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Tuesday News: Retail in the online marketplace, Omnific + Gallery Books = ?, that odd Amazon self-publishing petition, and 10 useful facts about the penis

Tuesday News: Retail in the online marketplace, Omnific + Gallery Books...

Gap’s former social chief: Retail has shiny-new-object syndrome – An interesting little Q&A with Rachel Tipograph, who used to be the Gap’s digital and social media director, on how retailers are managing the online marketplace. While the focus here is on retail, there are some implications for authors, too, especially in regard to the way content is used to sell products (and books are a natural for that), and the persistent power of email marketing:

Are you seeing, generally, retailers missing out on opportunities — whether through social or other digital tools like content?

First, it’s the ‘non-shiny object’ list that retailers miss out on. Email is still the holy grail of e-commerce, so many retailers miss basic email segmentation and investing in great content and design for their emails as this is the No.1 place people are experiencing your brand. For example, check out the startup Custora. They also miss out on the unsexy cart abandonment, millions of dollars are left on the table for not imposing simple solutions like Bounce Exchange; companies doing it well are Canvas Pop and Agoda.

On the slightly-more-shiny-object list, integrating user-generated product content into your e-commerce site is proven to drive higher sales lifts. There are easy solutions from Curalate or Second Funnel to do this. –Digiday

Gallery Books in Deal with Omnific – Gallery Books, imprint of Simon and Schuster, is “co-publishing” (with Simon and Schuster serving as distributor) a number of title. Omnific describes itself as an independent publisher of “Romance . . . without rules,” whatever that means. I have no idea what to expect from this partnership nor any idea of how/why it has been formed.

Founded in 2009 in Los Angeles, Omnific is a romance publisher whose titles are aimed at the “modern sensibilities of today’s readers.” Areas it publishes in include contemporary, historical, paranormal, suspense, and erotic romance, –Publishers Weekly

THEORETICAL AUTHOR-PUBLISHER COALITION RESPONSE TO AMAZON PROTEST – I’m all about buttering some popcorn, cracking open a nice bottle of Chianti, and enjoying the show. Feel free to discuss the issues, however — whatever they may be.

Of course, if you’re really truly confident that self-publishing is the way forward, then I don’t know why you’d need to write this response letter at all. You’d just drive by on your blinged-out jet-skis, throwing up devil-horns and spraying the stodgy old trad-pubbers in their dinghy with a mist of Cristal. Somewhere, the news would report on graffiti seen all over the world:

AUTHOR-PUBLISHERS RULE

TRAD-PUBBERS DROOL

WOOOOOOO

*jet-ski vroom* –Terrible Minds

10 Things You Don’t Know About Penises – We talk a lot about how unrealistically the female body is often portrayed in Romance, so in recognition of gender equality, here’s a somewhat useful list of demystifying facts about the penis, including an interesting comparison to the boomerang I don’t remember seeing in any Romance novel sex scene. No NSFW pictures, but the post itself is pretty explicit.

The penis isn’t exactly a mysterious organ. Most of it’s right out there in the open, and most guys are far from ashamed to bring it out should the right occasion arise. But macho grandstanding and fallacy (or should we say “phallusy”?) aside, there are plenty of things you probably don’t know about this important piece of the male reproductive system. Check out these interesting factoids about man’s best friend. (If you haven’t already, be sure to read 10 Things You Don’t Know About Vaginas too!) –Kinkly

Monday News: Blogging and free speech; pink is an illusion; historical romance in print; the ethics of using another author’s platform; and more on net neutrality

Monday News: Blogging and free speech; pink is an illusion; historical...

“The Ninth Circuit properly reversed, finding that the First Amendment protects bloggers no less than the institutional press and that Cox was writing about issues of legitimate public concern.  On retrial, the plaintiffs will have to establish that Cox was negligent in publishing the statements at issue — and that’s all well and good.  I want to spend a little time, though, thinking about the tail end of the decision, in which the Ninth Circuit discusses a specific group of Cox’s statements that both the Ninth Circuit and the district court held to be non-actionable opinion.” Digital Media Law Project

“So I see a lot of blame going on for how this author lost print distribution, but nobody’s mentioned the fact that historical romance shelf-space, in general, is falling precipitously. There are other amazing authors who are having the exact same thing happen to them as we speak.” Courtney Milan’s Blog

“I’m bothered that C.S./Susanne saw an OLD blog post by me that said I sold as well as I did without promotion, which was true at the time. It’s NO LONGER true. I promote now. Nor did she Tweet as infrequently as she claimed. Go look at her Tweets. She did promote the book. What she did was capitalize on MY platform without giving me credit so she can set herself up as a guru and make money on a how-to book. “ Barbara Rogan – In Cold Ink

“As a number of observers have explained — including Jeff in his Gigaom piece — the court’s decision wasn’t based on a belief that net neutrality itself is a bad thing, but a view that the FCC implemented its rules in a legally questionable way. If it wanted to prevent ISPs from giving preferential treatment to certain content providers, the communications regulator could have defined internet service providers as “common carriers,” as it did with telecom companies — but the FCC didn’t do that. “ Gigaom