eBook Content

From: Dear Author ~ Eliminating DRM Is the Greatest Competitive Hammer Against Amazon

When Jane over at Dear Author is “on” she can be direct and to the point and right. This is one of those times she is right. But hey, I would like to go further than she did. Let’s use good old fucked up Sony as a standard for everything wrong in publishing and go bullet point by bullet point shall we?

The following list is what is making Sony bleed money like a stuck pig in the middle of August…

  • They stopped caring about the quality of their product.
  • They diversified their business beyond their specialties.
  • They relied heavily on trying to introduce and support proprietary formats and hardware.
  • They stopped selling directly to their customer and understanding what worked and what did not.

They stopped caring about the quality of their product.

I have discussed particulars about formatting I enjoyed seeing in eBooks before and resurrecting things like series pages and some other ideas of format pages DAW used to put into it’s paperbacks to sell more DAW paperbacks. But I think the huge ass problems are like HarperCollins publishing big time authors with mangled eBook formatting and many many typos. In fact HarperCollins is a great big old fucked up example of a publisher that does not give a shit about it’s customer and makes it really obvious.

They diversified their business beyond their specialties.

Sony tries to make too many things and few if any of them are very good at doing what they are made for. They forgot to be “the best” at what they were making. Booksellers and publishers selling their own brand of eBook Reader is simply not going to end well. Why? Because booksellers and publishers are not computer companies or hardware manufacturers so they will never be “the best” at making such things. Quit thinking they are or ever could compete and focus only on what publishers do really well… create content. Things will not end well for Barnes & Noble. Mark my words.

They relied heavily on trying to introduce and support proprietary formats and hardware.

Remember how Sony tried for years to sell it’s customers crazy new connectors and memory devices and file formats other than MP3? DRM and ePub are sorta like that.

See, one thing I learned in my job and I am very good at my job is NEVER BE THE OBSTACLE! So applying DRM to your eBook files creates a big old nasty over priced unloved obstacle. It is not secure anymore than it was for music files, it does not stop piracy anymore than it did for music files, it does not stop being stripped by the customers anymore than it lasted on purchased music files… it simply annoys your customers and creates all those totally unnecessary hand holding issues you have to support. THE MUSIC INDUSTRY STOPPED USING DRM AND YOU NEED TO STOP USING DRM FOR THE EXACT SAME REASONS!

If you want to talk eBook file formats which can be another form of obstacle there is one eBook format supported by every operating system and device natively “by default” out of the box on the entire planet. PDF

PDF is already supported across the board. Put out as many ePub files as you want but always support and provide PDF… Got it? So if you want to narrow it down support wise to save money further simply publish in Non-DRM ePub & PDF formats and away you go.

They stopped selling directly to their customer and understanding what worked and what did not.

This last example of what Sony is doing wrong is probably a key example for most publishers out there. If you want to short circuit Amazon and Apple and Walmart and Costco and everyone else for that matter. ALWAYS SELL YOUR CONTENT, YOUR EBOOKS, DIRECTLY FROM YOUR OWN WEBSITE AT THE LOWEST PRICE AVAILABLE!

I talked about how publisher websites are their brand name bookstore and how that simplicity should always be smack dab on the first page on every publisher website in existence. It is THE main focus, THE overall summary of what they do and what they are so proud of… THE sale of their product.

Got it? Sell to your customers. Talk to your customers. Find out what your customers like to read. Support your customer just like Amazon does, just like Apple does, just like every other successful business has to. Quit relying on other retailers to tell you what is selling and what is your best stuffs and what is the best price for it. Ask your customer!

And that’s all I wanted to say.

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"Dear Dead Tree Publishers ~ Quit Sucking Like Sony!" by TeddyPig was published on April 15th, 2012 and is listed in Common Sense, eBook Commentary.

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Comments on "Dear Dead Tree Publishers ~ Quit Sucking Like Sony!": 3 Comments

  1. Keishon wrote,

    TP, what you just wrote that sounds like a lot of hard work ;-) I would have to say OF COURSE publishing know what the deal is but they just don’t want to do it. The bottom line is that they want ALL the money and oh yeah they resist change. Where are the innovators? They are certainly not working at the Big Six these days. Just at Amazon.

  2. Keishon wrote,

    Oh yeah Sony does indeed suck.

  3. From Today’s “I Told You So” Department… | The Naughty Bits wrote,

    [...] I told you Sony sucked and how they were sucking. So today we find out just “how much” they are [...]

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