Friday, May 20, 2011

eBooks: The Changing Landscape of Publishing

eBooks now are starting to flip on the market. With Borders reporting a higher percentage of sales of eBooks than printed books, expect to see the market continue to shift. Much like iTunes and the iPod changed the music market, eBooks are in the process of upending the publishing marketplace and changing how we buy books. From a publisher's and author's point of view, this shift means less overhead costs and puts a great premium on the value of having a publisher publish your eBook in order to earn the ability to not only have the credibility to promote the book in the press, but also to demand higher prices in the marketplace. Top name authors and publishers are now starting to raise the bar on the value of an eBook, which is a big win for the authors and publishers that no longer have to invest so much capitol in the product. It raises the profit margins without lowering the value of the book, which early on was an issue. This issue was also combined with the high number of self-published eBooks where the lack of a publisher raised questions about the quality of the product. The eBook channel is growing in commercial value. And with the growth, more mainstream publishers have jumped in the game. The consumer is still going to be more likely to purchase an eBook from a real publisher, because that "logo" is almost like a Good Housekeeping seal of approval. The consumer knows that certain names equal certain quality of work. And in the end, with publishers able to demand premium prices for their products and hence their authors -- all with the lower overhead costs -- the net result is a bigger paycheck for both authors and publishers. And while some might argue, the publishers are making enough, just look at the recent problems like Borders declaring bankruptcy to realize that the business is not quite as lucrative as one might imagine. The good news is that publishers will be able to raise eBook retail prices to a competitive level based on market demand and reap the rewards. It also means that publishers will be able to augment their sales strategies to focus more on electronic demand and reduce print costs, which is also good for the environment. So the bottom line here at 3L Publishing is that we're thrilled to see this market shift; we're embracing it; and we're launching our eBook division with enthusiasm and anticipation of the wins to come.

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