At the Digital Book World conference in January 2012, Forrester Research revealed that 25 million people in the U.S. now own an e-reader and 34 million have a tablet of some kind. They also predicted that 40 million people in the U.S. will have an e-reader and 61 million will have tablets by the end of 2012–a number that surpasses the population of many European countries.
For those writers who used to pursue having their books stocked at one of the major booksellers in the U.S., Canada, the UK or Australia, now the race is on to get your ebook distributed on as many virtual shelves as possible including your local library, bookstore and other alternative venues.
Popular platforms for distribution include household names like Kindle for Amazon and the Nook for Barnes & Noble, and iBook for Apple, as well as Kobo out of Canada, and Sony Google. But although these may be seen as the market leaders, there are a ton of additional options and points of distribution that have expanded the digital marketplace for books.
At the American Library Association conference in January, 3M announced it will now allow annual subscriptions to its Cloud Library Service, while its e-book lending service now features more than 100,000 titles from approximately 40 publishers. NBC News announced in January that it is entering the e-publishing world with its own offering in 2012 for its contributors and archived stories.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of e-publishing that make it attractive for businesses large and small:
A Different Pricing Model. The fascinating part of the e-publishing platform is that ebooks buck the traditional means of charging a fixed price for books of a certain length. In some cases, ebooks are offered for higher than market prices, especially when they are offered as an information product online from a particular website, company or individual. Conversely, most ebooks are offered for a lower than printed market cost and many are also offered for free.
Low Barriers to Entry.
Similar to the 3M Cloud Library Service, ebook communities are also growing in popularity – some involving subscriptions while others are free to join. What this does is change the entire landscape of reaching the consumer and building a relationship since when an individual buys or receives an ereader as a gift or purchases one for him or herself, the first list they go to is the list of free books they can download to their new device. Since the device holds miles and miles of books on it, the temptation to download more than a handful of books is easy to understand.
Several companies have found that providing an ebook platform where authors can upload their books and make them available through retailers that the ebook publishing company has partnered with has leveled the playing field.
Low Risk, High Potential.
Now anyone with any book can make it quickly available at a low cost investment with great hopes of a larger revenue return. After all, ebooks are less production cost-intensive for everyone; hence it is a faster, quicker way to level the revenue sharing percentages for all.
Optimized for Search Traffic.
It’s worth evaluating since the digital age has brought us to the search engines of today which extend beyond the simple Internet search for answers. Now with the advent of ereaders and tablets, searching for answers, insights and entertainment is as easy as reaching for your favorite ebook catalog or community site and entering keywords.
Jennifer S. Wilkov is a respected book & business consultant and a best-selling, award-winning author. She supports first time writers and seasoned authors with the writing, getting published and marketing of their book ideas and projects as well as the building of their platform to raise their visibility to readers and the media. She is also a top media personality and the host and producer of the popular radio talk show “Your Book Is Your Hook!” on WomensRadio.