The Rise Of Ebooks - Opportunities for Indie Authors and Publishers

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Presentation by Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, an ebook self-publishing service, to the Bay Area Independent Publisher's Association on April 11, 2009. Publish multi-format ebooks at …

Presentation by Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, an ebook self-publishing service, to the Bay Area Independent Publisher's Association on April 11, 2009. Publish multi-format ebooks at www.smashwords.com

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  • 1. The Rise of Ebooks A Conversation with Mark Coker of Smashwords April 11, 2009 Smashwords, Inc.  Ebook Publishing Platform and Online Bookstore 15951 Los Gatos Blvd. Ste.16  Los Gatos, California 95032  On The Web: www.smashwords.com
  • 2. Why Ebooks Failed in the late 1990s
    • Paper reading vastly superior to screen reading
    • Overpriced
    • DRM=confusion, frustration
    • Limited selection
  • 3. Wholesale Ebook Revenues Surpass $100 million Data: AAP http://www.publishers.org/documents/S12008Final.pdf 58% compound annual growth for 6 years vs. 1.6% all books
  • 4. Annual growth rates, p- & e- Data: AAP http://www.publishers.org/documents/S12008Final.pdf
  • 5. Monthly growth, y-o-y ebook vs. overall market Data: AAP http://www.publishers.org/
  • 6. Do Ebooks Really Matter? $113,220,000 (ebooks)  $24,225,025,000 (all books) = 0.467%
  • 7. Build it and they will come
    • Statistics understate results of early movers in ebooks
      • For books available in both e- & p-, 10% of Amazon’s sales are ebooks
  • 8. Why ebooks are succeeding now
    • Screen reading now rivals paper
    • Amazon + Oprah
    • iPhone (Stanza 1.5 million users)
    • Free books are gateway drug
    • Greater content selection
    • Prices coming down
    • DRM on death’s doorstep
  • 9. Will Ebooks Replace Print Books?
  • 10. Ebooks are similar to print books and stone tablets
    • Each offers lovingly prepared packaged units of words
    • Each delivers words on a substrate medium
    • Each is cool
    • Each represents a different way to enjoy a book
  • 11. Consumers may one day prefer ebooks over print
    • Ebooks are less expensive
    • Digital can enhance reading experience
      • Screens will become better than paper
      • Changeable font size
      • Portable
      • Compact
      • Library in the cloud
    • Books as both hub and spoke within richer, more immersive experience
  • 12. How ebooks will impact book supply chain for publishers printer P-publisher Shipper/w/d customer bookseller E-publisher customer ebookseller E-publisher customer ebookseller E-distributor E-publisher customer
  • 13. The ebook opportunity for publishers
    • Publishers become more important, not less important
      • curators of content
      • re-imagine the book
    • Digital opens worldwide market
    • Lower cost books
      • higher per unit profit
      • lower cost = larger available market
    • Digital enables frictionless discovery and sampling
      • may drive print sales and ebook/print bundles
  • 14. How to publish in e-
    • Straight form narrative works best
      • Picture books, complex layout, more challenging
    • Formatting is different
      • goal: one book, many devices
      • keep it simple!
    • Pricing is different
    • Don’t use DRM
    • Multi-format is essential (see next slide)
  • 15. Why Multi-Format Matters
  • 16. Q&A
    • About Smashwords
      • Ebook publishing platform and online bookstore
      • Social media-enabled selling and marketing tools
      • Distribution to Stanza
      • Free Smashwords Style Guide for formatting tips
      • Free Smashwords Book Marketing Guide
      • 85% net to publisher
    Where to find me: Web: www.smashwords.com Blog: blog.smashwords.com Twitter: twitter.com/markcoker Email: mc at smashwords dot com