E-books' Impact on ROI
Other recent top e-book best sellers include "Van Helsing," by Kevin Ryan, Brown's "Angels & Demons," "The Da Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction," by Hank Hanegraaf and Paul L. Maier, and "The Rule of Four" by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason—all of which reflect what's selling in print. Pushing what sells well in print is the strategy for most publishers, says Nick Bogaty, executive director of OeBF in New York.
"It's clear that what people read in electronic form is what they would read in print, so obviously publishers are going to market electronic books to reflect what's selling [on the hardcover best-seller list]. There's a real sales-based focus in the e-book industry. In past years, everything was new, and people were trying a lot of experiments. We're at the point in our industry where things are selling."
To Publish Or Not To Publish
Durando says it's a good sign that "The Da Vinci Code" is selling well, as it shows that e-books are not a specialty item.
"Another thing that drives e-books is promotion," he says. But, "there are still relatively few outlets where one can access or purchase an e-book. So certain types of promotion could drive an e-book to become a best seller, but still not as much as general demand would."
Although a best seller generates interest in its e-book counterpart, Potash suggests the decision to publish an e-book is no longer dependent on whether it's a best seller, and titles are often released as hardcovers and e-books simultaneously.
"Publishers have the ability to market their front lists as both a hardcover and an e-book, so they're publishing everything as an e-book now," he says. "Most of them have services or the capability within their workflow to kick out an e-book as an extension of their production."