Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ebook Survey Results

I always find it a prudent measure to take some time and do market research for any commercial endeavour. As many of you would know, at present I am heavily gearing what I do at present towards digital formats and as such decided to find out exactly what consumers were wanting. In the past I had done quite a bit of research into what the format can deliver in terms of features and from a distributor perspective there was talk of providing animated pictures, colour printing, graphic textures and music to range a few options, all of which sounded in my mind great and opened up possibilities. But what did consumers want from digi formats and in particular ebooks? So on one of the other forums that I write on SFFworld I posed the question and got a very unanimous answer.

1) No Digital Rights Management (DRM), people want to be able to download and own it rather than have a limited amount of downloads per title and then have to purchase the ebook again.
2) Accessibility, people want to be able to download it from a wide range of places, all over the world and in a format that they use. At present there are many different formats to download digi books on as each company that has an ebook reader has its own format in an attempt to try and dominate the market. So in short people want to be able to access it anywhere and in the format that they need it.
3) Low cost. Many people understand that the cost of books factors in things such as materials, printing, distribution, margins from bookstores and also the publishers themselves, but for a medium that costs nothing to print, very little to distribute and no travel costs then people resent paying the same and in some cases actually more than a printed version. Most people suggested about 1/3rd the cost of a printed book.
4) Lastly is simply the material itself, people don’t want the bells and whistles; they don’t want animated scenes, music, background noises, colour pages. What they want is plain good quality text to read which is easily obtainable and cheaper than a printed version.

Simple, right?

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