The publishing industry is undergoing major changes with the rising popularity of e-readers and other gadgets on which you can access eBooks.
With thousands of bookstores closing down during the pandemic that unfolded across the globe in 2020, eBooks have witnessed a steady surge in popularity. According to goodereader.com, eBook sales were up 16.5% for the first ten months of 2020 on a year-to-date basis.
Given the evolving landscape of book sales, many publishers are starting to open their own eBook stores.
What is an eBook store?
An eBook store is simply an online bookstore from where one can download eBooks into eBook readers. A publisher can sell eBooks that are already on sale online through affiliate programs offered by booksellers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Google Books, or they can launch their own eBook store. Selling eBooks on your own website gives you greater control over the profits and operations.
Setting up an eBook store is a promising business opportunity, given that the startup costs are low. The fact that there is an ever-expanding market for eBooks only makes the idea even more lucrative.
How can publishers benefit from eBook stores?
The eBook market share continues to rise steadily worldwide and publishers are looking to unlock the many benefits offered by eBook stores. With the easy availability of smartphones, eBook readers, and other gadgets, and ready internet access, the fast evolution of digital publishing is inevitable.
Let us take a look at the benefits you stand to enjoy as a publisher once you start your eBook store –
1. Differential pricing
In the eBook industry, it is an accepted norm for different sellers to charge different prices for the same eBook, unlike in traditional book-selling. Depending on the circumstances, you can charge a price higher than the market price for the same eBook – especially when it is offered as an informative product from a particular website or company. However, on the other side of the spectrum, most eBooks are sold at a price lower than the printed market cost.
2. Global reach
With an eBook store, publishers can reach a wider international audience, thanks to the internet. While traditional publishing allows for only limited expansion, digital publishing has unlimited scope to be harnessed. Publishers can not only share eBooks on their own website, but they can also make full use of social media to target niche audiences across the globe.
3. Low entry barriers
One of the major benefits of opening an eBook store is that it is a relatively simple process with low entry barriers. Having an online presence can benefit your publishing business in numerous ways and help you in building valuable relationships with your customers. Venturing into online publishing does not require heavy capital investments and this is a major incentive for publishers to enter this sector.
4. Lower costs of production
In traditional publishing, bulk printing leads to lower cost-per-copy, and this encourages publishers to print thousands of copies to derive the benefits of the economics of scale. However, in case all the copies don’t sell, the publisher is forced to incur additional costs of warehousing until the copies are either sold out or pulped.
In the case of eBooks, the publisher is not bound by such conditions. Once published, the same eBook can be downloaded multiple times. Also, updating eBooks is way easier and more economical. By operating an eBook store, a publisher stands to eliminate significant inventory and warehouse costs.
5. Unlock new revenue streams
In addition to cost-saving in terms of inventory, printing, and distribution, eBook stores offer publishers the chance to unlock newer revenue streams. Besides selling your books through your own website, you can also list them on popular online marketplaces, such as Amazon, eBay, Google Books, etc. Publishers can bring out online versions of out-of-print titles that are still in demand and earn money by selling these eBooks. Partnering with independent authors and providing them an eBook platform where they can offer their books for sale is also a revenue option.
6. Improve content visibility
One of the major benefits of the digital age is that publishers can leverage social media to market their eBooks. Modern ways of searching for information extend beyond typing keywords into search engine windows. Various social media platforms can be used to build your brand, reach a wider audience, and seek feedback from readers to refine your content and marketing strategies.
7. Enhance storytelling with extra elements
Rapid innovations in technology are making it possible for publishers to enhance their readers’ eBook reading experience by incorporating additional elements of storytelling into their content. Publishers can add audio/visual content, animations, graphics etc., to create a richer and more interactive reading experience.
Is an eBook store secure?
Running any online business, including an eBook store, comes with some inevitable risks you should watch out for, such as online security, system reliability, credit card frauds, and issues related to intellectual property and privacy. One risk unique to eBook stores is eBook piracy, the unauthorized circulation or duplication of eBooks. Left unchecked, eBook piracy can result in loss of revenues for both publishers and authors.
There are many ways to protect eBooks from illegal circulation. As a publisher, you can set up DRM (Digital Rights Management) protection and Social DRM (Watermarking) to safeguard your eBooks from misuse.
Setting up Google alerts can also help monitor the illegal circulation of your eBooks. There are various software tools available which you can use to restrict editing and screen reading of the eBooks. Password-protect your eBook files and register for legal protection. In case any website infringes your legal rights, you can file a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) notice and shut down that website.
Also Read: How to Ensure Secure Distribution of Digital Books with DRM
Should you integrate your eBook store with an eCommerce platform?
As a publisher, you can choose to host your eBook store on an independent website of your own or integrate your store with a popular eCommerce platform like Shopify or Magento2. Setting up your store on an eCommerce platform is not only easy and inexpensive, but it also comes with the benefits of flexible cloud solutions, high-speed delivery, search engine optimization, and powerful marketing tools. These platforms are highly customizable as well.
If you wish to integrate your eBook store with any eCommerce platform, it is advisable to conduct proper research on the pros and cons of different eCommerce platforms before you decide which one to go for. Shopify and Magento2 are among the most popular choices for hosting eBook stores.
If you would like to create an eBook store to maximize your digital book sales, get in touch with us. We at Hurix, can help you not only create an eBook store with our flagship product KITABOO, but also integrate it with eCommerce platforms seamlessly.
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