Friday, June 05, 2009
All Books Need To Go Digital
Google Books: Primitive
The book industry is in the grips like the music industry used to be. Then Steve Jobs came along and said we are not a nation of crooks, it is not that people don't want to pay, they just like the idea of digital. Don't fight the technology.
Music is like movies, like books. Books and movies are like music. They are mindfood, and they beg to go digital, full-fledged.
All books ever written and to be written should go digital. That is what the technology asks for. That is the consumer wanting. But that does not have to mean money will not be made from books.
Digital is more efficient, cheaper, easier to move around. How is that bad for business? There are millions of in-copyright, but out-of-print books. Are you telling me the digital option is bad for them? Digital will bring them back to life. Digital will give them immortality.
Every book ever written has to be digitized. But I am also all about authors making money. How do you make money?
(1) Self Publish
Publish books like blogs. There are several good, free blogging platforms. And monetize. Run ads. This is not vanity publishing because if you don't get many readers, you don't make much money. Everyone can get published, but not everyone will get a mass readership. As an author I would rather get rejected by readers than by publishers. What about you? You go global without going on a book tour.
(2) Kindle/Google Publish
Find a digital publisher who will put forth digital only editions. So if the paper book had been out there for $29, the digital version will be sold for $9. But how much you make per book sold will not change. Why are you complaining? And you have a much larger potential audience. So you will likely sell more books.
(3) Monthly Subscription
What if I was made to pay $20 per month by a digital books vendor? Or what if there were a Netflix for books? You could pay per book, or for a certain price you could read as many books as you want. And then it would be the vendor's responsibility to pay the authors, give them their cuts.
(4) The Public Library Option
In-copyright books have been available for free at public libraries. There is no reason why they should not be available also digitally. Think of it as free marketing for your books. You do want buzz.
(5) Ads Inside Books
There are ads inside TV shows. Why can't there be ads inside books? You turn from page 25 to page 26, and boom, there is a full page ad that just paid for your first 25 pages of great reading material. This way digital books can be stand alone digital objects, they don't have to stay online and look like webpages.
Of the four options, I think the best one is the ad supported version. Go free, go global, go massive.
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