eBooks and eReading: Publishers & Writers of San Diego


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ebooks and eReading: The Changing World of Publishing was presented to the Publishers and Writers of San Diego on March 31, 2012 by David Wogahn, managing partner of SellBox.com. It is an update on what’s new in eBooks and eBook publishing and covers a perspective on the state of the market in 2012, key trends, eBook/eReading resources, case studies, eBook marketing and the 5 steps of eBook publishing: designing, formatting, conversion, quality control and distribution.

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eBooks and eReading: Publishers & Writers of San Diego

  1. 1. eBooks and eReading:The Changing World of Publishing March 31, 2012David Wogahn david@Sellbox.com | 760-942-4227
  2. 2. How do you spend your time?Source: www.ispwp.com
  3. 3. What is an eBook?1. Can you read it—without panning & zooming—on a mobile device?2. Can someone buy it from some place other than your website, i.e. an online retailer?
  4. 4. What is an eReader? It can be a device… …or software.
  5. 5. Tablets vs. eReaders Differentiators: Cost, portability, battery life, multimedia, screen type, function People who prefer tablets are more interested in multi-tasking and computing activities. Its a computer replacement. People who want to read buy an eReader: fewer distractions, lower cost, smaller, easier on the eyes, read in daylight. 29% of Americans have one or the other (Pew, 1/2012)
  6. 6. ePublishing introduces a newvocabulary & new processes. File formats  App Developer  Enhanced eBook Conversion  Fixed page layout Aggregator  Page replica layout Distributor  Side Loading Agency Pricing
  7. 7. Readers: choose your silo! ePub
  8. 8. eBook-buying and reading habitsdiffer from pBook habits…1. Impulse buying2. Collecting3. Grazing4. Multi-format buying
  9. 9. Emerging Trends Dedicated eReaders vs. Tablet computers Competition for reading time: eBooks vs. digital ‘everything else’ What’s a book?
  10. 10. More Emerging Trends1. Devices will proliferate creating a challenge for do-it-yourself publishers2. Shift from a hardware view to an eco-view3. Ad supported books4. Diminishing physical shelf space Can B&N survive as an independent company?
  11. 11. 3 Big Decisions
  12. 12. Book Covers: When exactly did theystop being important? eReader screens are evolving Can anyone name this book?
  13. 13. Bottomline: How would yourcover look if placed in this line up?
  14. 14. The Art of Pricing “Over the last year Ive tried pricing from .99 to $5.95. I found that lower prices did not substantially increase sales and higher prices did not diminish sales. So why sell my work for 35% of 99-cents when I can sell just as many books for 70% of $5.95? “I think pricing my books too low actually causes a perception problem: they mustnt be very good if that cheap.” “…I thought that if I can make a profit at 99 cents, I no longer have to prove I’m as good as them, rather, they have to prove they are ten times better than me”.
  15. 15. Thinking about yourprice… Is there a print edition? What do competitors charge for similar topics? Do you have other books? How long is it? How specialized is the information? Your price is no longer static!Experiment-don’t be afraid to change it, regularly
  16. 16. DRM: Digital Rights Management Publishers want it. Readers hate it. It can be circumvented. Can piracy be good? “Damn. Guess I have to buy The White Album again.”
  17. 17. The End of DRM? Who doesn’t want to sell direct and keep 100%? A few challenges:  Training readers to side-load  Teaching them about eBook back-up  How will highlights & notes be handled?  They’ll need to give up syncing too  Marketing to readers
  18. 18. Questions a self-publisher shouldask themselves:1. What are the design requirements?  Media elements  Informational  Creative2. How close does your current manuscript format come to meeting these requirements?3. Where do you want to sell it?
  19. 19. eBook PublishingFive Steps:2. Design3. Format4. Convert5. Review6. Distribute (Resource: kdp.amazon.com)
  20. 20. Step 1: Design Ideal: narrative text and headings Challenges:  Sidebars  Outline and poetry layouts  Indexes  Video, audio, animation  NavigationeBook design still involves some compromises
  21. 21. Step 2: Formatting Use stylesheets Be consistent Don’t get fancy Remember that there is essentially only one page in an eBookA complex design may require knowledge ofHTML to implement.
  22. 22. Step 3: Conversion Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP): kdp.amazon.com Barnes & Noble Nook: www.pubit.com Calibre Smashwords
  23. 23. Conversion: Amazon and B&N Word (.doc or .docx) [B&N] ePub (.epub) [B&N] Plain Text (.txt) [B&N] Mobipocket (.mobi or .prc) HTML (.zip, .htm, or .html) [B&N] Adobe PDF (.pdf) Rich Text Format (.rtf) [B&N]
  24. 24. Step 4: Review [Quality Control] Inspect the front matter for accuracy Check line spacing, indents and justification Click the menu button, do all options work? Test any hyperlinks to Web sites Check images Use Kindle Previewer Validate ePub files Alas, not all eReaders display the same
  25. 25. Reality check: Distribution vs. SalesThrough Which channelwhich produces thechannels are largestyour percentage ofeBooks your eBookdistributed? sales?Aptara, 3rd Annual eBook Survey of Publishers, Spring 2011
  26. 26. Step 5: Distribution Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Barnes & Noble (Pubit) BookRix, Bookbaby, eBookit, Fastpencil, Lulu, Smashwords, MintRight, LibreDigital, INscribe DigitalSmall publishers must go through an aggregatorto be placed in the Apple and Sony stores.
  27. 27. Marketing: think cooperatively,not competitively. Buddy-up with other author/publishers Building addressable connections Be public Publish multiple titles Create thorough metadata Get reviews Consider sampling
  28. 28. Survey: What do you rely on tohelp you discover books? (select 3)
  29. 29. 10 Social Networks for Readers www.goodreads.com www.scribd.com www.wattpad.com www.shelfari.com www.thecopia.com www.bookcountry.com www.inreads.com www.byliner.com www.anobii.com www.librarything.com
  30. 30. Good editing and writing extendsto metadata—and be consistentSearchResults Titles & DescriptionsPress ReleaseBoilerplate
  31. 31. Importance of Quality and Future Proofing  Baseline is moving lower  Trade-off of cost for lower quality  It will get worse before it gets better  New review standards could help  Rate the publisher  Rate the presentation  Future Proofing  Compatibility  Color images  300 dpi resolutionIs the public willing to pay for quality?
  32. 32. If anyone can publish a book howdo readers judge quality?1. They download a sample.2. Read the reviews.3. Check out the social reading websites.4. Who is the publisher? (Check their other books)5. Is the design and formatting pleasing?6. Does the cover look professional?7. Is there an editor referenced in the credits?8. Has the author written other books?9. Is there a print edition?10. Does it appear on any ‘best-seller’ lists.(Pssst: Amazon gives refunds on eBooks.)
  33. 33. About Our specialty is helping authors, publishers and businesses publish and market eBooks and other digital media products.  eBook development, conversion, publishing  eBook strategy and product planning  Internet marketing & digital media business development For more information and to stay in touch visit sellbox.com and connect on Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/wogahnDavid Wogahn | david@sellbox.com760-942-4227 | www.sellbox.com