The Future Of The Book Conference


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  • Talk about Lexcycle – “Revolutions in Reading”Company behind Stanza, most popular e-book reader application for the iPhoneFounded in 2007
  • Lexcycle is the company behind Stanza.If Kate Bosworth was actually on the MIT Blackjack Team, I might still be a professional gambler.Here comes some Johnny come lately smart ass telling me how to run my business…What does this guy know about publishing or about any of this…Hell, why is this guy even here
  • 2008 - $111.6 billion print : $1.3 billion e-books⌘worldwide2012 - $123 billion print: $6.8 billion e-books⌘⌘ Source: PWC Global Entertainment and Outlook 2008 – 2012Why do I believe that after decades 2008 is finally going to be the year where e-books hit an inflection point? 1) I have to rationalize that given that I gave up a pretty sweet job to join Lexcycle
  • May 2009: Kindle sales are now 35% of title sales when Kindle editions are available up from 10% in February 2009
  • Can not under-estimate the effect of OprahThat said, keep in mind that this is not the first time Oprah has pitched an ebook reader… Rocket eBook back in the day was on of Oprah’s favorite things.
  • Amazon, Sony, Google… its not just about folks you’ve never heard of before like us.Competition is a great thing for consumers and for publishersThere has been some technological advances…
  • Doesn’t it feel like there is a new dedicated reader announced every month
  • 10 years ago – larger devices – people are not going to give up twitter, mobile browising, reading attachmentsOlder devices were not same level of distinctionEvery manufacture is moving towards consumer oriented large screen iphonesEmphasis on miniaturization smart phones (PDA switched to smaller devices and that caused a false start).Why is this not a fad? Everyone is following it? Not a one-shot situation. Repreeentative of an overall trendA lot of folks thought that mobile was going to be it 5 - 7 years ago for readingWhat ended up happening was the drive to miniaturization with PDAs and the net result was that the smaller devices weren’t great for reading.The reason why this is different is because this isn’t a 1 hit wonder – other vendors have been following Apple’s lead with …
  • What does this all mean?This time it is different.After 20 years, the reality of e-books is finally matching the hype.It already is. Barnes & Noble returning to the ebook world after a famously exiting it in 2003 is significant.The numbers are saying that this is real…
  • I want to spend a little time talking about the characteristics of the iPhone that really distinguishes it as an eReaderBooks category – is in 3rd place behind Games, Entertainment with 6995 apps
  • ~54K users in Australia and NZ
  • Let alone things like Rapid Serial Visual Presentation / horizontal scrolling and text to speech which are part of Stanza Desktop for the MacHyphenation support in 40+ languages
  • 5500 survey respondents on
  • Lots of credit to Sara Lloyd and MichaelBhaskar for noticing us right when the App Store launched
  • Lots of credit to Sara Lloyd and MichaelBhaskar for noticing us right when the App Store launched
  • If I have you take away one thing, this would be it.Give the reader a voice to talk to you and listen to them
  • Just get started. There are cheap ways to do so. Don’t make it a referendum to get started.
  • Talk about Lexcycle – “Revolutions in Reading”Company behind Stanza, most popular e-book reader application for the iPhoneFounded in 2007
  • The Future Of The Book Conference

    1. 1. Building a new world publishing business:<br />Lessons from Stanza<br />O’Reilly TOC Conference<br />The Future of the Book Conference<br />Neelan Choksi<br />CEO, Lexcycle<br /><br />twitter: stanza_reader<br />24 June 2009<br />
    2. 2. Who Am I?<br />CEO, Lexcycle<br />Former COO, SpringSource – open source<br />President and Co-Founder of SolarMetric (acquired by BEA Systems in 2005)<br />Previous Employers – Exxon, Andersen Consulting, TechTrader, MIT Blackjack Team<br />External Board Seats – SpringSource, Tasktop<br />BS from MIT, MS from Stevens Institute of Technology, MBA from Univ. of Chicago Booth<br />
    3. 3. eBooks – Inflection Point<br />$68 million US Wholesale eBook sales last 4 quarters<br />* Source: IDPF US Trade Wholesale Electronic Book Sales<br />
    4. 4. Small but Growing Fast…<br />2008: 0.467% of all books sales were eBooks per the AAP<br />2008: 0.6% of all books sales were eBooks per Bowker Pub-Track<br />Q109: 2.4% of all books sales were eBooks per Bowker Pub-Track <br />
    5. 5. The Drivers of the Opportunity<br />
    6. 6. Mainstreaming of e-books<br />Oprah Effect<br />
    7. 7. Big Name Vendors<br />
    8. 8. New Hardware<br />Netbooks<br />Lots of new eReaders<br />
    9. 9. Improved Displays: E Ink<br />
    10. 10. Improved Mobile Displays<br />Larger touch screens w/ crisp color<br />OTA, wireless<br />App Store<br />
    11. 11. Last 6 Months in eBooks<br />Jan 26 – Classics featured in iPhone TV advertisement<br />Feb 5 – Google Book Search for iPhone<br />Feb 9 – Amazon Kindle 2 Launch<br />Feb 16 – Adobe Reader Mobile SDK 9<br />Feb 25 – Indigo Shortcovers launched<br />Feb 27 – Hearst announces plans for eBook reader<br />Mar 4 – Amazon Kindle for iPhone Launch<br />Mar 5 – B&N acquires Fictionwise<br />Mar 17 – Apple iPhone 3.0 O/S announced (eBook examples)<br />Mar 19 – Sony and Google – 500,000 books<br />Mar 23 – Borders UK ends iLiad for cheaper e-Book reader<br />Apr 3 – Lexcycle’s Stanza 1.8 available<br />Apr 8 – Lexcycle, Adobe, Internet Archive release catalog spec - OPDS<br />Apr 11 – B&N / Sprint ereader discussions announced<br />Apr 27 – Amazon acquires Lexcycle<br />Apr 28 – Rumors of Apple “Media Pad” reported by Business Week<br />May 6 – Amazon announces Kindle DX<br />May 13 – Sony announces 3rd party advertising in Sony Reader<br />May 27 – Interead COOL*ER debuted at BEA<br />June 1 – E-Ink acquired by Prime View<br />June 8 – ScrollMotion featured in WWDC keynote <br />
    12. 12. Stanza Overview<br />
    13. 13. iPhone Distinctions<br />As an eReader:<br />International reach<br />Color display<br />Multi-function device<br />Built-in wireless<br />No external light required<br />App Store – 55000 apps<br />15% of smart phone market; 50% of web hits<br />
    14. 14. Stanza iPhone & iPod Touch<br /><ul><li>1.8 million users in 60 countries
    15. 15. Over 8 million books downloaded
    16. 16. 100,000+ books available (half free)
    17. 17. Books in 35+ languages
    18. 18. Featured in:
    19. 19. NY Times, Boston Globe
    20. 20. Time “Top 11 iPhone Applications”
    21. 21. Forbes
    22. 22. Wired “10 Most Awesome Apps”
    23. 23. iTunes Top Applications of 2008</li></li></ul><li>Stanza User Customizations<br />App available in 12 languages<br />21 fonts options<br />Wide range of font sizes<br />135+ font colors<br />135+ background colors + nearly 30 background textures; choose your own background image<br />Completely customize layout: alignment, hyphenation language, margins, line spacing, paragraph spacing, paragraph indentation<br />Adjust behavior: page turn effects, book rotation<br />
    24. 24. Primary Usage<br />In bed – 31%<br />Commuting on bus / train – 28%<br />In waiting areas – 13%<br />At home – 12%<br />At work – 5%<br />At a bar or café or lunch or dinner – 5%<br />On an airplane – 5%<br />2 write-ins mentioned “In the bathroom”<br />Readers enjoy having access to their library at all times in their pocket or handbag<br />
    25. 25. Stanza and Publishers, Retailers, and Distributors<br />
    26. 26. Publisher Promotions<br />Pan Macmillan Excerpts – first to notice Stanza<br />Random House Free Titles<br /><ul><li>Back list of certain authors
    27. 27. Included excerpts for forthcoming books</li></ul>Harlequin Free Titles<br /><ul><li>4 free “Minis” in December
    28. 28. 16 free titles from each imprint in January</li></ul>Bloomsbury 24 hour giveaway (UK only)<br />Circle of Seven Book Trailers<br />
    29. 29. Sources of Free Content<br />Harlequin<br />Feedbooks<br />Project Gutenberg<br />Munseys<br />BookGlutton<br />Random House<br />Pan Macmillan (excerpts)<br />
    30. 30. Partner with Existing Referral Retail Partners<br />DRM-enabled – currently only eReader format<br /><ul><li>Ingram Digital is exclusive distributor for Fictionwise for DRM-enabled eReader titles </li></ul>DRM-free – EPUB and eReader format support<br /><ul><li>Books On Board
    31. 31. Fictionwise
    32. 32. Smashwords
    33. 33. All Romance eBooks
    34. 34. O’Reilly Media</li></ul>Buying patterns representative of print sales<br />
    35. 35. Stanza Bookbinder<br />Create standalone books applications for sale directly in iTunes App Store<br />Bookbinder<br />And more …<br />
    36. 36. Lessons Learned<br />
    37. 37. Lessons Learned - Readers<br />Its all about the people who are reading!<br />
    38. 38. Lessons Learned - Readers(continued)<br />Holistic view of the entire experience for a reader:<br />Not enough to focus just on one piece. Readers expect more.<br />Search / browse content<br />Find book<br />Start Reading<br />Down-load book<br />Pur-chase book<br />Available via partners.<br />
    39. 39. Lessons Learned - Readers(continued)<br />Moving users from established behaviors takes time and patience<br />Friction = bad<br />Immersive reading<br />The bar is constantly moving up on everything<br /><ul><li>Reading experience
    40. 40. Purchase experience
    41. 41. Discovery</li></li></ul><li>Publisher Lessons<br />Calls to action need to be clear and contextual<br />KISS – make it simple for the user<br /> Hold your technology providers, conversion houses, and distributors to a higher standard <br />Keep experimenting – be bold<br /> Have a budget for marketing e-books<br />Think about multimedia and enhanced content<br />
    42. 42. Publisher Lessons(continued)<br />Figure out ways to support your authors better in the electronic world<br /><ul><li>Websites
    43. 43. Blogs, Twitter, Social Networking, Book Trailers
    44. 44. Understand the technology</li></ul>Don’t let this just turn into a blockbuster industry:<br /><ul><li>Find self-service methods and appropriate revenue splits for mid-tier authors
    45. 45. Don’t let “The Shack”s of the future slip away</li></li></ul><li>Author Lessons<br />Make sure your publishers are making your books available electronically:<br /><ul><li>Minimum formats: PDF,AZW, EPUB</li></ul>Don’t leave marketing just for the publishers:<br /><ul><li>Twitter, Blog, You Tube, Discussions
    46. 46. Be out there</li></li></ul><li>Building a new world publishing business:<br />Lessons from Stanza<br />O’Reilly TOC Conference<br />The Future of the Book Conference<br />Neelan Choksi<br />CEO, Lexcycle<br /><br />twitter: stanza_reader<br />24 June 2009<br />