e-Publishing Companies

electronic books and their publishersePublishing divides into print-on-demand and electronic publishing, the last being covered on the electronic books page. Electronic publishing is much the same as traditional publishing. You still have to convince the publisher that your book will make money, even though though risks are reduced as the electronic book is cheaper to produce. Royalties tend to be more generous, of course, and a popular website promoting your ebook takes the place of bookstore signings and readings.

Electronic books are basically computer files, created to be read on a computer or handheld device. Technology is making great strides, but the traditional paper book still remains the more popular.

ePublishing companies have now grown more cautious in what they will publish, having seen many of their fraternity disappear when the enthusiasm gave way to hard business sense. Only a few electronic publishers now accept poetry, where you'd probably do better to purchase the software and create your own ebooks.

More information can be found on these sites:

Electronic Book, e-Book, eBook, eJournals, and Electronic Journal Watch. Articles and a good listing.

Electronic Publishing. About/Jeeves's extensive listing.

EPIC. Professional organization for e-book and print authors.

netLibrary. Large eContent provider: listings for books and services.

Online Books Page. Lists 25,000 free books online.

Electron Press. Publishes books in Adobe Acrobat or PDA-readable format.

Internet Authors Network. Services and user group to promote ebooks.

Open Ebook Forum. Organization of publishers, authors and software houses striving for international common standards in e-publishing.

Internet Publishing. Personal site, with an excellent listing of electronic publishers.

WBJB. Online radio show devoted to self publishing: links to articles and newsletter.

A few of the many e-publishers still in business: quality varies:

Hard Shell Word Factory.

New Concepts Publishing.

Awe-Struck E-Books.

C & M Online Media (Boson Books).

Fictionwise, Inc.

Writer's Exchange E-Publishing.

Atlantic Bridge Publishing.

Wings ePress, Inc.

Current Prospects

After many false starts, epublishing has finally arrived, due in large part to Amazon's Kindle and Apple's iPad. eBooks are becoming an important, accounting in 2010 for $441.3 million in US sales and 8.3% of the US book market. {8}

Subscription Services

Very different from ebooks are subscription services, which have become popular again, and for a wide range of services. {1} {6} By 2015, over 40% of media and digital-products companies around the world may use subscription services for their fulfillment, billing, and renewals. {2} Customers generally prefer something tangible, an ebook rather than access to information, and special efforts have to be made to keep them subscribing. Indeed, on average, a company will lose half its customers in five years. Nonetheless, given high customer acquisition costs, the more successful e-companies today focus on the lifetime cycle, offering an individual service, special promotions, discounts and membership of a community where common needs are discussed and met — a feature also of social media sites. {3} {4}

It's unlikely that individual writers will have the time or skills to compete with established magazines, which themselves are being hit by falling advertising revenues, {5} but they could certainly pool their resources and offer a monthly mix of articles, short stories, poems, serials and news roundups that focused on a particular segment of the discriminating reading public. Market research is essential — to identify that segment and serve it professionally {7} (which, alas, most poetry magazines do not.)

Subscription software is widely available, and an Internet search will locate services that range from a one-off purchase of $40 to rentals of several hundred dollars a month. Get what you really need.

References

1. Point of view: Building a subscription services business? WPP. 2013.

2. Making the Web's Subscription Economy Hum by Karen E. Klein. Businessweek. June 2012.

3. The Nine Most Profitable Subscription Website Business Models by Don Nicholas. Mequoda Daily Blog. October 2012. Useful summary of approaches.

4. Best Practices for Online Business Model. Vindicia. 2012. A business model approach.

5. The Death of Print. Ecommerce Digest. 2012. One of many relevant sections on this site.

6. Web-Based Subscription Businesses Surf A New Wave by Lauren Silverman. All Tech Considered. September 2012.

7. 10 Things Iím Learning From Running a Paid Subscription. Ricardo Bueno Blog. February 2012.

8. ePublishing. Ecommerce Digest. 2012.

Sources for Further Reading and Research

Bookwire. Very extensive resources, but not specific to e-publishing or sales.

Bookweb. American Booksellers Association: good research and statistics listings.

Rumor Mill. User groups on various aspects of books and publishing.

12 Sites for Ebook Publishing. Practical Ecommerce.

EContent Magazine. Digital content strategies and resources.

ClickZ News. News and events in the advertising world.

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