Doing Business with Digital Books

February 2010
by Thomas Woll

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Doing Business with Digital Books

by Thomas Woll

When it comes to digital content, most trade publishers are behind the eight ball, and far behind professional and scientific/technical/medical (STM) publishers in terms of the digitization process and methods of selling.

Some methods used by STM publishers are becoming standard. They include:

• selling e-books one at a time through downloads, either directly from the publisher’s

site or through third parties

• selling a book in print on paper and as an e-book bundled together

• selling chapters of books or even smaller segments directly or through third parties

• selling subscriptions to a collection of content, including total site content or

libraries of content

• selling excerpts from books or complete books combined to make a new book

How well are these methods working, and what potential do they have? As you review the information that follows, remember that any electronic product must be viewed in a business context and must earn profits to contribute to the health of your company. E-books, in that respect, should be treated no differently than your other product lines.

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