Publishers are increasingly taking the digital route to tap a new tech-savvy audience who likes to consume their content online. Recent surveys show that more than 60% of the world’s population is using the Internet comprising of people from across all demographics. This opens up new avenues for additional revenues.
The internet also allows for faster and easier delivery of content which is not the case in traditional brick and mortar stores that people have to physically visit to make a purchase. In the online arena, there are several ways that publishers benefit from eBooks and generate revenue. Here, in this article, we look at 10 ways that publishers can generate revenue from ebooks.
As with the physical stores, as a publisher, you can also generate revenues from ebooks by selling them directly to your customers. However, instead of the print versions, you can sell the electronic version, or the ebooks, via your website or eBook store, your online alternative to the physical store.
To generate revenues from your ebooks, it is important that your website follows best practices of design with a user-friendly interface and intelligent navigation. It should also have search functionality that allows your readers to browse through the various categories and find what they are looking for. Further, your website should be search engine optimized so that your ebooks rank high on search results.
Build a loyal clientele
The online platform is a highly competitive one. At the same time, it provides a level playing field allowing large and small publishers, as well as independent authors, to directly publish their content online at minimal costs. Added to this is the fact that the Internet offers a wealth of free content. As a result, the competition is intense.
To generate revenue from your ebooks, it is therefore extremely important to build a loyal clientele. The people will only purchase if you offer high-quality and unique content that is engaging and relevant to their needs.
Therefore, building consumer trust is very important. Apart from offering high-quality content, you must strengthen your brand, offer fair price and initiate direct conversations with your readers using social media channels, seeking their reviews and feedback and incorporating them to further improve your offerings.
The greater the customer loyalty, the more likely they will purchase from you and higher the revenues you will generate from your ebooks.
Offer free content samples
Offering free content is a great means to draw in your audience. They will gain insights into the quality of your ebooks and are more likely to convert into sales if they are satisfied. Also, the millennials and the more tech-savvy net users are more likely to open conversations about your ebooks on their social media pages, thus generating positive word of mouth. Offering free content samples is a short-term strategy that helps you to build a loyal customer base.
It is a form of investment that can generate revenues for you in the long run. To illustrate with an example, you may offer a few ebooks for free on registration after which the readers would have to purchase. Several publishers ask for registration with monthly or annual payment options once the free trial period is over.
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This is a popular strategy being followed by publishers, mostly the established ones with a strong brand. These publishers offer a preview of their ebooks allowing the readers to gauge what they are about. Or they may be able to read an excerpt from a chapter and then decide to make a purchase. Paywall content is therefore only available to paying customers.
Then there are other publishers who allow a certain number of articles for free. This is in the case of newspapers who may allow a certain number of articles, for instance, the first ten articles for free after which the readers would have to subscribe and pay for the content.
Adopt a tiered approach
This method to generate revenues from ebooks is a combination of the free and paywall methods. In this approach, you can offer free access to sample content on registration or trial subscription and then implement paid access to the more advanced content.
For instance, some publishers offer free access to an old edition of an ebook after which the readers have to make a purchase to buy the new editions. They may also free access to limited copies of the archives and then make the rest of the access payable. The access can also be for a specified period of time, say three months, after which the readers would need to subscribe to gain access.
The subscriptions approach to generating revenue for your ebooks works only when you have a very strong brand and you offer exclusive content. As said above, as a publisher you will face competition from the free content that is so easily available on the online platform.
However, there are readers who require well-researched, original and authentic content for which they are willing to pay. So if you can guarantee exclusivity, originality and relevance, you can adopt the subscription model to generate revenues from your ebooks.
Online advertising is an effective means to generate revenue despite the increasing use of AdBlock. However, if the digital ads match the content, they are non-distractive and adjusted to what the readers are interested in. You can display online ads on your e-commerce platform or website, in your blogs, videos and more.
To drive additional revenues from your ebooks, your online platform must be very popular attracting good amount of traffic; otherwise, you may have to invest in driving traffic to your website in order to benefit from online advertising.
Sponsored content means that you allow someone else to post their articles and videos on your website and pay you for it. It is a win-win situation for both you and the person who has posted content on your website – you can generate additional revenue and the person is able to drive traffic to their website.
Ensure multi-device access
As more and more people consume their content on their mobile, as a publisher you must ensure that you offer responsive content. This means that the readers can access your ebooks on the device of their choice without having to scroll horizontally to read the end part of the sentences.
DRM-protect your ebooks
It is very easy for people to share and download your ebooks and thus violate copyright to your intellectual property. To generate revenues from your ebooks, make sure that they are DRM-protected. DRM protection ensures that you retain complete control over your content and that only those who pay for it can access it.
As a digital publisher, there are several ways by which you can generate revenue from your ebooks. While direct sales is the most popular method, you can also generate revenue by adopting several content monetization strategies.
For instance, you can implement paywalls to ensure only those who have subscribed to your content can access it. Then again, you can opt for advertising allowing relevant and contextual online ads on your website and benefit from the click-throughs. Finally, it is very important that you DRM-protect your ebooks to retain complete control over your ebooks and generate revenues from them.