The world of publishing has been in the midst of an unprecedented flux over the last decade or so. While the millennials and gen Z are reading more than their parents and grandparents ever did, they prefer doing it on the go. Consequently, the eBook market continues to flourish and expand. In this scenario, it has become imperative for people in the publishing business – irrespective of whether they are legendary publishing houses, startups, or offline sellers – to enter the digital fray. Which brings us to the question of how to create an eBook app to capture a wider cross-section of readers?
The answer to this question can be a little tricky, given that there are many variables at play. Let’s decode these to help you decipher how to create an eBook app that brings in optimal returns for your business.
Why Do You Need An eBook App?
Before getting to how to create an eBook application, let’s take a look at why you need one in the first place:
- Value-Addition: Having your own eBook app is a great way to offer additional value to your customers. This creates a single-point-of-contact between publishers and buyers, allowing them to make purchases directly from the app instead of having to look for buying options on the internet.
- Greater Brand Loyalty: A seamless, frictionless user experience created by these apps helps in promoting better brand loyalty. Customers who enjoy your app will return to it for repeat purchases with a single click on their phones instead of looking for alternatives on the web.
- Improved Brand Visibility: By opening up another channel of connection between you and your target audience, you can reach more potential buyers.
- Increase in Sales: Easy browsing and check-out processes on apps encourage buyers to make repeat purchases on a need basis and not put them off for another time, thus, diversifying your revenue stream.
Related Read: Best ebook Creation Software
How to create an eBook app for your business?
Now, let’s look at how you can create an eBook app that is scalable, future-ready, and capable of delivering a seamless, customized user-experience:
1. Choose a Niche
Unless you are a Penguin Random House or a Barnes & Noble, it’s a sensible move to launch an eBook app that focuses on a single – your most popular – niche. This niche can be defined by theme, genre, the ethnicity of authors, era of literature, or any other category that you have seen working in favor of your publishing house. The idea is to keep one that is focused on a core group of readers, yet wide enough to include sub-categories or genres.
2. Know Your Readers
Some market research is essential for launching an eBook app that is in sync with the demands of the market and your target audience. This research also helps you identify your target audience more precisely and know who they are. For example, you may know that you are creating an app for the anime genre targeting readers in the 18 to 25-year-old age group. Market research will help you identify how much your target audience reads in a month, how often do they source their reading material from an app, what is their preferred format of reading, do they prefer to borrow or buy books and so on. These inputs can be extremely crucial in devising the functionalities of your app.
3. Zero-in on a Monetization Model
This is the most crucial aspect to consider when deciding how to create eBook app. The two popular models for doing this:
- Offering paid subscriptions
- Taking percentage cuts on sale of books
Most existing apps, including behemoths such as Kindle, use a mix of both these models. You can also explore the possibility of ad placement on the app for additional revenue.
4. Create a Customized Experience
As the digital space gets crowded with more and more eBook apps, for your offering to stand a chance in this competitive market place, the focus must be on delivering excellent, well-rounded user experience. Here are some elements that can help you achieve that:
- Store Listings: A user-friendly design with easy to navigate store listing and well-placed purchase buttons.
- Search filters: The provision to search for books by genre, sub-genre, author name, and so on, to facilitate a seamless navigation experience.
- Audiobooks: This format is fast gaining popularity, especially among the young readers who want to amass new knowledge on the go. If your resources permit, consider including narration books in your repository.
- Personalized library: This feature helps the user organize the books they have purchased or want to purchase efficiently. A personalized library can have tabs such as Books, Magazines, Read, New, Wishlist, and so on.
- Offline reading: Including an option to download purchased books is essential for offline reading.
- eReader Functionality: A Kindle-like e-reader functionality with elements such as book navigation, backlight settings, bookmarks, notes, and highlights can instantly enhance the appeal of your app.
- Gamification: This is another element of customization that is fast catching on to deliver a more engaging and entertaining experience to readers.
- Simple Payment Gateways: A simple, easy-to-setup payment gateway can help reduce the rate of cart abandonment exponentially.
- Fighting Piracy: Protecting the eBooks on your app from being illegally downloaded and circulated outside is critical for the survival of your app. You must leverage DRM protection that blocks attempts to pirate books, which not every user can circumvent.
5. Create an eBook App with SDK
SDK – or software development kits – are a bundle of software programs and tools meant to help create applications for different platforms. If you want to create a robust app with limited resources, SDK may well be the way to go. You can choose an Android SDK to create an Android app and an iOS toolkit for an iOS app, add the desired functionalities and roll out the app. This gives you certain advantages over developing an app from scratch – quicker integration, faster deployment, greater reach, and better security.
Factoring this into your eBook app creation process can open up new opportunities for a wider brand reach with minimal investments. A fine example of this is Kitaboo SDK– a cloud-based digital publishing platform for creating, publishing, and distributing interactive eBook content.
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