Success factors in the ebook publishing business

As the impetus behind an extensive network of publisher partners, De Marque is especially well positioned to draw up a portrait of publishers whose ebook marketing activities have been successful. We regularly compile statistical overviews on the use of Cantook, our ebook distribution platform. Today, we present the key characteristics common to publishers who know how to play their cards right in the digital world.

1- Make a large number of books available in digital format

It goes without saying: Your chances of selling ebooks will increase in proportion to the size of your digital catalogue. A growing number of readers have shown that buying instantaneously is part of their purchasing pattern — they’ll acquire a book almost immediately after they hear about it, so making a digital version available helps increase access to your titles at a time that’s right for your target market.

2- Digital versions available in EPUB

The EPUB format allows adaptation of the book to the screen of the device used (e-reader, tablet, smartphone), for a more “comfortable” read. Some costs are involved in converting a file to this format, but this investment is usually recovered fairly quickly as sales are made.

3- Adopt a plan for converting your existing catalogue as well as new titles

A sincere willingness to commit to digital is required. New titles should be available in digital format concurrently with their print versions. A number of sales channels have, in fact, made this a prerequisite. Consequently, more extensive pre-launch planning is appropriate and will help you maximize returns on your investment when launching a new title.

4- Document sales prices in at least three currencies (typically, Canadian dollars, U.S. dollars and euros)

You will be able to sell your books within a larger geographic zone, thus increasing their visibility and accessibility.

5- Open distribution to external partners (e.g., Apple, Kobo, Amazon, Barnes & Noble), reaching all countries in which they operate

These major players sell to users worldwide and invest a great deal in their marketing efforts to attract even more customers. Why not benefit from their efforts?

6- Prepare a marketing strategy and set up integrated promotion initiatives

Digital offers multiple marketing opportunities. Consider building these into your commercial planning.

  • A clearly identified digital product offer in all communication tools, both print and electronic (website, social media, print brochures, news releases, newsletters, etc.).
  • Opportunities to flip through or download excerpts prior to purchase on the publisher’s website, and allowing this on booksellers’ sites as well.
  • Digital version sold directly on your website, concomitantly with bookseller sales.
  • Use of the promotion service, which helps reduce the mailing and printing costs associated with sending out free copies.
  • These are only the main factors we have gleaned from our tracking over the past few months; dozens of others are worthy of consideration. There’s no single magic formula: success is the outcome of a publisher’s efforts to market its catalogue, be it in print or digital format. Digital is growing in popularity very quickly, and the work you put in will pay off sooner or later.


    Leave a comment