Changes eBooks are Bringing to the Publishing World from the TOC Conference
The O'Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference was held last week in New York City. It was certainly evident at the conference that everyone involved was feeling the effects of eReaders, ebooks and apps and all were struggling to learn and adapt.
One of the most relevant speeches of the TOC conference was given by Barbara Genco of Library Journal. Her keynote, titled Public Library Power Patrons Are Your Best Customers: Lessons from Patron Profiles, argued that publishers need libraries more than libraries need publishers.
Using results from a nationwide study of patron profile conducted by Library Journal and Bowker, it was found that library power patrons, those that visited the library at least weekly, are all book purchasers. More than 50 percent of all library users go on to purchase books by an author they were introduced to in the library.
The study also showed that patrons that read ebooks as part of the book consumption, read more books overall than those that don't use ebooks. Patrons want more ebooks, yet many of the largest publishers still don't want their ebooks in public libraries for fear of losing sales.
Genco's final argument is: " The library channel has money to spend. Libraries are ubiquitous delivery systems. They are a discovery zone for readers and a proven marketing engine. It is a win-win-win for the publishers, libraries and readers."
An overwhelming theme throughout the conference was how ebooks can be marketed and found by buyers without having a physical presence. There were many discussions on the importance of metadata, similar to what bloggers or webmasters know of as SEO, in short, adding key words into all of your descriptions of your book.
Other methods being used to help potential readers find book are the use of videos, social networks and community building. Atria Books had some great ideas that they shared in a session. The book sale shouldn't be the end of a transaction, but the beginning of a conversation. Serializing ebooks and sharing additional content can work for some stories. Making enhanced ebooks and draw in a large audience.
The subject of Copyright came up quite often, yet many of the authors are just as happy to get their books out in any way possible, whether it is paid for or not. They realize that the more people that read their books, the more people there are to recommend it, and overall, sales will probably grow.