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Successful publishing in 2017
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Nine tools for successful publishing in 2017

As 2016 draws to a close, it’s time to look back on another year of huge change in publishing, and ahead to prospects for the next one. Here are some of the things we at Firsty think all publishers should equip themselves with for the next 12 months.
Nine tools for successful publishing in 2017
1 Top-notch metadata
As several industry conferences and other events have reminded us in 2016, generating and maintaining high quality metadata should be at the very top of publishers’ priorities. Nielsen estimated a few years ago that books with metadata that reaches industry standards sell twice as many copies than books that don’t on average. At a time when online discoverability is so crucial to sales, good metadata isn’t just nice to have—it’s essential. For publishers yet to achieve it, help is at hand from cross-publishing organisations include Book Industry Communication, Nielsen BookData and EDItEUR.
 
2 D2C capabilities
Along with ebooks, the shift to selling direct to consumers has been one of the biggest sales trends in publishing in the last decade. The IPG’s recent Harbottle & Lewis Independent Publishing Report found that nine in ten of its members now sell direct to consumers, and between them generate an average of 30% of their sales in this way. Selling direct can generate higher margins and better customer engagement than any other channel, and getting the infrastructure for it right is vital. Firsty can help.
 
3 Mobile optimisation
Deloitte research suggests that four in five UK adults now own a smartphone, and in total look at them more than one billion times a day. It is where many people live their lives now, and it is up to publishers to meet them there. We need to understand how people behave on their smartphones, and engage them with content—video and audio as well as text—that grabs their attention. If current trends continue, any websites that aren’t completely optimised for mobile users might soon be worthless.
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Firsty News

New site for Third Millennium Publishing

Third Millennium Publishing
We’re extremely proud to have recently launched a new site at tmbooks.com for the recent Profile Books acquisition, Third Millennium Publishing. This niche imprint offers its customers - commonly institutional alumni/former students etc - the opportunity to add personal details to bespoke titles in advance of publication - a beautiful example of a crowd-funding/POD business model. 

Customers can add details themselves on-page - but they can also order, and provide additional information over the phone via the Third Millennium team - and thus the site had to accommodate a critical customer service requirement, with core functionality in the back-end admin area. 

Sarah McDonald, Profile Books Sales and Marketing Manager, said: ‘We were so pleased to work with Firsty again after they delivered fantastic websites for us last year for Profile Books, Profile Business and Serpent’s Tail. The entire team was great to work with, and once again they have given us a site that looks first-rate and is easy to use. Additionally, the platform also acts as our new customer database, which hugely reduces our admin time and streamlines ordering operations. It’s exactly what we needed.’

It was a thoroughly rewarding experience working with Sarah and her colleagues on the creation of this new site, and, with a range of new features and functionality, we’re delighted to add Third Millennium to our portfolio, and we look forward to further strengthening our ties over the months ahead.
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Firsty Express clients on the rise

Firsty Express
Admittedly, we’ve been a bit remiss.

It’s been some time since we last shouted about our Software as a Service package - and yet this bolt-on eBookstore celebrates its three year anniversary, and continues to thrive, with more publishers interested in signing up, following a hectic Frankfurt Book Fair. 

And why not? It’s a great way for publishers to experiment with selling their titles directly in eBook format - offer time-limited discounts, coupon codes, gratis copies to VIPs, etc. 

And if you’re a publisher with a WordPress site, it’s now even easier to embed to embed the bookstore on your site.
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University of Ottawa Press launched

University of Ottawa Press launched
Back in March, we launched our first eCommerce site for the academic presses, providing the lecturers, students, researchers, editors and others at Edinburgh - and beyond - with a fresh new online presence.
 
Following hot on its heels comes UOP - the University of Ottawa Press: a bi-lingual site accommodating the highly acclaimed Press’s titles in hardback, paperback, ePub and pdf formats - as well as journals, and a number of titles available on open access.
 
Whilst we’d love to wax lyrical about our prowess in French, we’re extremely thankful that content in both English and French was duly delivered by the team in Ontario - either manually, or via the automated ONIX feed, which plugs into the site.
 
It’s been a thoroughly engaging and enjoyable on-going relationship with the team in Ottawa, and we’re really pleased with the energy invested in exploiting the Magento platform to its full potential. We’re looking forward to seeing this relationship blossom further over the months and years ahead. 
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Youngest ever Firsty member…

We’re naturally over the moon at welcoming the newest recruit to the team– small, but vocal, and slotting into the fold beautifully – as the picture demonstrates!
 
Firsty Group – Darin’s ‘baby’ for the last ten years or so – has been upstaged by its younger sister – Clae-Eloise Brockman - arriving bang on time two weeks ago, and immediately putting her stamp on things.
 

Client News

Oneworld scoop Man Booker prize again - BBC Radio 4 talk to their founder

Oneworld scoop Man Booker prize again - BBC Radio 4 talk to their founder
Paul Beatty’s recent Man Booker Prize win for The Sellout marks the second win in a row for our client and independent publisher Oneworld, following on from their success with A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James. BBC Radio 4’s Front Row show speaks to founder Juliet Mabey to ask what is their secret? And how do they talent spot the authors who go on to win big?
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