Bernie pic

Bernie pic

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Getting to know eBooks

The biggest problem facing eBook authors and to a lesser extent, eBook consumers is matching a book with a potentially enthusiastic consumer.
It was always a task for  hard-copy literature to stand out on bookshop shelves. Publishers honed a set of skills to solve the problem - title selection, cover design, attracting newspaper, radio and television reviews and publicity - the latter never really developing into an exact science.
All of these skills are still relevant for eBooks but in different ways. Raised and embossed graphics and print on covers will not cut it for eBooks.
Titles will not have to be as memorable when a recommendation will often be accompanied by a link to the book itself.
It is problematic whether newspapers, radio and television will be enthusiastic about reviewing eBooks, especially if they have passed on a review of its hard-copy ancestor. You would think eBook authors and consumers should be concentrating on e-marketing and e-reviews.
At a conference the other day, I heard major publishers are one to two years away from developing a comprehensive eBook strategy. This question of marketing could be the biggest bug-bear to developing that strategy.
An obvious answer for eBook publishers, small or big, is the website. But most eBooks are being sold by e-retailers such as Google and Amazon.
Reader websites such as Shelfari seem to have many members with an aversion to authors promoting their books on such sites.
Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, e-newsletters are other avenues of arranging that happy nexus between book and reader.
I have left for last the most effective method, word of mouth, often equating, these days. to strike of keyboard.
We over-rate word of mouth in the sense that, while it is most effective, its genesis is often by people who have discovered a book by other means.
 I would like to know how you, the eBook consumer, found out about books you bought. Are you happy with this method/ these methods or can you envisage a better way for you to go on an e-date with an eBook?

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