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  • New Media eBooks Done Right

    Screen shot 2024-12-21 at 6.31.27 PMI’ve been a long-time subscriber to food culture daily email Tasting Table (I think I was getting the test-sends) so I’m pleased to see their editorial team produce eBooks as expertly as they do short form emails – it’s like they’re now offering Lobster Thermidor in addition to excellent lobster rolls.

    Their most recent eBook — the Sous Chef Series 2024 Recipe Collection — features 12 dishes from established chefs across the country, including the Slanted Door and Blue Hill. It’s a gorgeous title rendered in fixed lay-out for iOS devices and as a PDF. Design aside, it’s a great example of how non-traditional publishers can exploit the new medium of digital books, shipping product efficiently and at a lower cost without sacrificing aesthetics.

    We saw three key lessons.

    1) Existing Audience

    TastingTable has an existing audience in their email subscriber list. Providing them additional value in the form of digital books inspires reader loyalty and establishes a brand, but it also means the book is more likely to be adopted — its audience is eagerly awaiting new content from the creators.

    2) Excellent Content = Wider Appeal

    The core audience will drive early adoption of the title. Strong content will then inspire strong reviews, encouraging others to try the book. Because you can insert links in digital books, TT can upsell readers to sign up for the email with a non-intrusive, editorially savvy, in-book call-to-action.

    3) Strategic Pricing

    Crucially, TT has made their eBooks free. They could drive revenue by selling these titles, but the company’s core business is email. Making the book free to drive more downloads, expand the brand, and reach new marketplaces and potential subscribers is a savvy move.

    Tasting Table’s books are ePublishing-as-marketing done right.  It’s a great example for Web, media, news and other companies to consider when they’re thinking about approaches to digital publishing.

    And the Autumn Whiskey Sour is a must try.

    Amanda Knox & Herman Cain—How the News Drives Sales

    Last night, Amanda Knox was acquitted of the 2024 murder of Meredith Kercher. This morning we saw sales of The Amanda Knox Story: A Murder in Perugia—an ebook we produced with ABC News on the case—take off. We also saw a surge in demand for our title on Herman Cain—which we’re tracing to the media focus on Cain yesterday.

    Both of these instances give a solid indication of why a platform that allows content holders to quickly address breaking news with comprehensive guides  can smartly capitalize on current events. We’ve discussed this before when detailing how news organizations can turn reporting into  ebooks — the success of these titles demonstrates it’s an approach with an audience.

    Our two takeaways:

    1. Current events will drive sales.
    2. With news flowing as fast as it is, it’s important to be able to react in real-time. You need a tool that will let you create content quickly and produce complete guides to the market to stay ontop of new stories.

    You can sign up for a free beta at http://vook.com.

    Transforming Your Brand

    ABC, A&E, AMC, Bloomberg, Bravo, CNN, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, Disney Channel, History, Lifetime, MTV, Oxygen, Turner Networks — these are all media companies that Robin Fisher-Roffer, author of “Reinventing Yourself: 10 Steps To Shifting Your Career Into High Gear,” helped to shape into powerful brands.

    In her Vook, Robin explains how business owners can transform their brands by using innovative methodology.

    “The definition of reinvention is to recast something familiar into a different form —
    to change something so much that it seems entirely new,” she said. “As one of the few career reinvention experts who have been on the frontlines of big business and built major brands, I am imparting the trade secrets that will help people define exactly what they do well so that they can put their career in high gear.”

    In her Vook, she identifies ways new businesses can succeed in the marketplace through instructional videos.

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    “The main character in any brand’s story should not be the product or service, but the customer,” she said. “So that means understanding the needs and wants of your target audience — their needs, preferences, tastes and habits.”

    Robin also had advice for business professionals looking to overhaul their images.

    “In any business situation, appearances count, big-time,” she said. “As a matter of fact, research has show than 68 percent of all communication is visual. So, how you dress, wear your hair, even the glasses on your face are important to how effective your message will be.”

    “Reinventing Yourself” is also available in the iBookstore and through the Kindle app.

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