The New Trends

August 2000
by Jan Nathan

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After attending the BEA in Chicago, I’d say it seems that this has
become an “E” world. There were so many ePublishing opportunities on
display and so many representatives from eCompanies walking the floor
promoting, that by the end of the day, I think everyone else’s mind was as
muddled as mine.

The question that I seemed to ask the most and received the least
satisfactory responses to was: “What are you doing to drive potential
buyers of our products to your site?”
It’s easy enough to sign up
publishers to have their titles there. We are all searching for that new
(and hopefully lucrative) opportunity to allow us to get our titles into
the hands of the unknown prospective buyers. But for the most part, very
few of the companies that I met with had a really satisfactory answer to
the above question. Most seemed to be focused on getting content, which, I
agree, is necessary. And I think that many of them figure that after they
get the content, the buyers will come.

But how is that different from what’s currently happening at the
bookstore? Yes, we can get many of our books on the shelves, but how do we
either let the consumers know that our book is there or encourage them to
really want to buy our book once it’s placed in a store? And in the case
of ePublishing, how does a publisher know which company to align him- or
herself with? So many of the platforms at these sites are not compatible
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