Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Still in doubt about producing an ebook?

If you still have doubts about whether you should produce an ebook, make a note that ebook sales at amazon.com exceed print books. Read all about it here.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Help for the Self Published Book Seller

I am back! My work on a State of Oregon grant is almost complete.

In case you had not heard, the state awarded a grant to the Business Development Center at COCC to stimulate economic activity in Central Oregon by increasing e-commerce. I was chosen to be the web site advisor on the project. It was a great opportunity to review and recommend changes to many sites operated by local small businesses.

One aspect that I wanted to pass on was that the Business Development Center at COCC is an incredible resource for the small business, to include book sellers. The free service includes advising on financial matters such as loan sources, grants, venture capital, etc., business plan development, legal structure for a business, etc.

Give the center a try if you are in Crook, Deschutes, or Jefferson County: 541-383-7290

Friday, March 05, 2010

Ebooks and EPUB

"To ebook or not" continues to plague many self publishers. Most everyone agrees that ebooks are having a great impact on the book publishing industry. Aptara, an industry-oriented research company, conducted an extensive survey related to ebooks and book publishers in general. The following points, drawn from the survey, are of interest to the self publisher.

  • Most ebooks are distributed through the book owner's website.
  • Using an owner site results in the publisher missing major ebook distribution channels such as Amazon, Apple iTunes, etc.
  • Ebook reader-compatibility is the biggest challenge.
Related to the challenge is an industry-wide move toward using an ebook format known as EPUB. Placing one's ebook in that format means the book can be read by all/most ebook readers currently on the market.

If you are grappling with the issue of format for your ebook, check out EPUB. A free Microsoft Word-to-EPUB converter can be found here.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ebook Sales and Reader Survey

The following discussion from today's Publishers Lunch sheds more light on the whole "Should I have an ebook or not" question.

"The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) has released headline results from their first survey of Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading, conducted among approximately 550 people from Bowker's PubTrack Consumer panel who said they had purchased an ebook within the past year.

Computers were still the top e-reading "devices," cited by 47 percent of respondents, followed by the Kindle at 32 percent and other e-readers at 10 percent. "Roughly one-fifth of survey respondents said they've stopped purchasing print books within the past 12 months in favor of acquiring the e-book editions."

One question asked how, for a favorite author, consumers would behave if the ebook was not available when the hardcover is released. The responses seem to underscore general consumer confusion in this area (and the replies are guesses....) Thirty percent think they would wait for three months to buy the ebook; 24 percent would go ahead and buy the hardcover instead. Six percent expect they would buy both versions, and over a third weren't sure what they would do.

Not unsurprisingly, the top characteristic driving ebook purchases is "affordability," followed by "easy to download," "readability," "instant access to books," and "portability."

The survey will be repeated two more times this year, at three month intervals, to track changes in consumer attitudes, Angela Bole from the BISG and Kelly Gallagher from Bowker will present and discuss the findings at the Digital Book World conference later this month, and then again at TOC in February.

View the full media release: Release."