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Direct sales of ebooks in multiple languages

Your direct channel needs to extend well beyond the English language

O’Reilly has long been a leader in fostering community and building a direct sales channel. This week we took the next step in enhancing the customer’s direct buying experience by offering German editions for many of our ebook titles. Take a close look at the bottom of this screen shot:

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 10.17.46 AMI grabbed that image from the search results for “Windows 8” on our website this morning. If you click on the English title you’ll see this screen:

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 10.18.00 AM
You can either buy the English language version from here or click the Deutsch link in the bottom right corner and this edition is displayed:

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 10.18.25 AM
We’re in the process of adding more German titles to our online catalog and you can expect to see other languages added in the future as well.

Why is this significant? As I’ve said before, I believe every publisher needs to build a direct channel so they aren’t overly dependent on other retailers. I’m not suggesting a direct channel replaces other retail channels but it’s a very important extension that helps publishers establish a relationship with their customers, learn from the data generated and create even better products in the future. By adding other languages to the assortment we’re making it easier for anyone around the globe to find the O’Reilly content they want on one site. And, of course, it’s all being delivered with the multi-format (EPUB, mobi & PDF), DRM-free approach pioneered by O’Reilly.

This post originally appeared on Joe Wikert’s Publishing 2020 site. It’s republished with permission.

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Comments: 10

  1. So that only leaves about 150 other major languages to make this a serious statement. However one tentative toe forward into one commercially large language group is a start of course.

    • Yes, Richard, this is definitely only one step forward…but I feel it’s a very important one that I hope others will follow. 🙂

      • I am with you there. Any step for multi-language products, especially from a North American technical publisher is a mighty step forward. The rapidly changing world of technology is reflected in the O’Reilly content continuum. This small step forward in inclusion is heartening.

        Hopefully with the right partnering it could be the start of an international information focus. An interesting observation, as someone who has worked with a few thousand programmers in India over the last 18 years, is the creation of books with commentary in local languages with technical programming instruction text in “English”. This could be an interesting and knowledge accelerating genre! It just may not be as much muny.

  2. A great step toward direct-to-consumer, platform-neutral, language-neutral publishing (gosh, that’s a mouthful). What I wonder is how best to address the marketing challenges on foreign-language markets.

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