Publishers eBook Strategy
I have written several articles on how eBooks will be sold in the future and this view is now being validated on a weekly basis with a steady stream of news and press releases about how eBooks are being sold to more ‘targeted audiences’ via category or ‘genre specific’ stores.
I have previously mentioned how Penguin-Random House launched a cookbook store TasteBook as well as how Simon & Schuster launched 250 Words focused on business books.
My position still stands strong in that the ‘Everything Store’ is not the way to go for publishers to take away market share from Amazon. The rate at which publishers are embracing this new strategy must be fast tracked with a plan to target all of the major genres and categories within the next 12 – 24 months.
A niche site or store has the ability to offer more content to meet the specific interests of the reader. By providing more content about the eBooks, authors, interviews, videos, trailers and news for the specific genre will only entice readers to visit this type of site more than just an ‘Everything Store’ that just wants to sell eBooks.
It is about engaging, connecting and building a relationship with the reader. This is hard to do via a typical online store.
Penguin Random House
Penguin Random House is succeeding with Tastebook by the design of the site. They have created a very visually stimulating site that has a distinct ‘Pinterest’ inspired look. I have often been critical of traditional publishers in recent years that were slow to adapt to the new era of digital publishing but they are now appearing to make some good moves.
From several reports, Tastebook has over half a million users which represents a target audience for selling cookbooks. Not only can Penguin Random House sell eBooks, they can also sell print books and recipes as well as create an interactive platform for receiving recipes from its members. Down the road they may also be able to leverage their site to source new authors for eBooks.
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster launched 250 Words focused on business books. Like Penguin Random House is doing with Tastebook; Simon & Schuster also seem to be pursuing this more targeted strategy of reaching out to a specific category of readers.
HarperCollins Buys Harlequin
The fight is well and truly on to take on the might of Amazon. News Corp, who already owns HarperCollins, has just announced they are buying romance publisher Harlequin Enterprises from Torstar Corp. As the popularity of eBooks has grown, the romance fiction category has been one of the leaders so it is only a logical decision for HarperCollins to strengthen its position by controlling this romance publisher and gaining direct access to their target audience.
I continue to look forward to hearing more news posts regarding the publishing industry taking this positive step towards a marketing strategy that is more focused on category specific sites and platforms to sell eBooks.
For an industry that has taken quite a ‘whack’ in recent years it is only in the interest of authors and readers to have a thriving competitive industry beyond the dominance of Amazon. The race is on to acquire the most popular domains and sites targeting specific genre audiences!