Ebook Trends to Watch for in 2011

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We know epublishing is growing, but predicting the future of digital publishing is tough; however, the Unruly Gals have discussed the future of the digital marketplace, and have a few predictions for 2011. [Thanks to Michael Hyatt for insights]

Bundling Books.

The Unruly Gals talked about this is a past podcast and it looks as though publishers are experimenting with this option. Major e-tailers would offer book bundles to the public for a discount. The book bundles could include a bundle of the same book in both print and e-formats or it could include a bundle of an author’s complete library or book series or simply a set of book bundled on related topics. (Similar to Amazon’s current “buy this book get this book for a discount”.)

More Publisher Released eBooks

We will start to see more publishers e-publishing books first as a means to test the market before going to press. This is a wise and inexpensive tactic, and I am amazed they didn’t start this earlier. This process will reduce the potential of lost revenue – including printing costs and advertising. Then, if the ebook is found favorable, printed copies will be produce for those who prefer them, which is still a majority of the market.

Free e-Readers.

A way to entice more sales is by offering perks to customers. E-tailers may choose this marketing strategy for readers who buy bundles or join the stores’ e-book clubs. Or they may offer dramatic discounts on e-reader devices to entice that last holdouts of tangible book readers to try digital reading.

Although public libraries are struggling don’t write them off just yet. Borrowing (or lending) books has always been a low-cost means of acquiring or reading books, and is still part of the avid public-library-users agenda. So expect libraries to adjust to the ever-changing demands and technological advances of digital reading.

Lower Priced e-Readers

Readers, just like books, are a commodity. With an exploding e-market, I can see the price of e-Readers to fall below $100. With the price, currently about the cost of 3-4 hardcover books, it would be a wise tactic to drop the price to draw in the last hold-outs of the tangible book reader.

And with the drop in ereader prices, especially the Kindle, expect to see an explosion in ebook sales – So this is the year to get published!

An added bonus would be for the Kindle to offer color – that would be a great advancement. There has already been experiments in color e-readers such as the Kindle – is the USA to be next?

Lower priced ebooks

As the supply of books increase the price should drop – that’s supply and demand. However, I am not standing firm on this prediction. I still expect the price to remain constant and even increase for popular and big-name, quality books. With such an influx of ebooks, the price may be a factor, but poor quality is still poor quality – – and most readers would rather pay more for a well written book, than a dollar for garbage — at least I would.

Advertising and Marketing

This trend is already starting to rear its head in the digital publishing world. Publishers are always experimenting with ways to monetize content and it looks like their next form includes in-book advertising, sponsored links, subscription delivery services and even an all-you-can-read menu option for one price. Most of the infrastructure is already in place; as always, it is merely a matter of time before someone learns the secret formula and capitalizes on it.

Increase in Indie ePublishers

With the publishing industry lagging shamefully behind, expect to see many big name authors move from the publishing house to self-publishing – at least digitally. The move may be encouraged by agents, who have the authors’ economic interests in mind, and ultimately will bring a new credibility to the term “self-published.”

Social Reading Groups and Book Clubs.

The book club will move from the living room to the computer, for social book clubs and discussion groups. I have participated in several, although the flavor and feeling of texting your thoughts was unappealing. I prefer the interaction of a audible group. Until it moves into a voice discussion group, this aspect will not be on my list of to dos.

Have a prediction for 2011?

We would love to hear you comments on the ebook digital publishing “future”.

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