Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.
The No. 1 trend that will impact the ebook landscape in the coming months is the transition of authors, publishers, booksellers and readers to the cloud*. Do not expect a standard transition to a well worn definition of the cloud. What we are seeing is a wholesale transition to a new, dynamic definition of the cloud – one that is set specifically for the ebook market.
This new, dynamic definition of cloud touches four key aspects of the ebook lifecycle which we believe will have significant influence over and impact on ebooks, authors, publishers and readers for many years to come.
- Collaboration. Enabling all participants in the composition and production process to work together, seamlessly, from anywhere in the world. This collaboration enables authors and publishers to work with the highest quality people to provide the highest quality content both of which contribute to stronger recognition, sales and reader satisfaction;
- Discovery. When a book is in and of the cloud, the book is able to leverage one of the core strengths of the cloud – search. The more easily a book can be indexed and cataloged, the more effectively it can be found, evaluated and (ideally) acquired or recommended. When books are available in the cloud, either in part or in whole**, discovery can extend well beyond the walled gardens of traditional ebook retailers and reach broader potential audiences and expand control and engagement to the author;
- Distribution. No longer are books confined to a particular geography or a limited set of ebook retailers. The best works by the best authors will be available around the world, accessible instantly by the widest possible audience. This will be a key to long-term author success as new markets are tapped and new sales opportunities introduced;
- Connection. When a book is in and of the cloud, the book is able to leverage another of the core strengths of the cloud – social. When a book is a living and breathing work it can connect not only the story but its author with readers around the world, in real-time. This connection enables authors to engage with their global audience with as much personality as they see fit to achieve their objectives, whatever they may be (e.g. financial success, total readership, etc.).
Once merely a buzzword, the cloud has become the key to (at least) these four core components of ebook success. Each of these components are already in the early stages of implementation and paying dividends.
The commitment being shown to leverage the cloud in these ways (v. a more simplified universal access mechanism) is significant.
Simply put, it has proven extremely difficult for content to outrun the web – and books will not be an exception.
Authors and publishers should see their cloud-based efforts begin to deliver benefits in the next 3-4 months. Those who are sleeping on this trend are going to find themselves in peril in very short order.
For more information on this trend, (seven more and profiles of 29 companies that are shaping the ebook platform landscape), click here.
* For simplicity, consider the use of the term “cloud” interchangeably with the term “web”.
** Availability of the work in part, or in whole, to aide in discovery will need to be provided at the discretion of the author and/or their publisher.