I recorded a piece about ebooks, digital change and self publishing for the media show last week. It’s right at the top of the show and I think it went pretty well:
There’s also a fascinating piece with the editor of the Irish Independent talking about the digital change going on at Independent (kicks off around 13.00 mins or so) and Brian Fallon from Distilled media talking about TheJournal.ie and the other brands in that group.
Interesting to see the long term trend impact of online sales on bookstores:
According to a study by Experian for The Telegraph newspaper, there are 1,878 bookshops left on the high street today, including independents and Waterstones stores, whereas in 2005 there were 4,000. Separate research by analysts at Mintel suggests UK consumers spent £261 million on e-books in 2012, nearly twice the £138 million spent in 2011, while physical book sales fell from £3.3 billion last year to £3.1 billion this year.
The team closely tracks events and milestones that may present an opportunity—including some of the more offbeat occasions—and keeps a large white board in Open Road’s downtown offices to track potential openings. Chou recalled one such offbeat milestone: Geek Pride Day. Last year, Open Road used this occasion to push out a video with author James Gleick, who talked about being a science nerd. And in another video, bestselling fantasy author Barbara Hambly donned a pirate costume.
According to Chou, Open Road’s targeted videos in various outlets have a “significantly” better click-to-buy rate than traditional ads. Milestone marketing recently helped to propel Walter Lord’s classic bestseller, A Night to Remember, a definitive account of the Titanic’s last hours originally published in the 1950s, to #1 on the New York Times e-book nonfiction bestseller list, tied to the anniversary of the ship’s sinking.
A key element to Bloomsbury’s strategy is to broaden the base on which it acquires and exploits intellectual property. This began in 1994 with retaining paperback rights and moving into children’s publishing. With the advent of the internet, the company identified a growing demand for quality on-line reference content which culminated in the development of our first major database, The Encarta World English Dictionary.
The reason it grabs me is that you can see the company put that paragraph into action very regularly. The latest is Reeds Nautical Almanac from their A&C Black division (the location of some of their most interesting properties).
That still holds true and when you check the site out, you do begin to wonder why it wasn’t done before, but that’s not the point. This is strategy in action before our eyes. What’s more, it’s a sensible strategy that’s moving physical products and customers towards digital models in an un-hyped way.
It shows the value of intellectual property that has something that can be made available as an online service as well as a print product. Sure it brings its own worries and concerns, but it also offers opportunities and real hope for a future for publishing and publishers.
Maybe it should be more hyped! Or maybe more publishers should copy them!
I’m not sure if I have a fail week project yet, but I’m thinking of one!
Returning to BEA. I came up with Fail Week: authors, editors, agents, bloggers, everyone take seven days and try something new online with the expectation of failure. Authors! Don’t go on Twitter to match @neilhimself‘s follower-count. Go on Twitter because it might be right for you. (Or not.) Agents! What’s the difference between a Facebook community page and a Public Figure page? I know one way to find out.