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  • How to Price an eBook

    Everyone from the DOJ to Amazon.com is weighing in on the best way to price an eBook. It seems like a good time to bring up our eBook pricing whitepaper again; especially in light of us commenting in an MSNBC article on the DOJ investigation. Beyond the struggles between the big players, we wanted to highlight what we’ve learned publishing digital content and help you understand some ways you can think about pricing an ebook — or even just buying one.

    It’s all about the algorithm
    Digital retailers have invested millions of dollars in developing algorithms for optimal pricing on their products — with one goal in mind — to maximize revenue. This can benefit of the retailer, the publisher and, in most cases, the consumer. In our whitepaper on pricing, you can see how these algorithms work. Depending on factors like the category and discoverability of a given title, a higher or lower price may get you to that sweet spot.

    But, what about control?
    Algorithms that magically maximize revenue sound great, but there are times when a publisher may wish to have more control over the retail price. For example, when there is a substitute product, such as a physical book, whose sales may suffer from heavy discounting. Until now, publishers did not have the tools or the fine control necessary to make these fine adjustments.

    Have it both ways
    The latest publishing platforms, such as Vook, give both the feedback (daily sales reporting) and the control (interface for changing metadata on the fly) needed to maintain price integrity of their valuable content.

    The legal implications of the DOJ and Agency pricing will work themselves out in time. But hopefully the publishing companies will soon be able to start “engineering up” as opposed to “lawyering up” — so they can begin developing interfaces and applications with companies like ours to make the most of digital books in a more flexible pricing environment. Take a look at our full whitepaper and let us know what you think the best way to price an eBook is.

    eBooks (and Vook) everywhere

    Apple’s iBooks 2 and iBooks Author announcement ahead of next week’s Digital Book World lit up eBook discussions like a bonfire of paper books or, you know, End User License Agreements—which is exactly what many commenters seemed to want to make of Apple’s EULA for iBooks Author, which requires books created with the application to be sold exclusively through iBooks.

    EULA brouhaha aside — Apple’s an innovative company, a valued distribution partner and we think they’ve made a sharp tool.  There’s more than enough room for other eBook creation platforms (like us!) to co-exist with what Apple’s developed. We’re agnostic in who we serve; they’re a grand cathedral—though more like Osaka’s Church of the Light than a gothic Chartres.

    Content holders are going to need platforms to create files that can be accessed by a multitude of devices and readers, both those existing now and those yet to come. Vook’s already delivering this service, and our output file types and feature sets will grow ever more robust.

    We’ve been featured in articles and interviews this week, both giving our take on the Apple announcement and talking about what we’re building. Here’s a quick round up of the Vook press coverage for those keeping score.

    Vook in eBook Newser: We defend publishers, which isn’t too surprising—some of our best friends are publishers.


    Vook in GigaOm: We give some perspective on the iBooks Author announcement.


    Vook in Digital Book World: We deploy the phrase “barbed wire gardens”.


    Look for us next week at Digital Book World!


    Our digital publishing platform, VookMaker, is ever closer to public release — and our vision of an easy-to-use ebook creation, distribution and sales reporting platform. And yes! This is exciting, this platform we have developed. And yes! We are excited. But — a platform is only as good as what people make with it — which is why we’re even more excited that Apple recognizes the high quality, awesome looking eBooks VookMaker can produce. How do we know this? Because they have just launched a 15 TITLE PROMOTION for the video enhanced fitness series we produced with Gaiam. You can see it by clicking here!

    This is a front page promotion, sharing the stage with Mark Bowden, Lee Child, and Rin Tin Tin. Our hats off to you, other authors and dog subjects. We are honored to be in your fine company up there on the front page. And we are also so proud of our platform, VookMaker, because it produced these very fine looking titles very quickly. This, ladies and gentleman, is what VookMaker can do for you. And what you can do with VookMaker. Soon! GaiamLargeBrick

    Seth Godin’s Ideavirus–The Way It Was Meant to Be Read

    At Vook, we’re always improving and tweaking our product — and releasing it on new platforms. Spreading our format everywhere and adapting to new devices is a lesson we learned from one of our authors, Seth Godin. Seth detailed this strategy in his Unleashing the SUPER Ideavirus Vook — and now we’re thrilled to announce that the SUPER Ideavirus itself has spread to a new and exciting format, the Apple iBookstore.

    This is Ideavirus the way it was meant to be read. Check it out in iBooks here.

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