Digital publishing is easy, the
e-book market is crowded, and your associationís e-books need to stand out. So
whatís your plan?
By Erin Fry
With the rise in the number of people who own dedicated
e-book readers and tablet devices, sales of e-books have taken offóup 144.4
percent to $649.2 million in the first eight months of 2011, according to the
Association of American Publishers. Digital publishing is easy, the e-book
market is crowded, and your associationís e-books need to stand out. So, what
should you be doing in e-books right now?
1. Hyperlink to external content.
Link text in the
e-book to relevant text on your
association website. Computers, tablets, smartphones, and some e-readers have
Web browsers that easily can take a reader from the e-book text to your site.
Become the go-to source for expert content.
2. Insert photos, videos, music, or
other multimedia that can be played on computers, tablets, and smartphones.
Is your associationís e-book an instructional manual?
Consider including a photo or video demo to fully illustrate the topic being
discussed. People learn and take in information in different ways, so explore
how you can reach members on multiple levels.
3. Expand or update your e-book
Letís say your association publishes both a print and
electronic version of its book. The print book content could become outdated, perhaps
due to rapid changes in your industry. To bridge the gap until the
publicationís next printing, update the e-book with new content as needed. Youíll
stay relevant in the industry, which your consumers will appreciate.
4. Include specials, deals, or
coupon codes for the purchase of another association e-book.
Coupons and specials are a time-honored marketing tactic to
encourage purchasingóand they work. To encourage the purchase of a new title,
put a 20-percent-off coupon code for the new title at the back of a current
e-book release. Even better, hyperlink the code to your associationís online
store, and 1-2-3, the member or customer goes online, uses their coupon code,
and orders the new book.
5. Break up your book into chapters
and sell them individually.
Does your association publish an e-book that could be broken
down into several shorter e-books? Perhaps you have a salary compensation
survey that breaks down compensation by job title. Your association could easily
sell each job title chapter as an e-book "short,Ē priced at a lower rate than
the full e-book.
6. Sell bundles of e-books on
For example, if your association publishes books on editing,
layout, design, and marketing, sell them together in a publishing bundle. Of
course, youíll want to price the bundle at a slightly lower rate than the full
cost of each individual e-book, giving the member or customer value and
encouraging the purchase.
Itís a brave new world out there in e-book publishing. Make
sure your association stays on top of the technology and possibilities, and you
wonít go wrong.
Erin Fry is editor and publications manager at Romance
Writers of America and a member of the Association Media & Publishing Content Creation Committee.