Saturday, April 05, 2008
E-Publisher Website Data
You can learn a surprising amount by looking around each e-publisher’s website. This is what customers will see and use and you should put yourself in the mindset of a customer when you explore it. If you find something confusing, so will other people. If you find something a pleasure to use, so will others. Customers are very easy to influence with website usability and design, so it pays to take it into account.
Things you see on the website can also be extrapolated to give you clues to certain behaviors or data that can make a difference on how you rank that e-publisher on your list.
How Long Has This E-Publisher Been In Business
Length of time in business is not the whole story. E-publishers have failed after months in business and years in business. What this information does do is give you a data point to look at when you also look at the number of releases or authors.
But a new e-publisher will most likely not have the customer base of an e-publisher that has been in business longer. New stories may not have the sales figures with a smaller or newer e-publisher that they would have with an older or larger one.
What Do Current Covers Look Like?
Covers can take many forms and many “looks.” Not everyone’s taste in covers is the same and it can make a significant difference for some readers and authors. You should wander through each e-publisher’s catalog of books and get a feel for what that e-publisher’s normal cover look is. Then decide whether you are comfortable having that cover on your book or not. You really are the only one who can make that call. If you don’t like or at least accept your cover, you’re less likely to be happy and less likely to promote your work.
How Many Releases Per Week?
The number of releases per week will give you a rough look at the volume of the e-publisher. Because e-publishers do not generally provide sales numbers, you have to make some rough guesses of what that might be. Typically, the number of releases per week corresponds to the e-publisher’s sales volumes. An e-publisher that has one release a week almost certainly has lower overall sales than an e-publisher that has four new releases per week.
How Many Authors in the Stable?
Take a look at the stable of authors the e-publisher has. If most of the stories published are from a small subset of the stable or the stable is very small in relation to the number of stories released per week, that may be a sign of either a publisher that is mostly focused on its owners.
Don’t mistake this for a publisher who is merely new and has a small stable because of that. In that case the e-publisher may only release one book a week and have a small stable of core authors.
What File Formats are Offered?
This is another factor that can have an impact on the customer base. People quickly develop favored formats based on how they read ebooks and are less likely to buy a format they cannot easily use unless they are already hooked on the author’s work.
Part 4 will be posted Sunday :)