Trends, Success Stories & Emerging eBook Business Models


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Presented by Sameer Shariff,Ceo Impelsys at the AEP summit.

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Trends, Success Stories & Emerging eBook Business Models

  1. 1. m Trends, Success Stories & Emerging eBook Business Models Sameer Shariff Founder & CEO Impelsys Inc.
  2. 2. Agenda Trends & Challenges Case Studies of Success Formulating your Strategy iPublishCentral
  3. 3. Who we are? • From inception till 2009, Impelsys has powered more than 2000 projects for billion dollar publishers to small million dollar publishers • We have spent millions of dollars on our core technologies, iPlatform, VirtualPages and iDAMS. We have built them over the past 4 years and the technologies are serving millions of readers worldwide • We launched iPublishCentral ( as a Software as a Service (SaaS) model leveraging our years of experience. The goal is to bring down costs of delivery so that any publisher can build an online strategy
  4. 4. We serve 200+ publishers across geographies & segments.
  5. 5. Key takeaways from this presentation Experiment Discoverability Control Relationship
  6. 6. Trends
  7. 7. Trends in reading Reading and buying trends of books not encouraging 3.2 % increase from 2006 with a compound growth rate of 2.5 % per year since 2002 This increase, the highest in the last 26 years, is still insignificant when compared to video games (19%) and movies (5.3%) (Source: AAP,
  8. 8. Trends in reading Availability of these different types of media - vying for reader's attention and dollars
  9. 9. Trends in reading How do you get to understand your customers? The web is changing consumption and your future markets will change.
  10. 10. Web is changing reader behavior Trend is towards searching and foraging for information Increased use of Google and Wikipedia for reading and research Bits and pieces of information are weaved together from multiple sources like scent trails (Source: Xerox PARC,
  11. 11. Web is changing reader behavior Is making content visible the first step in the solution? Will it provide a strong enough “scent” for people to browse and ultimately buy? Google Book Search
  12. 12. Web is changing reader behavior You must give the consumers what they need/require Provide content and not “books”
  13. 13. Search trends The number of people searching to know more about ebooks has doubled in the last 4 years according to google trends. Source: Google Trends (
  14. 14. Reference reader trends Do you prefer using online resources or print for your research, class presentation and instruction? No. of respondents 831 1 in 2 people or around 50% prefer doing research reading online. (Source: Global Faculty eBook Survey, 2007, February (
  15. 15. Market trends Source: IDPF Industry Statistics (
  16. 16. Consumer expectation Interactive: Participative: audio, video, animations “I matter and so does my opinion” Cost: Available: Anywhere, Anytime micro-payments (source: - )
  17. 17. Trends Challenges
  18. 18. Challenges of going e Multiple formats, hardware devices, software Which one will win? What formats?
  19. 19. Challenges of going e Cost and Risk Cost of experimenting and risk of competition
  20. 20. Challenges of going e Conversion costs Tagging/Metadata (how deep?) Time to Market
  21. 21. Challenges of going e Challenges in depending on others Who controls it? Who is gaining insights into user behavior? Who understands the market needs? Who can develop products that meet these needs?
  22. 22. Success Stories
  23. 23. Experiments: World Bank e-Library
  24. 24. World bank bought back XML files Today, they have the from Netlibrary to develop their external channels and their own strategy along with being own program as well. present on other channels. Experiments: World Bank e-Library Today, they have the external channels They have effectively implemented And the results and their own discoverability through Google are visible in program as well. Book Search, reach through their numbers multiple channels, control and insight into their market through their own program.
  25. 25. Experiments: World Bank Results and Sales Contribution Source: Channels for Online Publishing: The Experience of World Bank Publications, Valentina Kalk, 2008 (
  26. 26. Experiments: Harper Collins Browse Inside
  27. 27. Harper Collins It brings powerful features Amazon, who pioneered offering launched their Browse that retail aggregators, like samples on a large scale in Inside program in 2006, Amazon, offer on their site 2003, reported about 9% becoming one of the increase of print sales across first publisher to do so 120,000 titles in 5 days after the Search Inside capability was available on their site ( ) Experiments: Harper Collins Browse Inside Harper Collins had a similar experience with sales They were also able to gain valuable insights into Harper Collins reported print sales increase of 30% and 250% what the market wants for specific titles using their Browse Inside functionality (
  28. 28. Experiments: Harper Collins Browse Inside Browse Inside PDF Free Download Visitors 83,102 20,000 Visits 85,867 30,000 Downloads 0 15,000 Page Views 3,827,306 Avg Page Views per Visit 46 Avg. Visit Duration 15:55 Clicks on Buy Link 1,177 Emailed to a Friend 16,236 (Source: Experiments with free digital content, presented at IDPF Digital Book 2008 by Leslie Hulse, VP Digital Business Development, Harper Collins,
  29. 29. Experiments: O’Reilly Safari and Beyond
  30. 30. O'Reilly Media has been at the Started in 2001 as a web based forefront in experimenting with subscription model, it is now the #2 different models of electronic channel behind Amazon for O'Reilly delivery in sales (Source: ) Experiments: o’Reilly Safari and Beyond They also experimented with Offering a NetFlix-like model of various tools like SafariU that lending books, it remains DRM allowed custom mash-up free offering as many prints and publishing of books for copies a subscriber wants to make University professors
  31. 31. O'Reilly now offers books They service various channels in PDF, Mobi and ePUB like Kindle, iPhone and Stanza formats as direct downloads Experiments: o’Reilly Safari and Beyond This has resulted in a strong market expansion strategy where O'Reilly now meets the needs of all types of customers
  32. 32. Experiments: Harper Collins Case Study: Browse Inside MIT Press
  33. 33. MIT Press, started on iPublishCentral early on - as a beta customer. They helped us refine the system and have been partners in trying out what works and what does not.
  34. 34. They went live about 1.5 months back and offer 400 niche titles for sale in the electronic form through iPublishCentral.
  35. 35. All that MIT Press needed to launch was their title PDF, ONIX metadata and book covers.
  36. 36. They now have an electronic book store through which they can sell to institutions and individual subscribers. They also offer free content samples that can travel as widgets.
  37. 37. Since launch, towards the end of March... Nearly 18000+ pages have been previewed
  38. 38. Since launch, towards the end of March... Visitors from about 180 countries have viewed widgets
  39. 39. Since launch towards end of March... Visitors from nearly half these countries have clicked on the widgets to see book preview pages
  40. 40. Since launch towards end of March... Total time spent on the book preview pages is 462:34:59 hours
  41. 41. Since launch towards end of March... Average time spent per visit is about 4.5 mins
  42. 42. Since launch towards end of March... Google alone has crawled through the sample pages about 3500 times, apart from other search engines
  43. 43. Since launch towards end of March... Nearly 2% of unique visitors who saw the preview pages have ended up buying a title
  44. 44. Formulating your strategy
  45. 45. Why should you experiment? • Others are doing it, so should you • Run your own program, along with other existing strategies – it does not hurt • It helps in gaining visibility and establishing a relationship with your readers • The world is changing and you can leverage this change • Your networks are your future currency
  46. 46. Increase visiblity • Increase visibility by being available where your readers are • Be relevant and useful • Introduce your books and create brand awareness • Increase page views to gain SEO and SEM • Get insight into what your readers are doing • Offer value to potentially increase sales
  47. 47. Establish relationships • Relationships matter • Listen, understand and respond • Own your readers and their mind share • Reach out to readers with news and updates • Word-of-Mouth works and social media is the easiest way to get it started • Targeted marketing is better than broadcast advertising
  48. 48. Control • Who controls these relationships? • Is it sufficient to have retailers like Amazon and search engines like Google manage them? • How do you build your infrastructure for the future - the investment does not have to be great
  49. 49. Introducing iPublishCentral
  50. 50. • iPublishCentral is low-cost and low- risk Software as a Service (SaaS) focussed on publishing • It helps publishers to formulate, run and control their own E-Strategy • The vision of iPublishCentral is to help publishers through a self-serve model to market, distribute and deliver content online • Launched during Frankfurt Book Fair 2008, we currently have more than 150 publishers on it
  51. 51. • It helps publishers convert capital expenditure plans to revenue expenditure – with a pay-as-you-go model • It takes away the need for up-front investments in installations, operations, support, maintenance and training • Automated content workflow and ready-to-go functionality offers zero- conversion costs and quicker time to market • Fully backed with a SLA • It's entirely self service, but for publishers short on time and resources – support on a T&M basis
  52. 52. Widgets
  53. 53. Portals
  54. 54. Key takeaways from this presentation Experiment Discoverability Control Relationship
  55. 55. Thank You. Tools like iPublishCentral, make these experiments possible “iPublishCentral is a self-service model that allows us to deploy viral tools across our 70+ web sites, giving us the opportunity to quickly market content, increase sales and engage our online community” - Sara Domville, President of F+W Media. “Impelsys is the company to watch over the next few years” - Steve Paxhia, Seybold Report “iPublishCentral is poised at the right place at the right time because it encourages publishers, big and small, to experiment with web technologies” - Marisa Peacock, CMSWire. To see how iPublishCentral can make a difference to your business, sign up at
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