Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.
AARP publishes AARP The Magazine (the world’s largest circulation magazine), and the AARP Bulletin, each with huge circulation, and maintains a website that reach millions. For years, the company has published trade books, many with substantial sales. In recent years, those books have simultaneous eBook releases.
So what does AARP hope to accomplish with an eBook publishing program?
AARP reaches out to tens of millions on a wide array of topics. It also knows its audience — focusing on those over 50. The evidence is all around us that readers over 50 are soon as likely to be adopting eBook reading as readers under 50.
With the extensive reach of its magazine, bulletin and website, the real question is how can AARP not use eBooks as part of its overall member service and publishing strategy?
While the eBook strategy and execution will emerge over time, you can see elements at work in the first AARP/Rosetta project just released at $2.99 at all major e-tailers: Drive Smart: How to Stay Safe—and Save Money.
AARP offers the AARP Driver Safety Program, by far the largest program for drivers over 50 in the US. This eBook is a short version of “best learning” from that course.
To give you some sense of its reach, AARP will likely:
- Mention the eBook in the AARP Bulletin (delivered to 24 million households)
- Promote the eBook on www.aarp.org and in its on line bookstore at aarp.org/bookstore
- Promote the eBook in AARP social media
- Offer the eBook to past customers of the AARP Driver Safety Program for purchase and for gift
This program is live less than a month after the availability of manuscript, which is another reason for the use of an eBook strategy. The price point ($2.99) is inconsistent with traditional print publishing practices but fully aligned with AARP’s service purposes.
eBook to eBook, AARP and RosettaBooks will vary their plans in order to fit the purposes of the particular title and to utilize ever changing tools in the digital marketplace. Publishing indeed – anything but “traditional.”