29 episodes

Get smarter about your books! The BookSmarts podcast features discussions about publishing data and technologies and interviews with industry experts, deep thinkers, and doers, bringing you insights that will help you sell more books.

Joshua Tallent is an acclaimed teacher and guide on the role of data in publishing, and a vocal advocate for high quality book metadata. In his spare time, Joshua enjoys playing complex board games, playing Minecraft, and fiddling with his 3D printer.

The BookSmarts Podcast, with Joshua Tallent Joshua Tallent

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

Get smarter about your books! The BookSmarts podcast features discussions about publishing data and technologies and interviews with industry experts, deep thinkers, and doers, bringing you insights that will help you sell more books.

Joshua Tallent is an acclaimed teacher and guide on the role of data in publishing, and a vocal advocate for high quality book metadata. In his spare time, Joshua enjoys playing complex board games, playing Minecraft, and fiddling with his 3D printer.

    Episode 28: Charles Watkinson on Open Access

    Episode 28: Charles Watkinson on Open Access

    In this episode, Charles Watkinson, the Director of University of Michigan Press and the Associate University Librarian for Publishing at University of Michigan Library, joins us to discuss Open Access ebooks and their role in the publishing community. Open Access ebooks are essentially freely available ebooks, usually for scholarly monographs, that are released under a license that allows reuse (most commonly a Creative Commons license).

    University of Michigan Press has experimented with Open Access since the 1990's, but developed their current program starting in the mid-2000's. Their goal, under their Fund to Mission program, is to get their monograph program to almost 100% open access by 2024.

    Joshua and Charles talk in this interview about release schedules and approaches for Open Access ebooks, licensing models, hybrid chapter-only models, and more. Charles also shares some of the specific approaches UM Press is taking, including combining their open access titles with their catalog subscription program.

    You can learn more about University of Michigan Press' Open Access program, and see the list of books, at press.umich.edu. Also, the Directory of Open Access Books (doabooks.org) has more information about Open Access, a toolkit for authors, and more.


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    • 21 min
    Episode 27: Kevin Franco on Book Marketing Strategies

    Episode 27: Kevin Franco on Book Marketing Strategies

    Kevin Franco is a Product Manager at Firebrand Technologies with a background in digital marketing, entrepreneurship, and direct-to-consumer ebook sales. He is leading the development of some new technologies at Firebrand, and has been doing a lot of thinking about book marketing strategies that can help increase book sales.

    We talked about the book marketing funnel from discovery through conversion, with an emphasis on strategies you can use to increase your Book Exposure Optimization (BEO) and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). These strategies include metadata changes and enhancements, advertising campaigns, and data analytics, but the specific strategies you implement will impact different parts of the funnel.

    We also talked about the Firebrand Group Community Conference, the year's premier conference for publishing professionals, which will include informative and targeted sessions on marketing, sales, data, and workflows from industry experts. If you are interested in learning more about the conference, please visit firebrandtech.com/conference.


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    • 19 min
    Episode 26: Pete Larson on the Current Supply Chain Situation

    Episode 26: Pete Larson on the Current Supply Chain Situation

    In this episode we are joined by Pete Larson. Pete is the President and CEO of Bethany Press (https://www.bethanypress.com/), a printer based in Bloomington, Minnesota. He has been in the printing side of the publishing business for over 25 years, and has some interesting thoughts to share with us about the current supply chain issues that we are experiencing as an industry.

    Pete looks back at changes that have been happening to book printing since the early 2000's, and traces some of the issues we are seeing now to overall trends and changes in printing processes and paper stock needs over the intervening years. The current issues we are seeing with paper availability is not only due to the supply chain disruptions from pandemic shutdowns, it is also due to how the industry was changing before the pandemic and where the trends in print book sales were heading.

    This episode gives an interesting look behind the book printing curtain, and includes some thoughts about sustainability and recycled paper stock, as well.


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    • 26 min
    Episode 25: BISG - Future Proofing Your Workflow

    Episode 25: BISG - Future Proofing Your Workflow

    This episode features a recording of a panel discussion I led with Mary McAveney, Chief Marketing Officer at Open Road Integrated Media, at the BISG 2022 Annual Meeting. The discussion, titled "Future Proofing Your Workflow," aimed to cover some open questions about the process of becoming more prepared for the future of publishing, whatever that might look like: Where do we start? How do we know what the future might look like? And will this ever end?

    My main takeaway from the conversation, and what I hope you also are able to glean from it as you listen, is that being adaptable and being able to engage with change, whenever and however it happens, is more important than seeking out change specifically.

    I do highly recommend that you listen to the rest of the sessions from the BISG, especially the keynote by Michael Pietsch, CEO of Hachette Book Group. BISG has graciously uploaded all of the recordings of the sessions to a playlist on their YouTube page here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2tH-dwEMHs&list=PL_yl6l18-hIsm6tdy-xivx_JTgGIT5H2x

    You might also be interested in listening to my previous interview of Mary McAveney in episode 14 of the BookSmarts Podcast, where we discussed book discovery:
    https://booksmartspodcast.com/2021/09/29/episode-14-mary-mcaveney-on-book-discovery/


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    • 28 min
    Episode 24: Cory Verner on the Growth of Audiobooks

    Episode 24: Cory Verner on the Growth of Audiobooks

    Cory Verner is the CEO of ONE Audiobooks, a publisher of audiobooks and a turnkey audio services provider. Cory has been working in the audiobooks industry for over 20 years, and has seen the changes in technology, the changes in focus, and the growth in sales as the format has taken off in 6-7 years. Cory and I talk about some of the reasons for that growth, the demographics of listeners, and some specific differences between the Inspirational Books market that he is closely connected to compared to the general audiobooks market.

    We also talk about how the audiobooks industry has changed over time, including technology changes that have driven much of the recent growth, and we discuss the risks publishers take on when they create their own audiobook program. 

    You can learn more about ONE Audiobooks at oneaudiobooks.com (corporate site) and oneaudiobooks.app (customer engagement tools).


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    • 23 min
    Episode 23: Mark Herschberg How Books Might Escape the Page

    Episode 23: Mark Herschberg How Books Might Escape the Page

    In this episode we are joined by Mark Herschberg, publisher at Cognosco Media, author of The Career Toolkit, Essential Skills for Success That No One Taught You, and the developer of a new app that is attempting to promote a new take on reader interaction with book content.

    I was a bit skeptical of Mark's approach from the offset, having seen so many ebook apps and new ideas about digital engagement flame out over the years. However, Mark and I had a great conversation about how the relevant content in a book might be more or less than the actual page count, how so many new technologies are just like sticking a fake horse head on the front of an automobile, and more. Mark shared some of the ideas behind his app, most notably the notifications feature that can help readers recall key points from books they have read.

    If you're interested in learning more, you can check out Mark's publishing company, Cognosco Media (https://www.cognoscomedia.com) and take a look at both his book and the related app (https://www.thecareertoolkitbook.com).

    Music by Timmoor from Pixabay
    #metadata #publishing


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    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
5 Ratings

5 Ratings

d2kd2k ,

Fantastic industry insights

I wish this podcast were around years ago. Great insights and interviews across a wide range of topics related not only to books, but to any publishing stakeholders.

ad_aegyptum ,

So useful!

Thought-provoking podcast about the many uses of data in book publishing. Really hope this helps ignite a revolution of sorts in an industry that can sometimes get ossified & opaque.

kok66 ,

Clear, concise, relevant

Great podcast that applies to business beyond publishing. Will be recommending to all my publishing friends and beyond.

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