Now that Amazon has managed to cause huge ripples in the book industry, many publishers are looking for ways to find new revenue streams. Whilst eBooks are proving popular on certain platforms, it is still a harsh field for publishers to get involved with. Will publishers move over to providing their own Ebook apps for iPad and other devices, or will they look for other routes?
Publishers May Start eBook Subscription Services
Services such as Audible already allow users to subscribe to a monthly service and platform that gives access to a wide library of content. Despite Audible charging the monthly subscription and the full price of eBooks, many individuals use this service.
It makes sense then for publishers to take their own route to develop their own subscription services. Firstly, by moving all or most published books to one platform, publishers will not have to deal with as much manual work after this point. Users can subscribe to pick up a number of books each month, and in some cases can even keep the books on their device after the ‘borrowing’ period has ended.
The trouble with this open access Netflix-style subscription system is that it’s incredibly difficult to make it a success. There are already a few services that offer this approach, with Oyster Scribd and Entitle being the most popular.
Publishers are Looking for New Revenue Streams to Out Compete Amazon
Instead of going for an eBook subscription service, publishers could look to create eBooks in the form of applications – this potentially gives publishers a range of benefits. eBook apps could potentially be created as “enhanced books” that provide users with a more interactive reading experience.
Each app could include a book, along with a range of tools to help readers learn more about the content or story.
Penguin has already attempted something like this in the past, in the form of Atlas Shrugged, a book created by Ayn Raynd. This app provided the full reading experience for iPad users whilst also featuring extra content, including audio clips from Ayn Raynd, and the ability to share quotes and excerpts straight to social media.
This kind of approach could work incredibly well for books that are selling spectacularly, and even a re-release of a popular book onto the app store following this format could be a helpful way for a publisher to keep revenue going strong.
The future of eBooks
No format of the platform has proven to be the most successful for eBooks as of yet, but the iPad is an absolutely amazing device that is portable but large enough to be perfect to read from. We expect that there will be plenty of inventive new attempts to bring eBooks to life on iPads and tablets over the next few years, and it only takes one idea to be liked by the iPad user base to propel it into a worldwide success.
If you are a publisher looking to bring your books into some kind of digital space, standard eBooks are already a great way to go. However, there are plenty of opportunities to use apps and the app store to create a more interactive, mobile-optimized reading experience.