Developing a marketing strategy before deciding on production details is a prudent first step for any ebook publishers. Technology trends, costs, versatility, shopping habits, customer accessibility and consumer demand dictate the best production options for an ever-shifting marketplace. The choices are many.
When considering future consumer trends, there is no denying that E-reader formats offer a portable and convenient answer for prospective customers. Ebook publishers must decide which production options make sense for them as the E-reader trend grows. Decisions related to outsourcing or partnering with complementary retailers and distributors can also expand production and sales opportunities.
Consideration for Selecting the Best E-Book Formats
E-book formats vary. Portability is certainly one of the main requirements that many casual readers desire. One of the major benefits of using e-readers or smart-phone applications is that an avid reader has instant access to hundreds, or even thousands of books.
A different consumer might be more open to downloading a PDF format, which has been used for years as a standard way to transfer information between different computer platforms. Both of these choices allow for the mobile solution that most customers desire and expect. Web-based publishing platforms offer yet another format for the consumer on the go. These platforms effectively expand a publisher’s outreach to smart-phones and tablets, which are widely viewed as growth markets sure to remain popular in the future.
With technology changes representing a moving target of sorts, publishers are forced to decide how best to produce an e-book product that will be easily accessible by the most customers. A strategy employed by many publishers is to produce an e-book in different formats suited to each widely-used e-Reader so that it is attractive to the most people, regardless of the technology they want to use to purchase and access e-books. For example, a publisher can produce an e-book that is accessible to each of the popular e-readers separately, while also producing versions marketed specifically to iPad and smart-phone users .
One viable solution geared to versatility is to use the electronic publication file format (EPUB) that allows a publisher to produce one version of an e-book that is compatible with most e-readers, desktop and smart-phone applications. This eBook standard was established by the International Digital Publishing Forum as a way to address the changing needs of the publishing community. Publishers seeking to adapt to many different user formats find that the EPUB provides an attractive option.
Ebook Publishers Partnerships
Some ebook publishers consider forming mutually beneficial partnerships to adjust to changing market conditions. One approach to consider is the possibility of using a one-stop-shop marketing platform as a way to access all the different marketing platforms. There are companies that will act as both a distributor and production agent for publishers, for a cost starting as low as 5 percent. This type of publishing vendor offers publishers the option of taking one basic electronic document and making it available to all customers on any type of technology they want to use.
Technology has dramatically changed the publishing landscape forever. Important production decisions that embrace new e-book technologies will decide the profitability of ebook publishers. As always, the costs versus the benefits of different options will dictate how e-book publishers proceed as technology and customer expectations shift.