Here's one way B&N could distinguish Nook from other platforms
Yesterday I wrote about the opportunity to rethink the used book in the digital world. One option I suggested is for the community to create summaries of ebooks and sell them as bundles with the original work. Now I’m thinking about how the summary process could be automated and built into the ereader app.
I recently discovered a Chrome plug-in called CruxLight which highlights the key elements of a web page. If you’re pressed for time and just want to quickly scan the page CruxLight helps you out by highlighting the important pieces and providing a list of keywords.
It can be so much more than simply lower-priced versions of the original work
Amazon has a patent and now Apple does too. I’m talking about the techniques both companies might use to let you resell your digital content. They join ReDigi, who already offers a platform to resell your digital music.
Ebooks are next, of course, and the concern I hear isn’t so much about the legal aspect but rather the risk of cannibalization. Most publishers seem hung up on the notion that a used ebook sale will mean one less original sale for them. And even if they participate in the used ebook revenue stream, they’re concerned that the selling price will be lower, so they’ll make less when cannibalization happens. I think that’s a very shortsighted view of the opportunity.
Giving consumers a reason to buy direct
At last year’s BEA I heard a Big Six executive state that her company didn’t want to build a direct consumer channel because they’re totally happy with their retail partners. She said it as though the two channels are mutually exclusive. They’re not, of course, and any publisher that isn’t working on building a robust direct-to-consumer channel is missing out on an enormous opportunity.
Some of the Goodreads member survey results will surprise you
You might recall an article a few months ago that asked the question, “What do readers want?”. It was a call for publishing types to submit questions that Goodreads could ask their members. Your questions ultimately formed the basis of the Goodreads member survey.
They should focus instead on reader experience and new content sales models
The ebook retailing business consists of three elements: hardware, content, and selling model. Dedicated e-readers (think eInk devices) are losing momentum to tablets. Content is mostly quick-and-dirty print-to-e conversions, or “paper under glass”, if you will. The typical selling model is to buy one ebook at a time. Pretty simple. And not a whole lot of innovation happening in any of the three areas by the major players.
Recently there’s been speculation that B&N is about to ditch the hardware part of their Nook business and focus instead on content and licensing. If true, that’s probably the wisest thing I’ve heard from Riggio & Co. in a long time. Hardware has been, and will increasingly become more of, a fool’s game for B&N.
Thrillbent's Mark Waid shows how to enhance the reading experience
I’m convinced some publishers think the current state of the ebook market is all they need. They’re comfortable taking their print products and making them available as ebooks. No thought is given to how the reading experience can be improved on the digital platform.
This research report is a must-read for everyone in publishing
I mentioned in an article yesterday that what’s happening in the startup community is one of the key takeaways from TOC NY 2013. I’d like to drill a bit deeper into that subject and a recent report from Dosdoce helps me do just that.
If you’re not familiar with Dosdoce and their CEO/Founder, Javier Celaya, you need to be. Dosdoce analyzes the use of technology in culture and Javier is one of the smartest people in publishing. Their latest report was released last week during TOC NY and is called How to Collaborate with Startups. You’ll find some background information about the report here and a PDF of the report is here.
It's still early, startups rule, and ecommerce follows community
TOC NY 2013 is a wrap and based on the feedback I’ve received so far I think it was one of our best. When Kat and I closed the event Thursday afternoon we both shared thoughts on the most important points we came away with. If you weren’t able to join us last week, here are my top five lessons learned and discussed at TOC NY 2013:
Find your 1,000 true fans by catalyzing your 100 true believers
David Lang is working on a book project for O’Reilly called “Zero to Maker: A Re-Skilling Guide for New Makers”. Like some authors these days, David is using Kickstarter to get the project off the ground. I was recently introduced to David and thought it would be good to share his Kickstarter experience with the TOC community. Here’s what he had to say…
Qbend offers an excellent ecommerce platform solution
I was on a call earlier today with John Costa of Qbend. We’re putting together the final outline for the TOC NY session called Connecting to and Engaging Your Ebook Consumers. It’s a session I’m particularly excited about because it covers an extremely important topic for publishers: Establishing a direct sales channel.
One of the themes I’m hearing consistently across the publishing industry is that revenue and internal resources are shrinking. As a result, publishers are being forced to focus on what they do best and outsource the rest.