Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it would issue guidelines for bloggers who accept renumeration in the form of product or payment in exchange for writing about such a product. The FTC plans to enforce these guidelines by pursuing bloggers who do not divulge these financial arrangements by either ordering bloggers to pay restitution to customers or referring cases to the Justice Department for prosecution. I’m a fan of openness and transparency but I can’t help but wonder if FTC regulations will result in shutting down casual bloggers who are unaware of the changing laws.
Follow the Reader takes a look at the influence of blogs and twitter on the sale of books. Conclusion: probably helps but it isn’t “making” any one book.
Publishing Trends gives some tips on author websites. It is widely known that websites can translate into sales, the corollary of which is that good websites sell more books. The key isn’t flashiness (I can’t stand Julie Garwood’s site for example) but a information. Stephenie Meyer’s site links to more fan sites than any other in the survey. Take a look at the whole article for more suggested guidelines for author websites.
The New York Times believes that the future of reading is the smartphone. We’ve blogged about this back in 2008 and have a little guide for different smartphones and multifunction devices on the market. We’ll have to update this since the Palm Pre and Android are increasing in popularity.
Business Week takes a look at Scribd. Scribd, a two year old file sharing site, inked a deal with Simon & Schuster a couple of weeks ago to provide over 5,000 titles via Scribd. There is also an iPhone App in the works. This market fragmentation is designed to take market share away from Amazon. Whether it will work is anyone’s guess at this point.