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Vibrating Tattoos: Never Miss a Tweet Again!

2 May

Nokia, a Finnish-based company, has come up with a patent to prevent people from ever missing another ping from their phone. Sometimes your phone can be in the other room, on silent, or you might just be too distracted to notice it through your pocket. The way Nokia suggests you may be able to do this is through a tattoo. The magnetic ink will vibrate along with your phone to ensure you note your phone is calling to you.

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Amazons Kindle Books Outsell Hardbacks

22 Jul

Amazon Kindle book sales are now outselling Amazon’s hardback books in the U.S. Amazon says in the last month they have sold 180 Kindle books for every 100 hardcover books. This includes the sales of hardcover books that aren’t being sold in a Kindle book form. Although Amazon hasn’t revealed its sale of paperback books it is still believed that they are selling more paperbacks than Kindle books currently. This could in part be due to the fact that Amazon has millions of books on site but only 630,000 Kindle books available.

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E-reader, Here to Stay or Gone Tomorrow?

15 Jun

If you have stepped into a Barnes & Nobles lately, you would have noticed all the advertisements about the Barnes & Nobles e-reader, the Nook. It’s impossible not to notice since the booth is set up directly in front of the doors with a salesclerk holding one of the Nooks up in your face. And who hasn’t heard of the Kindle or the iPad? I always have been curious about these new e-readers. Would it really be more convenient for reading? Would it hurt my eyes over time? And then, if these answers were encouraging…is it going to be worth the cost?

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Web-Based Applications: Issuu

14 Mar

issuu-logo1One of the things that we’ve been looking for lately is a good online book previewer to integrate into the individual product pages at our e-commerce site (as well as using elsewhere as applicable). The first good application I remember coming across like this was’s system. Another one is used by National Academies Press. Both these systems, though, are proprietary and what we needed was a system that was robust enough for our purposes and, because we don’t have tons of money for a new stand-alone application or one off the shelf, at the right price.

Thankfully, I think we’ve finally found what we’re looking for with Issuu.

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Strategic Publishing Initiatives: TechCareers Guides

25 Sep

And then, you know, every once in a while—that is, in between screeds on POD publishers or the pleasures of doing pro bono projects or the ever-increasing price of textbooks (It’s shocking I tell you! Shocking!)—we actually get around to publishing a book now and again. In addition to the newly published and highly epic Hand Tools Manual—every intern for the last two years has worked on it in some capacity and all have trembled in awe and terror (I’m moderately kidding) when contemplating the majesty of its demanding technical illustrations and editorial guidelines—our most recent title is Biomedical Equipment Technicians, the first in our TechCareers series focusing on different technical professions.

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Conferences & Conventions: National Council for Workforce Education 2007

30 Oct

ncwe-logo.pngGreetings from sunny Savannah, Georgia. Or, rather, given that it’s 3:56 CST and I’m in the Savannah airport waiting for my 5 a.m. flight to Houston, greetings from pitch black Savannah. Anyway, however you look at it, I’ve spent the last two days here at the NCWE (National Council for Workforce Education) convention where Jim Brazell, a co-author of several of the technology forecasts commissioned by TSTC Emerging Technologies that we’ve either published and/or distribute, was one of the keynote speakers. I flew out early Sunday morning to attend the convention—the first time I’ve been to it—and mill around Jim’s booth in the exhibit area to see what kind of business I might be able to rustle up. (I think the technical term for this is “networking.”)

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Book Publishing Operations: New Media vs. “Old” Marketing

17 Apr

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of reading (and a lot of surfing the Web) investigating different aspects of New Media. In general, this term means—if you follow its link to Wikipedia—media that is created, distributed, and viewed through digital means (primarily computers).

So, for example, if you have a product you’re promoting and selling, you might use a dedicated Web site, a blog, podcasts, email, “expert” articles and/or newsletters posted online, listervs, rss feeds, and the like. Then, of course, you use all kinds of tracking software to see who is coming to your site and how exactly—referring pages and search engine terms used—they wound up there.

To that end, of course, we have the official TSTC Publishing site, our e-commerce site, this blog (and its accompanying rss feed, also available by email), a few articles at, and other miscellaneous examples that fall into the New Media marketing category.

On the other hand, I often wonder about the ultimate impact of these efforts by way of our baseline indicator: how many sales and how much revenue was generated as direct result of these activities. Or, rather, given that we do track the success of these online initiatives, I wonder how “old” marketing methods might fare in comparison.

So, just this morning I took a thousand direct mail pieces—6×9 postcards—over to TSTC Printing Production for a bulk mailing. These postcards have their own particular discount code for the Technology Forecast 7-Pack, a specially priced bundled package of the first seven technology forecasts published in conjunction with TSTC’s Emerging Technologies. (We’ve been generating a database of contact information for our target market for the last few months thanks to the efforts of Tammy Turner, our outstanding departmental secretary.) If all goes well over the long haul—that is, a significant percentage of sales are generated using this particular discount code as well as with some other test mailings we’re doing over the next month—we’ll continue to send out targeted bulk mailings for a variety of products.


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