Ramona Tanay is the growth hacker for PublishDrive, the most intelligent ebook publishing platform, where her job is to build the PublishDrive brand by developing testable and scalable methodologies to achieve the desired KPIs. We had a chance to talk with Ramona recently about the digital publishing industry and how authors can market their ebooks more effectively.
What makes PublishDrive different from other companies in the digital publishing industry?
Primarily, it’s the personal and professional relationships we have built with our partners over the years. We are constantly monitoring the market to get insight from our customers and develop our services according to their needs; we don’t believe that our product can be truly finished in an ever-changing environment like the publishing industry.
Our perks include a widely accepted unique identifier (PUI) which allows our publishers to publish at PublishDrive without an ISBN. We are also a trusted partner of Apple, which means better merchandising opportunities and faster sales. We are the first western ebook publishing platform to distribute ebooks to the Chinese market, which allows our publishers to reach one billion potential readers with their books.
In addition to our considerable experience in the field and our outstanding partnerships, we believe to be offering better terms to our customers. We provide publishers with an earn-as-you-sell payment arrangement; and with automated marketing solutions, they can enjoy transparency and business intelligence with real-time sales data. Right now, we are working on our new territory pricing feature which will make it easier for our publishers to set the pricing in different currencies.
What types of consumers tend to be the most receptive to ebooks?
It is hard to say, but it is interesting to see from the statistics that 30- to 49-year olds are leading the charts by 7% in terms of being “digital-only” book readers. On the other hand, demographic groups like college graduates are more likely to do all their reading in digital format, and so are households with higher incomes ($75,000 or above). However, even though ebooks are becoming more popular, print continues to dominate the book market, as most people who read ebooks also read physical books.
What do you think is the most underutilised marketing channel for digital authors?
Their author brand. Most of the authors underestimate the importance of personal branding, and so they miss out on a major opportunity from day one. Promoting your book at different events, publishing conferences, and book fairs can result in awareness in the publishing industry, which can eventually bring you more sales. Once people recognize you and your work, you’ll have your own dedicated audience who will buy your new book without hesitation. So my advice would be to get your name out there and take every opportunity you have to show your work to the world.
How can a webinar help a digital author sell more ebooks?
Webinars have become quite popular, and they are an excellent way of social networking and building a community. Self-published authors have the opportunity to get on the radar, promote their books, and let fellow writers and readers gain experience from their expertise while earning credit and awareness in the publishing industry.
Under what circumstances would it be smart to translate an ebook into another language?
For self-published authors going global with their books, translation is a key element if they want to increase their ebook sales. However, I would emphasize that an indie author first should focus on his/her home country. Once you build a reputation and start getting sales, it’s time to research other markets. If you write in English, check out other English-language markets first. Don’t just randomly pick another country; see which genres sell well, have a look at the local ebook market players, check out bestseller lists, etc. As literary translation is costly, you have to thoroughly consider your investment. The main issue is not finding a good translator, but rather picking the right country.
What are some innovative ways that a digital author can collect email addresses of potential sales prospects?
Before you randomly start collecting email addresses, you need to determine who your audience is. Who do you want to target with your books? Figure out who your readers are, what they like, and where can you reach them. Then look for connections: find Facebook groups, create a website, write a blog, set up your social media accounts, and interact with people. This is an effective way to build an email list which will turn your subscribers into valuable customers.
What do you foresee for the future of the digital publishing industry?
The rise of the digital world has been revolutionizing the publishing industry, providing new ways for end users to consume content. Audiobooks are seemingly overtaking the rapid growth of ebooks as the fastest-growing format in the book market now. I have no doubt that digital publishing is here to stay and new, innovative ways will continue to disrupt the traditional publishing industry.