Media Do International acquires Firebrand Technologies and NetGalley, LLC

Media Do International, the US based subsidiary of Media Do Ltd., in Japan, today announced that they have acquired all of the shares of Quality Solutions/Firebrand Technologies and NetGalley from their current shareholders. Fran Toolan, founder and CEO of the companies, will remain on as CEO for a minimum of three years.

“We are very pleased to bring Firebrand and NetGalley into the Media Do family,” says Daihei Shiohama, CEO of Media Do International. “We have long respected the works of the Firebrand Group, and are very excited about the prospects of working closely with them in the future.”

“Media Do has been NetGalley’s partner in Japan since 2016, and we know each other quite well,” says Toolan. “Firebrand and NetGalley have never been stronger as companies, and I believe that becoming part of the Media Do Group ensures continuity for our customers and opportunities for our team for many years to come.”

Media Do Co., Ltd. is one of the largest eBook distribution companies in the world and retains the largest share of Japan’s $3.7 billion eBook market*, and is based in Tokyo. Media Do International is based in San Diego, California. Media Do Group’s mission is to realize a sound creative cycle for copyrighted works by distributing them as widely as possible under fair use and maximizing profits to publishers/authors and rights owners. Quality Solutions/Firebrand Technologies was founded in 1987. NetGalley, LLC was acquired in 2008. Firebrand and NetGalley provide marketing and technology services for more than 500 publishers worldwide. NetGalley, LLC operates websites in the US, UK, France, Germany, and Japan.

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About Firebrand Technologies
Firebrand Technologies is dedicated to providing leading software and services to help publishers achieve success. Firebrand provides steadfast leadership and seamless information flow throughout the entire publishing process. Title Management Enterprise Software tracks titles from pre-acquisition through post-production, marketing, and sales. Eloquence on Demand is the industry gold standard for implementing ONIX and maximizing control of how data and assets reach the marketplace. Eloquence on Alert’s proprietary title performance monitoring service collects key, hard-to-access details about your products from major online marketplaces and review sites, and puts all of that information directly at your fingertips. FlightDeck is the most powerful EPUB Quality Assurance and validation tool available. NetGalley helps publishers connect with a large and growing number of book influencers, creating buzz about your books, and getting key feedback, before publication.

New Years Resolutions for Publishers

Welcome to 2021! The time has come again for us to reflect on where we are and make goals for where we want to be when the end of this new year rolls around.

As you consider your publishing goals and plans for 2021, we’d like to offer a few suggestions to help you increase sales and build for a better future.

1. Diversify your lineup

When the COVID-19 shutdowns started last March we had no idea that those shutdowns would lead to the changes we saw in book sales over the course of the year. Publishers with a wide array of titles, and especially titles in specific categories, were much more likely to see success in the midst of those changing buying patterns. There is no telling what the future might hold, so diversification of your publishing programs is looking like a solid business decision for many publishers. If you have the ability to spread out your list into some of the better-selling categories this year, that might be a worthy goal.

2. Enhance your metadata to drive more online sales

The percentage of book sales that were transacted online last year compared to in-store could be as high as 85%, and numerous research reports over the last few years have proven that online sales are impacted directly by the quality of the metadata you send to partners. The recent shift to online sales channels has also lead to a shift in backlist title sales, as readers look for content that interests them and are not limited by the space available on bookstore shelves, typically taken by newer titles.

This year, we encourage you to take the time to engage the metadata on all of your titles, including your backlist, in targeted ways.

  • Create at least 200 characters of keywords for each title
  • Add book excerpts to your Eloquence feed (in the Comments section)
  • Add other data elements, such as Product Details and Prizes (new section for Prizes now available!)
  • Clean up your book descriptions, and add bolded Lead-Ins to the top
  • Get in the habit of linking related titles in the Title Relationships section

These and other cleanup and enhancement tasks really can make an impact on your sales.

3. Watch your titles, fix issues, and grab opportunities quickly

At the Community Conference in November we heard how Our Daily Bread Publishing increased their sales by actively watching their titles on retail sites and fixing issues that arose from bad data, missing cover images, third party sellers taking the Buy Box, and more.

You, too, can watch your titles daily, and gain all the benefits of a powerful tool that warns you when issues arise and opportunities emerge. Take a look at our Eloquence on Alert platform, the most powerful and flexible title performance monitoring system available.

We hope you have a wonderful 2021, and we look forward to hearing how these and other resolutions help you navigate the ever-changing waters we are in.

Firebrand Technologies Launches Eloquence on Alert

Firebrand Technologies, a trusted leader in technology services for the publishing industry, knows that smarter decisions come from better intelligence. With that in mind, Firebrand is pleased to announce the public launch of Eloquence on Alert, its newest title performance monitoring product.

Eloquence on Alert’s proprietary data gathering service collects key, hard-to-access details about products from major online marketplaces and review sites, to put all that information directly at publishers’ fingertips. Firebrand has been collecting, reviewing, and analyzing this specific data internally for over two years, and has developed a robust tool that is targeted to the unique needs of publishers. With this new application, publishers can see and interact with important data about price changes, missing buy buttons, products that suddenly disappear, third party sellers taking over the buy box, and more.

These details are made available in a dedicated interface, with powerful alerts, search, and classification tools to help publishers address problems and leverage opportunities like never before.

“Eloquence on Alert helps publishers identify issues and trends that would be very difficult to discern otherwise, saving them time and money and allowing for the reallocation of resources to new or different projects,” said Catherine Toolan, Firebrand’s Director of Eloquence Services.

The Eloquence on Alert service is available to publishers via a monthly subscription, and is not bundled with other Firebrand products. Find out more and sign up for a demo at http://eloquenceonalert.com.

To learn more about Firebrand Technologies, please visit: www.firebrandtech.com, or email info@firebrandtech.com.

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About Firebrand Technologies
Firebrand Technologies is dedicated to providing leading software and services to help publishers achieve success. Firebrand provides steadfast leadership and seamless information flow throughout the entire publishing process. Title Management Enterprise Software tracks titles from pre-acquisition through post-production, marketing, and sales. Eloquence on Demand is the industry gold standard for implementing ONIX and maximizing control of how data and assets reach the marketplace. Eloquence on Alert’s proprietary title performance monitoring service collects key, hard-to-access details about your products from major online marketplaces and review sites, and puts all of that information directly at your fingertips. FlightDeck is the most powerful EPUB Quality Assurance and validation tool available. NetGalley helps publishers connect with a large and growing number of book influencers, creating buzz about your books, and getting key feedback, before publication.

Announcing Elephants on Demand!

[Editor’s note: In case it was not clear, this was an April Fool’s joke. No elephants were harmed in the making of this video.]

Firebrand is constantly innovating and evolving — looking for the most effective strategies to help publishers succeed in the marketplace.

We are excited to announce the launch of our newest metadata delivery service, Elephants on Demand!

Elephants on Demand helps you get your heaviest and most important metadata where it needs to go. No longer do you have to worry about an intern dropping your fragile metadata on the way to the retailer, or one of the monkeys running the vacuum tubes getting their tubes crossed. No longer will your fully-fleshed-out metadata be left in the office because the designated carrying service can’t lift anything with a Table of Contents, an Excerpt, and 10 Review Quotes.

Elephants on Demand can handle any metadata load you give it, from the smallest to the largest. We have scoured the globe to find the fastest and hardiest elephants available, and we have already started to put them to work for you.

“This is a truly remarkable innovation in metadata delivery, which I know will make a huge impact on visibility,” said Catherine Toolan, Director of Elephant Services at Firebrand. “We have already been impressed with how quickly the service has been accepted by major retailers, and we are looking forward to expanding the reach of the service internationally with our upcoming Elephant Seal expansion.”

For more information on this new service, please watch our introductory video below.

Amazon 250 Byte Keywords Limit

We have been receiving reports for the last week or two that Amazon has set a limit on the number of keywords that will be indexed for books sold through Vendor Central. This limitation was previously only in place for Seller Central, but Amazon recently updated the documentation for Vendor Central to reflect the limitation, as well. The Vendor Central documentation specifically states:

Our system limits the length of the generic keyword/search terms attribute to less than 250 bytes. It is still possible to go over the limit, but if you do, our search engine will not index any of your entries.

Some clients have been in contact with Vendor Central Support and have received email and phone confirmation that the new limitation does apply to books, and to metadata delivered via ONIX, not just to metadata manually entered in Vendor Central.

We are taking this potential change seriously at Firebrand, and are looking for hard evidence that the limitation is actually being applied to titles. However, so far we have not seen that hard evidence. Also, in our experience Amazon’s support team is not always up-to-date on the technical requirements or application of rules when it comes to ONIX deliveries. These points make us cautious about jumping the gun on changing how keywords are handled in Title Management, Eloquence on Demand, or our Keywords service.

As we are running tests and looking for evidence of if and how this limitation is being applied, we encourage our clients to stay the course and not make changes to their current keywords programs. Again, we don’t have any hard evidence of keywords for titles not being indexed. There is a chance that changing the keywords currently applied to titles could negatively affect your sales rank for those titles unnecessarily. Even if Amazon is enforcing this new rule, they may not be (and from our current tests, are not) enforcing it on already-submitted metadata, choosing instead to only apply it when the keywords are refreshed.

If you have any hard evidence about this issue, especially evidence that the 250 byte limitation has been applied to your titles, making all keywords become un-indexed, please contact Joshua Tallent (joshua@firebrandtech.com) with that information.

We will update this blog post in the future as we learn more.

Community Conference 2018 Wrap-Up

We wanted to to give a big Thank You to everyone who attended the 2018 Community Conference in September! It was definitely one of our best conferences yet, and renewed our confidence that our clients benefit in tangible ways from this bi-annual meeting.

NetGalley posted a great article on their Insights blog last week, Lessons from the Firebrand Community Conference, and we highly recommend you check that out.

Also, Brian O’Leary, Executive Director of BISG, our keynote speaker, has put up the text of his talk, The Art of the Possible, on the BISG website. It is a great read, and worth your time.

The Community Conference comes every other year, but we don’t want to you to have to wait two years to learn with us again. Our Odd Year Conference, a one-day Master Class, is going to be on October 23, 2019, in New York City. We will also have open meeting slots available on the 24th for those who want to sit down with our team and talk shop. Save those dates!

Title Management Version 10 is Available Now!

The newest version of Title Management is here! Join Joshua Tallent for an exciting webinar on May 23, 1:00pm-2:00pm ET, as he gives you a complete overview of the updates and enhancements in version 10, including:

  • Design and framework updates
  • Verification system updates
  • Keywords enhancements
  • Integrated and expanded documentation
  • and more!

This upgrade is being rolled out to clients now, so get prepared for it in advance. Bring your questions about this and anything else related to Title Management for the included Q&A session.

Register Now!

Firebrand Announces Keywords Service in partnership with Kadaxis

Firebrand Technologies, a leader in market intelligence and technology services for the publishing industry, announced today that they have partnered with Kadaxis as the exclusive reseller and advocate of the innovative Audience Analysis and Keyword Creation services.

The Keywords service is available to publishers of any size, for single titles or groups of titles, across any genre or topic. Pay-as-you-go and subscription options are available, as well as premium services that are ideal for pre-pub and frontlist titles, including launch campaigns and other marketing efforts.

This partnership builds on the growing relationship between the two companies over the last few years, which included an extensive research project to track the impact audience-driven keywords have on book sales. The research revealed that titles with Kadaxis-created keywords drive increased discovery and improved sales for both new and backlist titles, across multiple genres.

Despite the impressive impact keywords have proven to have on sales, a surprisingly small number of publishers (only about 25%) are actually applying keywords in a strategic manner. Firebrand and Kadaxis now offer a simple workflow and high impact results to publishers.

“The joint research project conducted by Firebrand and Kadaxis has clearly revealed that the best way to enhance discovery and reach audiences is to understand how they themselves speak about books, in their own language,” said Firebrand President, Doug Lessing. “The Kadaxis service is a perfect fit with Firebrand’s Metadata and Marketing solutions, and we look forward to expanding the reach of the Kadaxis service globally.”

Chris Sim, Kadaxis founder and CEO, explains, “We’ve found a way to create keywords that work, and have helped many publishers increase book sales through keyword optimization. Our partnership with Firebrand will help us to scale operations and meet the increasing demand for our keyword product. Firebrand has served the publishing industry for over thirty years, and their expertise and track record for delivery are well regarded.”

For more information, please visit www.firebrandtech.com/keywords.

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About Kadaxis
Kadaxis uses data science to improve book discovery across the publishing value chain. The company is based in New York, and counts many of the top publishing companies as clients. Our flagship Audience Analysis Keyword product improves the visibility of books in retailer search engines like Amazon search, leading to increased sales. Learn more about us at kadaxis.com or follow us on Twitter @kadaxis.

About Firebrand Technologies
Firebrand Technologies is dedicated to providing leading software and services to help publishers achieve success. Firebrand provides steadfast leadership and seamless information flow throughout the entire publishing process. Title Management Enterprise Software tracks titles from pre-acquisition through post-production, marketing, and sales. Eloquence on Demand is the industry gold standard for implementing ONIX and maximizing control of how data and assets reach the marketplace. Eloquence on Alert’s proprietary title performance monitoring service collects key, hard-to-access details about your products from major online marketplaces and review sites, and puts all of that information directly at your fingertips. FlightDeck is the most powerful EPUB Quality Assurance and validation tool available. NetGalley helps publishers connect with a large and growing number of book influencers, creating buzz about your books, and getting key feedback, before publication.