Monetizing the Back-List

shutterstock_36932248With digital publishing, books never go out of print. Titles that publishers made money from decades ago but haven’t seen the light of day since can now be sold to readers with relatively little investment on the part of the publisher.

Similarly, authors who once depended on their current or next book to generate the bulk of their income can now rely on digital sales of past titles.

But it’s not as easy as digitization and putting the books up on Amazon. There are things you need to do to make sure readers can find your books and, once they do, will buy them.

Here are three tips that can help.


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Print and Digital Settle in 2013 (PW)
Among some of the larger publishers, 2013 was indeed a year of leveling when it came to digital growth. Some even shrank digitally in 2013.

Two Big Library Problems When It Comes to Ebooks (Forbes)
Marketing and catalog. Many library patrons still don’t know they can borrow ebooks from their libraries and librarians still aren’t happy with the availability of ebooks to them.

Encyclopaedia Britannica Partners to Publish Ebooks (Medianama)
Expanding its educational publishing operations, Encyclopaedia Britannica has partnered with Indian publisher Katha on children’s ebooks for classroom use.

Japan Expands Ebook Copyright Protections (The Japan News)
Ebooks are now under expanded copyright protection in Japan. Prior to this move, many copyright protections for books were only applicable to print editions in the country.

Future of Physical Books (NYT)
According to the New York Times, physical books are on their death bed. (This, of course, is untrue in myriad ways, but moving on….) So, what’s the afterlife for physical books? Home décor.

Fastest Readers (Paste)
A lot of interesting info is coming out of ebook subscription services like Scribd. The latest: Which countries read the fastest. Germany tops the list. The U.S. is No. 14.

No More in-App Purchasing for ComiXology (C|Net)
Bad news for digital comics readers: You can no longer purchase ComiXology comics through iOS or Android apps due to a change Amazon, the company’s new owner, instituted. Also bad news for Apple and Google, which are now cut out of that revenue.

Webcast: The Best-Sellers of the Future (DBW)
It’s finally time for our most-anticipated webcast of the year: What are ebook readers actually reading? Join Digital Book World and Huffington Post, along with editors from BuzzFeed and Book Riot, to take a quantitative and qualitative approach to what ebook readers actually want to read.

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