Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Book Publishing 2.0 Emerging

As if we needed any more evidence, Kobo has announced it's signing deals directly with author, just like Amazon. It's as Amazon exec Russell Grandinetti told the New York Times recently:

 "[T]he only really necessary people in the publishing process now are the writer and reader. Everyone who stands between those two has both risk and opportunity."

Which is something Joe Konrath and others have been saying for a while. It's a great time to be an author, especially if you have some understanding of business and marketing. Some authors are lost in this brave new world without a publisher to take care of everything for them, no matter how ineptly that might take place. I've heard one best-selling author describe how she just writes a huge number of pages, and then her editor turns it into a novel. (One of the many unsung editors who deserve far more credit than they ever get.) The author sounded like she really couldn't be bothered with figuring out how to tighten up her work, put it in order, make it make sense... I think that sort of author, who is deeply reliant on a publisher's help, is going to struggle without a publisher.

Most authors are certainly going to need a graphic artist to design a cover, develop formatting and such; an editor to at least find typos, and probably to help refine their writing; technical help in preparing their books for various electronic platforms; business and marketing advice on banking, company structure, how and where to market, and a zillion other things. Certainly some authors are familiar with some or all of this; some may even be able to do a pretty good job of all those things. Most will need to find people to help them with some or all of these tasks, and usually for a flat fee. These are all functions that publishers took care of, but they took an enormous percentage of sales to do all that... which makes sense given that books then had a huge capital cost and inventory and shipping costs. All that has gone away with digital distribution, and even with print-on-demand. Bookstore and newsstand distribution is still the one area where the self-publisher can't go without a partner, and that may be a good reason to go the traditional route with a book... at least so you can attract attention to all those other books you are selling yourself digitally.

I'm also excited to see that authors are beginning to experiment with different lengths, and styles of publishing. Let's see those monthly pulp adventures return, the 90-page adventures of The Shadow and Doc Savage and countless others. The new magazine era is upon us, for digitally published content. Apple's new Newsstand app in iOS 5 is apparently causing huge jumps in sales for magazines. Which is great, because that may help magazines finally make the transition to digital.

It all means I'm going to have to make some time to work on the books I want to write...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Way To Publish An Ebook

The online book publishing service Blurb is offering a way to publish collections of photos as an e-book for the iPad,  for only $1.99. If you're in downtown Manhattan, watch out for falling publishing executives. The end is near for traditional publishing.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Baby Game, For Real

See, it says Serious Game, so you know they aren't foolin'.
Seriously, why can't we get games like this in the USA? The Mommy Tummy game certainly has unique aspects for a marketer to grab onto. Look, you get to wear a suit with special chest and stomach sensors, and simulate an entire pregnancy in only a few minutes. Don't jump around too much, or you'll have a miscarriage!
His kung fu is strong.

Although perhaps they need a longer game play experience than 2 minutes... maybe they could stretch that out to a few hours. Make it multiplayer, let someone else play the baby... just for kicks.

As a sequel, perhaps a simulation of raising a child. For added realism, it deducts amounts regularly from your credit card.

Maybe this one isn't going to be hitting the top of the bestseller lists soon, but it's definitely thought-provoking.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Zynga is about to announce something big... Probably support for Facebook's newly announced HTML5 app for iOS and Android. Sounds cool, but how will in-app payments split between Apple, Facebook and Zynga? More to follow.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs, R.I.P.

It's a sad day in the high-tech world. Steve Jobs has passed away. He was the driving force behind the Apple II, which created the computer game industry, and later the iPhone, which transformed the industry. Let's not forget Pixar, either, and the amazing movies that they have made. Or the iPad, which is busy remaking the laptop market and creating a whole new category of devices.

I never met the man, though I did go to a few Homebrew Computer Club meetings back in the 1970's. I still remember when Ty Roberts (now CTO at Gracenote) came by the Hero Games offices in 1983, to show us the prototype of this awesome new computer called the Macintosh... Ty wanted to create a Champions game for it. That was cool, but what that computer really meant was that a few years later, with a laser printer and Pagemaker software, it made putting out books incredibly easier. And all of that was really because of Steve Jobs' vision. I hope his companies continue to do great things, and carry onward in his memory.

Requiescat in pacem.