Transparency is going to be a big feature of publishing in 2012. Traditional publishers are shirking Amazon’s vague operations by implementing portals for authors to check sales data and other information. See this NYT article for more about this feature in 2012.
With Oprah’s book club gone and broadsheet newspapers minimizing books coverage how are readers going to hear about your fantastic fiction? They need to be able to find it. Seems simple? It’s not. There are hundreds of thousands of books published in English each year. Use metadata, co-ops for front of store placement, author blog tours and other innovative methods of publicity to lead readers to discover your work. This is not only the publisher’s job. This is your job as a writer in 2012. From the recent FutureBook conference: “Discoverability starts with awareness and moves through attention and desire before action is taken to buying a book. This can be almost instant online. Personally, if I see a tweet recommending a book or from an author I network with, I immediately download the sample to my Kindle. If there’s no ebook, it’s a lost sale and I think I’m typical of the digital ‘heavy‘ reader market.”
DLP or Digital List Price
This is the price the rights holder places on a copy of their digital content. Unlike print books, digital list prices are easily changeable to encourage sales, optimize promotion with timely events, publishers can determine what prices best suit particular markets, and self-published authors can find their ‘sweet spot’ (where maximum dissemination meets revenue). For more see this PC World article and this NYT article about pricing.
DRM or Digital Rights Management
This is software encryption that discourages piracy and includes features like making your ebooks from the library disappear after the term of the loan. From TechTerms.com: “By controlling the trading, protection, monitoring, and tracking of digital media, DRM helps publishers limit the illegal propagation of copyrighted works. This can be accomplished by using digital watermarks or proprietary file encryption on the media they distribute. Whatever method publishers choose to employ, DRM helps them make sure that their digital content is only used by those who have paid for it.”