This coming year promises to bring a lot of excitement in the eReading world! With sales of eReaders skyrocketing and digital editions taking close to 25 to 30% of total revenues for publishers, 2012 may see one of the following (if not all!) digital publishing models take centre stage in production departments of almost all publishers.
“The part will be bigger than the whole”. Many publishers are witnessing a lot of benefits in selling unbundled content as compared to bundled content. With attention spans decreasing and reading habits of the modern day reader dwindling, publishers and magazine editors are working towards strategies of publishing smaller abridged versions of their content (chapters, single essays, quotes, etc).
2. Remix: Publishers like Cengage Custom publishing have been remixing books by allowing the reader to create their own custom books by combining chapters across different titles. This business model will soon be replicated in many niche-publishing domains.
3. DRM Free and Social DRM
With Youtube videos teaching readers to decrypt DRM ePubs in 30 seconds, the true safety aspects of DRM are being questioned. Add to that the growing inconvenience of DRMed books, forward looking publishers are moving towards DRM free strategies. Social DRM is going to make a significant impact on the eBook world. The biggest advantage that social DRM brings to the table is the fact that it allows device interoperability.
As publishers realize new ways to monetize content, Freemium content may be the way to go for 2012. Although this strategy has been coined and executed perfectly by Amazon, all other publishers will follow suite this coming year.
Renting eBooks will be huge in the eBook space, especially in developing countries where the infrastructure is just starting to take shape.