Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Friday, November 13, 2009

eBooks Marketing Trends: Book Publishers Seeking How To Integrate eBooks Into Their Sales Strategy

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What are the current eBooks marketing trends? Why are content publishers still seeking how to effectively integrate eBooks into their sales strategy?

Photo credit: ClaudioB

In this article, content and media expert John Blossom, tries to outline a strategy for content producers that want to leverage the potential of book-oriented content to reach to new, broader audiences via eBooks.

"What publishers should do is to focus on packaging their content in ways that will integrate what would be typical book content into personal publishing lifestyles far more aggressively.

Serving audiences is the real objective of publishing - not generating units of production that may or may not deliver full value to a given audience."

This kind of eBook "packaging" may include different strategies that will provide readers a more engaging experience. Think of APIs that extend the features of standard eBooks into collaborative reading, video and audio integration, social bookmarking, and into anything else publishers can utilize to personalize and add value to their digital eBooks.

A good example of the path content publishers should follow, is a new company called Vook that recently hit the news for creating an innovative eBook package that blends text and video to create a more entertaining experience for the readers.

Once the "vook" has been purchased for a small fee, the reader can decide whether to treat the product just as a standard eBook, to watch the videos only, or to choose a layout where both video and written text are harmonized to produce a highly engaging multimedia experience.

Is the Vook experience the right direction to move into next? Only time will tell.

For now, here is what John Blossom sees in the future of the eBooks marketplace:


eBooks Platforms Flourish. Winner: The Web

by John Blossom

eBook Buzz Not Big Business Yet


While there's been enormous buzz about Kindle eBook readers from Amazon and, now, the new eBook platform offering from Barnes & Noble and an updated eBook reader from Sony, the broader truth is that eBooks represent just a sliver of the book industry as a whole and an even smaller portion of online attention.

With USD 118 million in U.S. eBook sales last year versus USD 24.3 billion in overall book sales, electronic books have barely scratched the economic surface of publishing, in spite of all of the Silicon Valley bluster about their potential. Yet this is not stopping major retailers and publishers from experimenting with eBook technologies again and again - and continuing to pull their punches when it comes to realizing the possibilities for books in electronic forms.


Barnes & Noble New eBook Products and Services


This does not mean that there are not good efforts being applied to these improved stabs at eBooks.

The new Barnes & Noble eBook store includes lots of state-of-the-art best practices, including easily downloaded reading software for PCs, Macs, BlackBerries and iPhones, a decent offering of current commercial titles and access to free eBooks from the Google Books online archive, as well as a smattering of classics pre-loaded into their eBook reader.

A forthcoming eBook reading unit from Plastic Logic will enable Barnes & Noble to have its own little toy for eBook enthusiasts, but wisely they did not bother to wait for this hardware to show up before launching its attractive and easy-to-use store for existing electronic platforms.

As Barnes & Noble go to pains to point out in their online orientation materials, they want it make it as easy as possible for people to buy and download eBooks using whatever device people want to use to absorb their attention.


eBook Boom or Book Industry Contraction?


While it is good that Barnes & Noble is offering alternatives to eBooks and a very consumer-friendly approach to their promotion, the broader truth is that the book industry has gained very little from eBooks thus far in taking on their biggest competitive challenge: the Web.

If, after more than a decade of web access to books, the entire book industry can only garner USD 323 million worldwide from a medium that reaches more than 1.4 billion people around the world, one wonders how projections predicting USD 9 billion in eBook sales by 2013 can represent real growth and new markets as opposed to a more probable contraction of overall book revenues as book sales to dwindling audiences transfer to online destinations.


What Book Publishers Can Change In Their eBook Marketing Strategy


There are many signs that the book industry is becoming more savvy about rethinking their role in publishing and beginning to think of themselves as being able to promote talented authors as assets in many media, but these are baby steps in the face of a Web that has already completely rethought how people can profit from expressing themselves to audiences.

As nice as the
Barnes and Noble eBook store may be, its level of education and assurance seems to be aimed at people who have very little confidence with using online content.

One would think that book publishers would become far more aggressive in thinking about how to engage the most aggressive online content producers and users, capturing their energy and interests - and disposable income - more effectively.

Certainly ensuring compatibility with iPhones and BlackBerries are a step towards that audience, but the relatively inflexible eBook reader software that packages most eBook offerings on these platforms seems doomed to make books an afterthought rather than a primary focus of aggressive content users.

What publishers should do is to focus on packaging that will integrate book content into personal publishing lifestyles far more aggressively.

APIs that facilitate applications development to extend eBook capabilities, collaborative reading, bookmarking, linking, user-generated content and other extensions into the real-time generation of content consumers and producers are essential developments to bring eBooks into the stream of attention that they really deserve.

Serving audiences is the real objective of publishing - not generating units of production that may or may not deliver full value to a given audience.

Creating services that keep people who are today's greatest content purchase influencers - digitally literate readers - in a position to recommend and amplify the value of a wide variety of book-oriented content and services will take far more than locked-down reading software that operates in a vacuum. These types of services are surfacing in the hands of innovative online companies, but as to where that leaves mainstream book publishers and retailers remains to be seen.

Originally written by John Blossom for Shore, and first published on August 3rd, 2009 as eBooks Platforms Flourish. Winner: The Web

About John Blossom


John Blossom's career spans more than twenty years of marketing, research, product management and development in advanced information and media venues, including major financial publishers and financial services companies, as well as earlier experience in broadcast media. Mr. Blossom founded Shore Communications Inc. in 1997, specializing in research and advisory services and strategic marketing consulting for publishers and consumers of content services. John Blossom is also the author of Content Nation a great book about "Surviving and Thriving as Social Media Changes Our Work, Our Lives, and Our Future".

Photo credits:
eBook Buzz Not Big Business Yet - Adam Borkowski
Barnes & Noble New eBook Products and Services - Cookelma
eBook Boom or Book Industry Contraction? - Jafaris Mustafa
What Book Publishers Can Change In Their eBook Marketing Strategy - Mostafa Fawzy

John Blossom -
Reference: Shore [ Read more ]
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posted by on Friday, November 13 2009, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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