Publishing companies need to innovate regularly to create new value for their customers. But innovation in itself should not be the final goal. Not only must you spot opportunities, but you should capture value so you get paid for it, too.
There are two kinds of innovation. One is in value creation and the other is in value capture. Many businesses stop the creative process when a good idea is developed, believing that once it is implemented it will generate money. But unless value capture –maximizing the return on your idea – is also contemplated, you can leave money on the table.
Amazon’s new Kindle Unlimited e-book reader subscription program caused a real commotion in the publishing industry last month. But how will this “Netflix for books” model affect the self-publishing industry? Is Kindle Unlimited the best, or should self-publishers join the Scribd or Oyster programs instead? How do you get in? Read on for a comparison of these top three reader subscription programs and best recommendations for self-publishers who are looking to add these channels to their revenue streams.
AMAZON KINDLE UNLIMITED
Amazon requires that self-publishers join their exclusive KDP Select program to be included in Unlimited. If you’re already using KDP Select, or you’ve decided that joining the program may give your book launch a boost, then go for it! It’s only temporary.
The purpose of this post is to define the terms aggregation and distribution and to introduce you to the tools and services I recommend so that you set out on the right publishing path.
Indie authors can upload ebooks to each online ebook retailer directly, but we might instead choose to distribute them using an ebook aggregator like Smashwords, IngramSpark, Vook or BookBaby. Likewise, we can upload our print book to Amazon via CreateSpace directly but distribute to other online print book retailers and brick-and-mortar bookstores via a distribution service like IngramSpark.
Yeah boy, that is a lot of geeky publishing terms! So let’s wind it down and go through it in slo mo…
You have options for getting your book into the marketplace. With today’s technology, you can sell directly to the reader, through your own website and many online retailers, acting as your own sales person. You can use social media to drive buyers to those places, but you’ll spend a lot of time and effort doing it, and unless you get really lucky and your book catches on (because all the previous components are stellar), you may not sell many books. You can hire people to help make this more successful, and who knows? It might land in the right hands at the right time, someone important will notice it and you’ll find yourself on the Today Show. But just in case, buy a lottery ticket today.
Some habits are good, some not so good. How can you tell if a habit is good or bad? Good habits are hard to make and easy to break. Bad habits are easy to make and hard to break. Many publishers are in the easy-to-make habit of selling only through bookstores. They market each new title in the same way they did all previous books. While that habit is not inherently bad, it could limit your sales, revenue and profits. Evaluate your habits and seek a different way to increase your sales. Here are Ten Tips For Making Good Marketing Habits.
Growing your business depends in large part on your ability to innovate – both content and marketing. Moving from your core business (trade sales) into special (non-bookstore) markets is an example. Creating a mastermind group can help you access the combined knowledge of others to help you make the move. To do this, build an environment in which people feel comfortable, willing and able to innovate. Here are the Top Ten Principles For Developing a Successful Mastermind Team.