TOC Report: 10 secrets of digital publishing no one will tell you
February 24, 2010 | 9:16 am
By Paul Biba
Peter Costanzo and Rick Joyce Perseus Books Group: independent publishing company and distribute other independent publishers.
Surveyed their independent publishing clients. What is most significant focus in 2010: ebooks, social media and direct consumer were highest top 3.
What percentage of your titles will be ebooks in 2010: 30% less than 10%, 50% half or more made into ebooks.
What are barriers to your ebook entry: highest barrie is poor fit of titles with device capabilities 43%, piracy 37%, retailer pricing 37%, cost of conversion 35%, confusion about technology standards or processes 34%, poor handling of color 34%, cost of conversion 35%.
Planning on windowing? 43% plan to release e and p at same time. 30% wait and see, 8% window, 11% experiment with windowing.
What format do you use: 40% PDF, 20% epub, 30% all, 12% azw, 21% other.Piracy: 25% unconcerned, 20% fairly small problem, 20% dangerous, 20 % unsure, 6% requires a technical fix
iPad, what do they think: 40% too soon to tell, 37% will be a significant reading platform, 30% reading will be secondary on the platform
Agency model, do you prefer? 50% unsure, 25% yes at 70%
Price points for ebooks: no fixed pricing 41%, $10 to $15 30%, 20% $15 to $19
General presentation: Perseus has created a number of “enhanced” ebooks. Takes a huge amount of work and requires an incredible mix of talent. Large learning curve. If publisher uses third party developer can be extremely expensive.
Digital product can complement paper product; for example in travel books you can publish segments of the guide as stand-alone books. For example, from a France guide you can take out museums of Paris and issue this as a separate digital book. In travel books when did separate apps sold 10K in a few months.
Ebooks perfect for speed and timeliness so have digital books ready for breaking news.
On pricing must monitor pricing before and after publication, unlike old model when only looked at pricing before publication. Must consider version pricing and dynamic pricing. Pricing is no longer static.
Devices: devices will keep changing and even those that fail are important because they may have features that will succeed. Look at your ebook on various different devices because publishers don’t always consider what the consumer sees.
Quality assurance is the new editing and it’s 10 times harder. Test title on each device, test what happens to rendering at each font size, test each live link, test each functional action, test product discovery, test purchase, give it to a newbie and re-run, who will the consumer complain to if it doesn’t work properly?
Fail better: got to be willing to fail, the new is almost always unprofitable to begin with and will be inefficient in the early stages.
Some titles will resist digital: some books will never work in a digital format.