Thad McIlroy

The Future of Publishing

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September 22nd, 2020

The Power of Penguin Random House

In last Sunday’s New York Times there’s a wide-ranging profile of Madeline McIntosh, chief executive at Penguin Random House, the largest trade publisher in the U.S. The article is by Alexandra Alter, who writes about publishing and the literary world for the Times. I was pleased when she asked me for a few observations on…

May 31st, 2020

Google Tells Us How to Win at Search

The most vexing challenge in digital marketing for publishing is, without question, developing a strategy for Google search; how to be discovered on Google. It’s quite different from an Amazon discovery strategy. But it’s core to an author’s and a publisher’s overall strategy for metadata deployment. I’ll explain more as we proceed. This post considers…

March 29th, 2020

Is Metadata Just a Game?

For my new column in Publishers Weekly I’ve tried to reimagine metadata as a game. Not quite a board game; maybe a parlor game. When it comes to book publishing, metadata is a game of chance. We don’t know which BISAC categories work best for any particular title, which keywords outperform, or how to write…

March 23rd, 2020

Free Ebooks: An Embarrassment of Riches

There’s a lot of coverage of the challenges facing book retail right now because of the coronavirus. The situation is shocking and sad. But it feels careless to forget that even if every bookstore in the world shut down for the next 12 months, people would still have over ten million different ebooks available for…

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