3 min read

Using Digital Medium to Monetize Content

Publishers have access to sell and distribute their content across the world, thanks to the Internet age. This gives them an expansive reach to newer markets. The days of hub-and-spoke system in world of print publishing are giving way to digital media. So, how do publishers understand what consumers want? How can products be priced more efficiently? Has bad pricing resulted in loss of revenues? Has the pricing been affected by the middlemen of publishing (distributors) and their increasing demand for commission? More importantly do publishers know that by understanding how monetizing can help effectively distribute even print books?

It’s never too early to monetize books, particularly if the ultimate goal is to earn revenue from it, in which case the digital strategies will have to be set, right from the start. A proper roadmap to venture into digital footprint should be designed accordingly. Few areas where publishers can generally look at are:

1) Build direct relationships: Engagement drives revenues. This adage that of involving and innovating helps publishers increase their coffers. Interactive content has recently seen upturn in sales. This augurs well for trade publishers. Ad engagement is also seen as connecting the advertiser and the reader for greater brand recall.

2) Branded eBook Store: Selling an eBook via branded bookstores can be an effective means of generating income. Consumers/readers already know a specific publisher’s style and area of expertise. So the presell idea is already sold to them without even trying. By selling eBooks as direct download, publishers won’t have to share earnings with a third party digital publisher.

3) Devices: With boom of Tablets, Phablets, and smartphones, access to content and reading has become simpler and easy. People can read on-the-go and with technology developing rapidly, there are newer formats, new markets, new readers ready to be tapped.
4) Aggregators: It is not difficult to understand why a reader searches for a book’s title on a search engine rather than visiting a publisher’s website and then searching for the title. Most consumers would search for a book on search engines or directly go to any of the reseller portals to purchase the book. Some resellers also offer models based on their audience – perpetual access, rentals, and subscription.
5) Institutional Sales: As updates to STM and educational books are more frequent, institutes are adapting to new technologies to offer eBooks on a subscription basis. There are different subscription based lending models with varying time period. Pricing has become crucial as opposed to physical books, hence strategy on concurrency and offline reading is essential in pricing models that publishers would adopt.
6) Micro Transactions: In the developing economies, that offer higher sales volumes and lower margins, eBooks are often offered at a lower rate. With eBook rentals and chapter sales picking up in the professional and the higher education segment, divising mechanism to support micro-transactions or micro-payments is the next logical step.

The relatively chaotic digital market is yet to settle down. New business models and standards for digital medium are evolving. Does it mean that there is no direction where a company can turn to? The direction is to have a clear strategy of the model to be adapted. There is a plethora of tools for monetizing content, for every type of publisher. Whether it is a Plug and play publisher branded eBook store such iPublishCentral or bespoke custom integration of content deployment your monetizing effort needs to invest for long periods of time.