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eBook Reader Observations

I am the CEO of a mobile software development company and we are in the process of creating several eBook reader APPs for several clients. For the past few months I have been asked by publishers about eBook readers and eBooks. They want to understand how they can capitalize and make money in this ever changing book publishing industry. This has caused me to observe the ever growing market. These are not predictions, just observations.

eBook readers are popping up around every corner. The hardware has diversified for eBook readers and this has made publishing more challenging. It is no longer just about grammar and punctuation but about the proper file format. Then which format will be most profitable becomes critical. It is great to offer eBooks but having your own eBook reader for publishers is becoming critical. Instead of investing in hardware, which is cost prohibitively for most, consider a mobile eBook reader APP that will allow users to download not a library of eBooks but place a social network option as part of the reader. A mobile eBook reader APP resides not only on Smartphones but tablets as well. A publishing company could instantly have their own eBook reader without having to invest in hardware!

Bundling has become popular. Bundling books has been experimented with by many publishing companies with a fair amount of success. Many bundle a printed book and eBook together while other bundle entire libraries of a specific author. What seems to be happening is just repackaging the same instead of creating the excitement and innovation a mobile eBook reader APP would bring.

Marketing is tricky and unfamiliar to many. Print media or email no longer captures the consumers’ pocketbook. A publisher must take full advantage of the mobile revolution to increase revenue. Mobile marketing comes in many forms and is a must for all authors and publishers alike. Consumers today are smarter, well versed at where to find the best deals and capable of spreading information to thousands. Another reason for authors and publishers to look seriously at mobile APPs because they open the door to social networking and reading. Social reading is becoming popular due to the flexibility and live nature a mobile APP brings. eBook readers, like Amazon or the Nook, cannot fully take advantage of the social reading environment because they do not have interactive capabilities. A social reading program can be a digital discussion group or an invited reading group. Image what a publisher could do with a social networking mobile eBook reader!

eBook clubs are becoming popular as part of the social reading mentioned above. Mobility is the key and an eBook reader APP is perfect. Not only can the publisher download (or push) the months’ selections while offering a place the reader can invite others to read, allow interaction (like a forum) to questions posed for the downloaded book and more.

eBook self publishing is sky rocketing. Days of copy write editors are over. The problem with this observation is that most eBook published today are just not up to the quality. There are numerous punctuation and grammatical errors in most eBooks. However, eBooks are being purchased and gifted more often today than printed books.

The pricing structure for eBook readers has drastically reduced this year and choices are numerous. In fact there are many ways to find and receive free eBook readers. This again makes my case for a smart eBook reader APP. Publishers and authors alike are experimenting in creative ways to monetize this industry shift. Publishers are offering authors incentives like in-book advertising, all you can read for one price option, book trailers, eBook formats to name a few. Not one publisher I have spoken with offers anything mobile! We are in a mobile world and it is not going away. Self publishers can find these offers with a good Google search. For example, Amazon will turn any printed book into an eBook for the Kindle when the book sells twenty-five copies.

School curriculum is another big push. From elementary to college there is a trend toward eBooks and eBook readers. This brings many possibilities with it and again, a mobile APP can be the perfect solution. Image having tests or questions available at the end of each chapter instead of at a separate location or handout.

One thing is sure, eBooks have changed the way people read. They have made reading fun, convenient and entertaining. What was the last eBook you read?

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