Every business has to diversify its sales channels at some point in time. Whether it’s a startup or an established business, they have to find new ways to show their products or services to the world.
Publishers too have found an incredible opportunity in moving their business online. Not only does it provide them with an opportunity to interact with millions of customers worldwide, but it also boosts their revenue.
In this blog post, you will find how publishers can create a custom eBook reader app that would help them boost online sales.
Why do you need a custom eBook reader app?
If you’re an independent publisher, there are several benefits of building your own eBook reader app as opposed to using third-party services like Amazon Kindle. One of the benefits is not having to pay third-party eBook retailers.
Having said that, Google Play Store and Apple App Store charge a 30% fee from paid downloads and in-app purchases.
Let’s look at the other benefits of creating your own eBook app:
- You can select a monetization model that’s most beneficial for you as well as the authors that publish via your eBook reader app
- You have complete customization control of your app, and you can make changes to enhance the user experience
- Your audience will become a part of a community that will help you boost engagement and add to your marketing efforts
Steps to building a custom eBook reader app
Building an app requires a significant amount of investment and work. But if you are willing to dedicate your time and efforts, it could work wonders for you in terms of your popularity, financial stability, and career prospects.
Listed below are the steps you can follow to make your own reading app:
1. Pick a niche
Choosing a niche is important when you are designing and launching your own reading app. Unlike established publishing houses, you don’t have an existing audience yet. You have to build your audience, and the best way to do it is by focusing on a niche – at least in the initial stages.
That said, you would still have plenty of opportunities to experiment and keep it interesting. For example, you can play around with the genres, including adventure, action, mystery, romance, and more. You can choose a niche on the basis of ethnicity, gender, age of the audience, or you can limit your publications to a specific genre. Whatever niche you decide to go with, it should have a potential community of readers. Based on the niche, you can decide the theme and look of the app.
2. Incorporate the right features
Here’s a list of features you can add to your eBook reader app:
To find success with your new eBook reader app, simply creating and launching it is not enough. You want to measure the success of your app using analytics.
This would help you gain insights on how your app is being used by the readers, the number of people it is being used by, and areas you can improve upon to offer a better experience.
People love audiobooks. They can listen to their favorite audiobooks in their free time or even while jogging, driving, etc. Not only does it help them save time, but it also makes mundane tasks more productive.
Therefore, you should consider converting your eBooks into audio format so that even your busiest readers can find time to listen to your content on your eBook reader app.
Social sharing allows your readers to share the eBooks published on your reading app with their family and friends. In the age of social media, this feature is a must-have for your new reading platform.
Rating & review
You should enable your readers to read and review the eBooks published on your reading platform so that you know what they like and dislike. This way, you can keep adding the content they love to read and discontinue that they don’t.
Search, Categories, and Filters
Users need to be able to navigate through your eBook platform to find exactly what they need. Create a system of tags to keep everything organized; these tags could be book ratings, sub-genres, author names, etc.
3. Identify your target audience
To successfully promote your new reading app, you need to identify your target audience. Only after thorough research can you identify the right target audience for your eBook reader app.
The following are some common traits that users may have:
- How often do your readers use the app for accessing eBooks?
- How much money do they spend monthly to read these books?
- Do they use other reading apps?
- How many books (or the number of hours) can they read monthly?
4. Choose a monetization model
Listed below are the two most popular ways you can monetize your reading app:
- Offer a subscription
- Take a percentage from eBooks sold
Traditional eBook publishing platforms such as Kindle offer both a subscription and take a percentage of royalty. If you decide to offer a subscription, you need to figure out a way to properly distribute the profit.
It’s because you would need to pay a percentage of royalty to the authors who publish through your reading platform.
Some of the criteria to consider under subscription include:
- Number of book downloads
- Number of pages read
The third method of monetizing your eBook reader app is making use of ads.
5. Maintain High App Performance
Low performance is one of the main reasons why users get rid of an app. In 2019, 25% of apps were abandoned after just one use. The reasons were simple. Those apps took too much space on their smartphones and slowed down the device performance.
Hence, you need to ensure that your custom eBook reader app is as lightweight as possible. The good news is, almost 91% of users are willing to reconsider given that the performance issues are addressed, according to research by Google.
Try not to cram all the features into the app and only keep those that are necessary to offer a superior reading experience to your users. For that, you need to pick the right features and keep the interface as minimal and appealing as possible.
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