Cashing in on eBooks

eBooks are changing the book industry. Digital books are easy to produce, store, distribute, and sell.

eBooks do not require cartons to contain them, fuel to transport them (okay maybe a little electricity), building space to store them, or insurance against loss. With their low production and storage costs, they represent potential income to anyone with a website.

With digital books fast approaching 10 percent of the total book sales pie, websites are beginning to sit up and take notice. More and more businesses with an online presence are starting to sell ebooks.

Goodreads is one such company. Goodreads is the largest social networking site for book lovers. With 3.6 million members and a mission “to get people excited about reading,” Goodreads allows any reader to 1) create a personal profile; 2) catalog the books she has read, is reading, and wants to read; 3) interact with other book lovers and authors to review and discuss books; and 4) find interesting new books to read.

This year, Goodreads decided to add sales of ebooks to their website to enhance their goal of “helping authors reach their target audience—passionate readers.” Now, any author with a Goodread’s account (currently over 13,000 authors have an account) can upload ePUB, DRM-free versions of their books to sell to Goodreads users.

With the Goodreads program, authors are able to set the price of their ebooks and earn 70 percent of the sale price of each book sold. This business model is good for both authors and Goodreads. Authors get one more place to sell their books, resulting in more exposure, and Goodreads has a new revenue stream to support their business.

If you are not selling your ebooks on Goodreads, you can find out how to do this on their website under the “How to Use the Author Program” page. Then, you too can cash in on ebook sales.


The iPad and eBooks: Benefits for Publishers

Apple’s iPad launched this month. I think the iPad will be as popular as the iPhone.

The iPad presents three specific features that make life better for publishers of ebooks.

  1. The iPad uses the ebook standard format, ePub. This means that publishers do not have to publish their ebooks in yet another format, saving time and money.
  2. The iPad has a color-display, something other e-readers have not had to date. The iPad may be the gateway for children’s picture books to be embraced in ebook format.
  3. Apple appears to be implementing their own DRM to secure ePub files. This will eliminate the need for publishers to use a DRM middleman resulting in better profits in publishers’ pockets.

If you have not seen what the iPad is like. Take a look at this video introducing it.

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