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E-book Opportunities For Publishers, Agents And Marketers
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Many publishers are reacting just as the music industry did all those years ago when faced with large technical changes, and are not looking for ways to embrace and use the new technology to generate as many, if not more sales than before. It is far more beneficial to work IN the internet machine rather than against it. A publisher working through online bookstores can receive up to 85% of the net sales price of their authors' e-books, and access a wider distribution than just their personal site. Currently, publishers receive only about 40-50% of the price of a traditionally printed book or only 20% if books are returned. But through digital publishing, dangers and costs barely exist. The only potential loss is that of time.
There are fantastic digital first publishers emerging at the moment who are doing very well in the e-book world.
Publishers need to consider that the internet is a fantastic place for them to test the demand for a new author's novel before committing to a physical print run, helping them remove potential risk and perhaps discover niche markets they were not previously aware of. Do you have a novel that is fantastically written but wouldn't normally be published due to the economic concerns of printing for a smaller fan base? Or perhaps the novel is not a genre or style that has been traditionally published before and you would like to see if it is received well by the public? All of these scenarios can place a publisher at the frontier of edgy book culture without impacting too much in terms of printing costs. Professional online publishing is enticing to authors because they get to experience the professional publishing process while possibly receiving a higher commission. Also, more of the book's budget can be spent on marketing to allow the author greater exposure for their first novel so it can prove its worth. The internet is the cheapest place for a book to fail.
Agents can use the facilities of e-book publishing sites to promote the work of their clients, who retain the digital rights to their out-of-print books. Many online marketing strategies can be applied to increase interest, launch books and create strong communities around their authors with barely an advertisement in sight.
Even marketers who have a ghost writer to pen their idea can use a site like Smashwords to convert their PDF or Word documents into every single format imaginable to distribute to online e-book stores. Private white label books are not permissible for upload into Smashwords and the book cannot be constructed of public domain material (e.g. a compilation of 40 articles freely available on the Ezine website). However, if you are an expert in your field, there are great ways to use Smashwords to your advantage. Though affiliate links are banned as part of the Smashwords terms and conditions, if you are an expert in your field and can genuinely pen a good-value and reasonably sized book, you are permitted to provide hyperlinks at the end of your e-book to your other books, services or courses, website or Facebook fan pages and Twitter accounts etc.
The traditional publishing world will soon realise that e-books are not going away, and if they don't jump on-board, they'll be left behind on a sinking island of unsold paperbacks.
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