Increasing Sales, One Chapter at a Time
According to Noren, customer response to the books-by-the-chapter option has been “generally very positive” thus far. “We’ve done some nice things to enhance each chapter to improve usability. Because all of our information is in an XML database, we can render each chapter with it’s own table of contents and index. Each PDF is searchable and bookmarked,” he says.
“My goal is pretty simple,” Noren continues. “It’s to make our content available in the format our customers want it––in print, on the Web, on their desktops, their PDA, phone, etc. We sell information, not paper.”
Wiley is looking to forms of rich media, such as video, to enhance its Web offerings. On the Wrox Web site, says Wikert, the company has posted training videos of instructors teaching new technologies. “It’s kind of that YouTube generation, so it’s not super-professionally done, but the content is there,” he says. “We’ve put a lot of these up on our site, and found that not only do they attract more and new visitors, but the ‘stickiness’ factor [keeping visitors glued to their screens] goes up considerably.”
While the videos currently are free of charge and free of advertising, Wikert says Wiley is contemplating ways to monetize this in the future, such as incorporating advertising into the videos.
Wikert notes that Wiley also is putting more article-length content on its Web site. “Again, that’s freely available today, too, but this is all leading up to the future … where we start monetizing shorter pieces of content,” he says. According to Wikert, Wiley plans to start selling e-briefs (new content that Wikert describes as “longer than a magazine article, but shorter than a book chapter”) as well as selling books by the chapter. Longer term, Wikert says if the company compiles a robust enough backlist of e-briefs, it may offer customers a yearly subscription to access the entire catalog.