Social and retail ebook start-up BookShout! has launched a direct sales platform to help publishers, authors and non-book-publishing firms sell and give away ebooks directly to consumers (press release far below).
In an article that BookShout! founder and CEO Jason Illian wrote for Digital Book World, he explains his vision for the future of book content and how the new product will help make that future a reality.
Every Store a Bookstore The Upcoming Ebook Boom
by Jason Illian
This isn’t the end of bookstores. It’s just the beginning. Instead of thousands of Barnes & Nobles, Hudson’s, and other indies around the country, there will soon be millions of stores selling ebooks and physical books. And publishers, authors and readers will thrive like never before.
I’m not talking about traditional bookstores where the only thing you can buy is books. I’m talking about hair salons, coffee shops, retail stores, big box retailers, movie theaters and more — all selling books in a way that builds community and extends their brand.
The day is coming where anytime you spend $100 or more on Nike shoes, you’ll get an ebook on Lebron James or Tim Tebow. When you buy lumber at Home Depot, you’ll receive Tim “Tool Time” Taylor’s ebook on “How to Build a Military-Grade Tree House.” If you get your hair “done” or buy monthly facial products at Aveda, you’ll automatically become part of their Book of the Month Club where you can dish with other fans about 50 Shades of Grey or Desperate Housewives. When you buy your Hunger Games movie ticket, you’ll be asked if you want to bundle the associated ebook.
The rise of mobile technologies and digital books provides massive publishing opportunities and new non-traditional sales channels.
For the past decade, Amazon has been using books as loss leaders, drawing buyers into their digital storefront with a good read and then helping them purchase a new grill or their favorite shampoo. But ebooks will level the playing field. In the new world, ebooks aren’t loss leaders, but value-added offerings that help brands build loyalty and audience. They are ways for companies and brands to stay connected to their core audience, develop an ongoing conversation, and strengthen the bond to their product or service.
Traditional bookstores are in trouble, as confirmed by industry observers including Seth Godin, Mike Shatzkin, and Laura Hazard Owen. There is a fundamental shift occurring in how books are sold, discovered and consumed. Instead of having a centralized bookstore model— à la Amazon’s digital store and B&N’s physical stores –we will have a dispersed or distributed model where any business can sell ebooks. There will still be dedicated spaces for physical and digital books (albeit much smaller) but the discovery and promotion will change. It will be more personal, contextual, valuable and accessible than ever before.
We should all be more excited than a kid with a new puppy. This is a situation where everyone wins. Readers can discover new books in context, choosing to associate themselves with brands they love, and downloading books from simple links and products. Brands can deepen their relationship with consumers, providing additional value-added content and increasing sales. And publishers and authors can create limitless new sales channels, selling large quantities of non-returnable ebooks at predetermined prices with data-sharing provisions.
But now is not the time to kick back with a fruity drink and an umbrella and expect the sales to start rolling in. It’s time to embrace the change and get to work, carving out new partnerships. There are teams and technologies pursuing all of this today, and content creators will benefit greatly if they’re ready to get on-board when the big wave arrives.
BookShout! Offers Lucrative Special Sales Outlet for Publishers and Corporations
eBook Bulk Distribution Platform Empowers Publishing Industry with White-Labeled Channels for Corporations, Brands and Organizations
BookShout! today announced that a number of prestigious companies, including CareerBuilder, HarperCollins Publishers, Microsoft, Startup Revolution, Wiley and others are using BookShout!’s bulk ebook distribution and fulfillment services. Available for readers on iPads, iPhones, Android devices, Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD/HD+ and the web, BookShout! is the only platform where publishers can fulfill digital bulk ebook distribution with DRM, white-labeled redemption pages and contact capture tools.
“BookShout!’s tools open up a number of new opportunities for Wiley’s B2B customers,” said Peter Balis, Vice President and Director, Business Development, Digital Books at Wiley. “This expands our ability to provide our content to a wider audience, in a digital format.”
While BookShout! does not reveal data on specific client campaigns, the company confirmed that one client received more than 50,000 ebooks to distribute to its customers as part of an incentive program, while another company bought thousands of ebooks to distribute to employees. Yet another organization used BookShout!’s tool to let event attendees choose 1 of 10 ebooks as part of their sign-up costs.
Gary Goldstein, who has produced some of Hollywood’s biggest box-office hits such as Pretty Woman, Under Siege and The Mothman Prophecies, is using BookShout! because its tools align with his own creative strategies and desire to create community.
“This is a great first step,” said Jason Illian, CEO of BookShout! “I think the future provides endless opportunities for publishers to work with brands and organizations. Imagine getting an ebook with your next pair of running shoes or when you buy lumber for a tree house. These are new sales- and audience-building opportunities for brands and lucrative distribution outlets for publishers.”
Publishers can use BookShout! to fulfill orders with emailed promotional codes, physical gift cards or embeddable links. They can also give clients the ability to create public or private groups around their books, bundle ebooks and physical books, and create innovative lead generation and incentive programs.
For more information on digital bulk sales, special sales and promotions, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.whybookshout.com/special-sales.
BookShout! connects brands, readers, and organizations around great books. Based in Dallas, Texas, BookShout! is an open retail ecosystem that focuses on special sales, promotional campaigns, and direct sales for author and corporate platforms. BookShout! is accessible via iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD/HD+ or the web. For more information, please visit www.whybookshout.com.