Essentials of Digital Books from the Consumer's Point of View

Jane Litte (DearAuthor.com), Sarah Wendell (Smart Bitches, Trashy Books LLC), Angela James (Carina Press)
General
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1. Point of Sale Experience

The optimal Point of Sale experience has not yet been created. Every online bookstore has features that should be universal, and flaws that should be eliminated immediately. We’ll highlight the best of the retail features out there and the worst.

2. Actual Content

The actual ebook itself does not receive nearly enough attention. Who better than readers who have looked at several thousand of them to discuss the ideal ebook content and construction? We’ll give advice on how to make the end product experience favorable to the reader so that they’ll be using you as the example of what to do. This point will address covers, hyperlinks, extra content, and metadata.

3. Post sale interaction

Every sale is the beginning of an opportunity for a reader/vendor relationship: don’t waste it! There are so many ways to interact and sustain conversations with readers, and most of them are incredibly simple to implement. But a warning: don’t do any of them if you don’t want to hear what we actually think!

4. The Ideal Merge in shopping

With all the talk about digital books “cannibalizing” print, we counter with a solution: merge digital and print bookshopping experiences. Brick and mortar bookstores should have digital bookstores inside – it’s that simple. The inability of print and digital marketing efforts to promote one another for greater collaborative success is the true cannibal of everyone’s profits.

5. Pricing

Pricing is a major issue for ebooks right now. Consumers recognize that they are relinquishing their right to resell a book or buy a book on the used market. Because of these losses, consumers are unwilling to pay comparable print book prices. We’ll discuss how pricing the book right can increase per unit sales.

6. DRM

DRM is a major impediment to ebook purchasing. Time and again, readers complain about the barriers technology erects. DRM must be eliminated or simpl if at all possible for mass adoption of ebook reading to occur.

Photo of Jane Litte

Jane Litte

DearAuthor.com

Jane Litte runs the popular romance review site, DearAuthor.com, a site people with voracious readers, authors, editors and agents within the romance community. From its inception 4 years ago, DearAuthor has focused on technology for the reader, recognizing that women are the greatest consumers of books and book media. Various media outlets both in and out of the publishing industry, including blogs, websites, newspapers, magazines and forums have linked to DearAuthor for its informational technology posts. Harlequin has cited DearAuthor as “one of the most respected romance sites in the blogosphere.”

Photo of Sarah Wendell

Sarah Wendell

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books LLC

Sarah Wendell is co-creator and co-author of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, one of the most active blogs devoted to the romance genre. From frank reviews to heuristic discussions of man-titty, defense of old-skool romance to enthusiastic support of ebooks for romance readers, Smart Bitches is frequented daily by readers, authors, publishers, editors, and fans of the genre.

Photo of Angela James

Angela James

Carina Press

Executive editor of Carina Press, Harlequin’s digital-only press, and veteran of the digital publishing industry, Angela James is a well-known advocate for digital publishing. James has enjoyed a long and varied publishing career that has included ownership of an independent editorial services business, work as a copy editor for electronic book and small press publisher, Ellora‚Äôs Cave, and executive editor for Samhain Publishing. James frequently travels to regional, national and international writing conferences to meet with authors and readers, and present workshops on digital publishing for both authors and readers of all genres of fiction.

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Comments

Picture of Dominique Raccah
Dominique Raccah
02/25/2010 9:31am EST

don’t often really look at what reader’s are experiencing when using different formats of ebooks. this was eye-opening, as were some of the issues raised. personally having every person who touches a digital book through our production process view this.

Picture of Jon Williams
Jon Williams
02/24/2010 9:54am EST

Less quantitative and analytical than I would have liked. Spent too much time showing eBook typos, could have been a simple point, “add quality control”

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