Magazines and Books on E-paper E-reader Displays 'Approaching the Tipping Point,' Says Expert
INSIDER: Are you seeing book and magazine publishers on the whole finally leveraging e-reading devices in a profitable way for their businesses, or is their strategy still in its infancy?
DAVID RENARD: Book publishers are starting to make a greater effort in servicing this delivery medium, primarily because digital book sales along with the devices to read them are growing rapidly. But magazine publishers are just now realizing that this technology will be an important part of their success as well. Current e-paper e-readers are early versions of the feature rich, full color, flexible devices that are or will soon be in the pipeline. These devices and the rumored, and much discussed, Apple tablet are more appropriate for magazine content than today's Kindle or Nook, and will force magazine publishers to adopt this platform.
INSIDER: For those publishers not yet pushing their content onto e-readers' screens and monetizing those efforts, where would you propose they focus their efforts in pursuit of such strategies?
RENARD: For most book publishers that are not yet selling e-books, the most important thing to start with is to create, or in some cases, update the internal process of outputting content in the right format(s). That will permit their titles to be sold on key e-book stores and read on any e-reader hardware platform. Publishers of magazines (and highly visual books) need to rapidly gain experience in this area by being more aggressive with their digital paginated products (i.e. digital magazines) through sales, refining the reader/user value proposition, the use of user metrics data and feedback, and using platform-appropriate layout and design to take advantage of the medium's opportunities (and limitations).
INSIDER: Why launch an e-reader event now? Have we finally reached a tipping point of publishers' use of these devices and consumers' adoption?
RENARD: The market for e-readers and for the content that can be read on them is growing at a rapid pace with a new device announced nearly every week. But is this platform going to last and, if so, how big will it become? What is and will be the opportunity for publishers of books, magazines and newspapers? There is so little information about this young marketplace, and, for the book industry at least, it has become an immense source of hope. We are nearing a tipping point for e-readers, and publishers need a place to get answers to the above questions, as well as the leading forecasts, strategies and best practices about this critical medium.