About two years ago, I came to the conclusion that we needed to have a decidedly more direct relationship with our readers. I was especially intrigued by watching some of the smart ways publishers in other spaces (most notably O’Reilly and Baen) were engaging with their readers. It also came from watching how e-tailers like Amazon.com repeatedly used their customer information to build products, services and user engagement. Having a direct, ongoing relationship with our readers could not only make solid business sense, it could also help create enormous impact for our authors.
From Edward Nowatka, editor-in-chief of publishing perspectives, plugging a spirited endorsement of Bluefire from Cliff Guren, vice president of business development at Bluefire, the Seattle-based e-reading application developer:
In today’s feature story, Bluefire’s Cliff Guren suggests that publishers may be better off controlling their own distribution platforms. This direct-to-consumer approach cuts out the middlemen and gatekeepers who may favor another product other than your own. Naturally, Blue Fire has a white label solution that might work for you. If that’s the case, what’s stopping publishers from doing so?
More on e-book subscription services (read: selling direct) from DBW editorial director Jeremy Greenfield on the DBW Expert Publishing Blog:
As people have become socialized to the idea of e-books, they’re ready to adopt new and creative ways of buying them. But it even goes beyond that, according Paige [Mazzoni, vice president of marketing at the 10-year-old Safari Books]. She said that the subscription marketplace has grown in the past few years because there is so much information out there and people want it curated for them. Safari offers what it calls a “vetted” library; the company’s vice president of content reviews and approves the selections.