Is Your Model Obsolete? Innovation is the new essential competency for book publishers
Your business model is the description of how you make money. Is your model to sell your book through bookstores (clicks and bricks)? Or are you a publisher selling multiple titles the same way you always have? You may have added ebooks to your product line and assumed this was a new business model. It is a variation, not a new model.
If you have not changed the way you generate revenue in the past year, your business model is probably obsolete. And you are not maximizing your revenue opportunities.
Look at Amazon.com as an example. It launched with an innovative business model as an online bookstore. Then it started offering other products (clothing, computers) requiring different distribution networks. Then Amazon began selling digital books, music and movies online. Soon it added its own branded products (Kindle), web services and is now investing millions of dollars in warehouses for same-day delivery of groceries and other merchandise. Amazon’s business model changed regularly over 18 years to meet and create new opportunities.
Your evolution doesn’t need to be as dramatic. Simply ask yourself a few questions. First, “Who else could use the information in my book(s)? Where do they shop or seek this information? This could lead you to selling through catalogs and display marketing companies or to schools and associations. Or, you could sell your books as premiums or ad specialties in large, non-returnable quantities to corporate buyers.
Successful publishers view themselves as purveyors of information and look beyond traditional means of selling their content. Join their ranks and look to special sales — non-bookstore markets – for new sources of sales, revenue and profits.
Business-model innovation is the new essential competency for book publishers. It’s not easy to challenge and leave behind what you have done in the past. But those who make the choice will be tomorrow’s profitable companies.
Brian Jud is an author, book-marketing consultant, seminar leader, television host and president of Premium Book Company, which sells books to non-bookstore buyers on a non-returnable, commission-only basis and conducts on-site training for publishers' sales forces.
Brian is the author of "How to Make Real Money Selling Books (Without Worrying About Returns)," a do-it-yourself guide to selling books to non-bookstore buyers in large quantities, with no returns. He has written many articles about book publishing and marketing, is the author of the eight e-booklets with "Proven Tips for Publishing Success," and creator of the series of "Book Marketing Wizards." He is also the editor of the bi-weekly newsletter, "Book Marketing Matters."
Brian is the host of the television series "The Book Authority" and has aired over 650 shows. In addition, he is the author, narrator and producer of the media-training video program "You're On The Air."