In “Company Snapshots,” we pose a series of questions to leading providers of digital products and services and let them speak for themselves about what their company does, how they benefit publishers, and what they believe the biggest trends in the industry are. In today’s entry, we have INscribe Digital.
What does your company do?
INscribe Digital is a one-stop solution for publishers of all sizes who want to distribute digital content and maximize sales in the global market. Our flexible system allows publishers to manage and track the performance of their titles, and to increase sales with strategic marketing guidance from our team, which has extensive bookselling and publishing industry experience. Our services include file conversions, help with metadata management and pricing, and leveraging our close relationships with key retailers. We recently announced a print distribution solution to all major outlets.
What’s unique about your company compared to your competitors?
INscribe Digital combines the critical marketing and sales guidance of an experienced bookselling team within a San Francisco-based technology company that delivers increasingly efficient service solutions for publishers. Our strong relationships with the major retailers, including Apple, give us access to the best merchandising programs and promotions. We are always developing better market solutions, such as our new global print distribution service (INdemand), and our marketplace monitoring tool that provides data on live title status at key retailers, as well as updates on title rankings, ratings, reviews and more (INstore).
What’s the single biggest benefit your customers get from your service?
Our clients maximize the salability of their title lists with our marketing expertise, which is based on contextual awareness of the retail marketplace and what is working across a range of publishers. Our clients also deliver their digital assets with greater timeliness and accuracy by using our flexible, automated system, which is built to respect all the unique specifications and requirements of retailers, libraries and subscription services.
What’s the single biggest problem for your customers right now?
Publishing leaders need to understand the critical importance of metadata as a strategic asset that drives retailer search algorithms and results directly in sales. It is one of publishers’ most powerful customer-facing selling tools, yet many have not updated their editorial, marketing and sales workflows accordingly. When all metadata fields for a title are filled out correctly, there can be a 55-percent lift in sales, according to a 2012 Nielsen study. A 55-percent lift! It’s definitely worth the work to set up regular reviews of front- and backlist titles for updated keywords and BISAC codes, awards info, and/or links to new releases by the author.
What’s the single biggest opportunity for your customers right now?
Getting digital content into global markets quickly, as well as any updates, changes and additions, requires the level of automation that comes with a strong digital distribution infrastructure. Pre-orders, in particular, are key. Some of our publishers effectively use the first book in a series to promote pre-orders for the second book, by placing retailer-specific buy links in the back of Book One. This can result in increases in sales of up to 40 percent between the first and second books. Testing and learning in the marketplace also leads to improved results with each new publication cycle.
What industry trends do you think will have the greatest impact on your customers over the next 24 months?
Data—and our role in helping publishers capture it, understand it and act on it—will be a major focus. Operational data about title distribution, marketing data (SEO), pricing data, sales by territory and consumer data are just a few points of information that can help publishers make better decisions about content acquisition and development, and even improvements in cover art. Our INstore marketplace monitoring tool is a way for publishers to begin to learn about how their titles are represented in the market, which can be a huge benefit for marketers and the operations team as well.
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