Author’s Tips for Managing the Buzz about e-Books

In my experience successful book marketing strategies must include some consideration for managing the buzz about e-Books. It is just one of the ways to get your book noticed – by offering your “product” (remember your book as a business) to a wider audience.   Although an e-Product should be a part of your offering, keep in mind that some people still want the feel of a book in their hands and the smell of the ink and paper to which many of us respond. Some major up-front issues to address concerning e-Products – which are driven by conversations with clients, other authors and other industry professionals, include the awareness that:

  • An e-Book is different than an e-Reader.
  • Although your basic book is complete – the conversion process to an e-Book is not significant; that same process for an e-Reader is going to be determined by which “reader” you hope to align with.
  • The pricing for e-Books and e-Readers started out with the idea that more sales might be made at lower rates. That line of thinking is fast fading!  Book stores are hoping to drive the price of e-Products up to at least a comparable level to perfect bound books, and authors are now seeing that what they are selling is their intellectual property – and that knowledge remains more valuable in any format.

Understanding e-Products

For the sake of clarity, not all e-Products are the same. An e-Book is a conversion of the publication in a simple PDF format that is easily read by products such as Adobe Reader, which is a fairly common product available to anyone one using a PC.  There is a plethora of other compatible programs, most of which are free and come pre-loaded on most PC’s, PDA’s and Smartphones around the world.   The greatest benefit to publishing your book in an Adobe Reader compatible format  is that it is still the most widely used software in the world, and available on a wide range of platforms.  The Adobe website (www.adobe.com) remains the best resource for the simple PDF format.

An e-Reader is more specific to a particular delivery product – including but not limited to, Microsoft Reader, the Palm eBook Reader, Nook, Kobo and Kindle.  Each reader instrument has unique requirements, and as such requires a little more focus and comes with certain limitations.  To remain competitive, Authors will have to consider at least one of the e-Reader platforms, and work with the essential services to complete the conversion and distribution process.

Managing the Conversion Process

For every formatting process, the industry is ripe in responding with tools designed to help you easily manage that task.   The most important consideration, however, is to determine WHICH format you want to support and – until you have resources sufficient to indicate adding another is feasible – mine that particular e-Product to maintain efficiencies in your production/conversion process.  Technology simplifies things, and at the same time creates its own type of frustrations and complexities!  The PDF Store website (www.pdfstore.com) might be your first, best resource, but another word of caution – – – with the gaining popularity of the Nook, Kindle and Kobo, it will serve you well to complete a Google search relative to the “conversion process” for each of these e-Readers and make sure you are accessing the most current information and services.

Pricing Considerations

As noted earlier, Authors have been inclined to use the e-Product to stimulate greater sales at lower prices.  Much discussion could go on and on about this topic – for a very extended period of time.  There are two distinctly different camps of thought – either of which may be right for YOU and totally wrong for another Author!  Your overall marketing campaign has to come into play here; each decision you make (because you see your book as a business) should be based on the business model you follow.  If you have, with deliberate and conscious thinking, decided the e-Product is a “loss leader” to gain you maximum visibility, the reduced pricing might be appropriate.   If you have serious intentions of making Best-Seller list – the e-Product at a ridiculously low price is not going to be a wise business choice.

Additionally, if you are serious about building an expert status in your industry – I would posture you consider the possibility that to devalue your intellectual property is fool-hardy – not to mention that the major book stores aren’t going to be as friendly toward you with this book, or future publications when you seek to be in direct competition with them, rather than counting on them to be your spokes-person.  Feedback is now coming in from Authors who are finding the profit structure is not as significantly healthy as they were first lead to believe; readers are not as “charmed” by the e-Product in all genres!

Perhaps there is a creative compromise… snip out a few chapters of your book and deliver the meatiest elements of your novel writing expertise, or the most content rich aspect of an information product.  Put the “cost of a latte” price on that little snippet if you like, but seriously – do you really want to give away the farm with a no-cost, low-cost version of your book?

Today’s post is just a quick “primer” relative to offering your work as an e-Product, ensuring that as you get your book noticed, your book marketing strategies will include distribution to a wider audience.  I am trusting this post will stimulate further curiosity.  Leave your questions in the comments section – we will leave no stone unturned when it comes to providing you the best information.

Keep reading, keep writing, keep seeking that Best-Seller status!
Anna
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