines may soon follow this trend. The tough part isn’t ending the printing as much as making money with an online and/or e-version of the publication. It will be interesting to see how this is done. Or, worse, seeing it fail to prove doable.

If you’ve been wondering why the ebooks you purchase from Apple seem more expensive than the equivalent through Amazon.com, here’s an article with a possible answer. It will be interesting to see if the Justice Department will bring a case against Apple and the large presses involved. And also fascinating to see if Apple fans embrace being gouged by the company they so valiantly support.

Recent research by book sellers suggests that an ebook can enjoy 178% better sales when the publisher adds enhanced metadata components such as the short/long descriptions, reviews, and author bio to the metadata of the title. Perhaps that extra effort spent cobbling together metadata pays off after all.

Press releases can also help boost sales of books. News Digest International is accepting news and press releases from authors; submission is free.

Many book cover designs head south because of a very simple problem: Too much “stuff” in the layout. Some sound advice from American painter and illustrator Harvey Dunn about what to do when a cover illustration isn’t working: “Take something out.” Generally very good advice.

And the inverse is true as well.

A perfectly good book cover design can quickly be ruined when someone dictates adding just a little more to it. Less is better, especially when many book cover illustrations will be reduced for web advertising and print catalogs. With cover design, when in doubt, leave it out.

Finally, Author R.S. Guthrie reports that for a very short time, his ebook Black Beast: A Clan of MacAulay Novel will be available for 99 cents in a variety of formats including Cloud Reader, Kindle for PC, Kindle for Mac, Kindle for iPhone, Kindle for iPad, and Kindle for Android. Snap up some of these inexpensive copies while you can.

And now… back to work.
Duncan Long has worked in the publishing industry for several decades. Currently he works as a book and magazine illustrator for self-publishing authors as well as large presses including HarperCollins, Paladin, Asimov Science Fiction Magazine, Pocket Books, ILEX, and others. Find samples of Long’s illustrations and graphic design at: Duncan’s Book Artwork Gallery