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When it comes to lead generation, we often rely on the trusty eBook, especially in the B2B world.
They’ve long been known to have highly perceived value and convert well.
The recent Hachette and Amazon standoff got me thinking again about the e-reader.
Of all the transformations of physical media to digital, I can’t think of one that has rumbled on and divided audiences like the paperback to ebook.
Arguably not CD to MP3, maybe because people could still burn CDs from iTunes (the move to subscription music was more gradual) whereas people can’t print their ebooks on a whim.
Arguably calls to SMS to messaging apps, DVDs to streaming, physical games to computer games, these were easy transitions.
The ebook is a content marketer's best friend. Not only does it allow you to become a publisher, where you can have your own editorial agenda, it gives you a platform to become a thought leader in your field.
It has the added benefit of generating in-bound leads on a large scale. For instance, Eloqua attributed a large percentage of its new business to the prospects that downloaded a series of its free ebooks.
Whilst writing and researching our first ebook I came across some excellent examples that I wanted to share with you.
In each ebook there are fantastic content marketing techniques in play: tips, resources, ideas, infographics, visuals, links, case studies, stats, how-to-guides. All easy to use and many inexpensive to implement. Check them out for yourself.
Fueled by the availability of affordable ereader and tablet devices, the market for ebooks is taking off far faster than many predicted just years ago.
So it's no surprise that more than a few big companies have been looking to get a piece of the ebook pie.
The Harry Potter series is one of the most popular series of books ever written, but if you're looking for your fix of wizardry, you'll have to put your Kindle down.
That's because Harry Potter's author, J.K. Rowling, has refused to sell her books in digital format directly through companies like Amazon.
In a move widely anticipated, the United States Justice Department today filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and some of the largest book publishers over allegations that they colluded to raise ebook prices.
The publishers named in the lawsuit are Simon & Schuster, Hachette, HarperCollins, Penguin and Macmillan.
As ebooks become a more prominent part of the publishing market, authors, publishers and digital distributors like Amazon are increasingly experimenting with new formats.
One of those formats is the 'esingle'. As the name suggests, these are ebooks that are fairly short (usually longer than a magazine article but shorter than a full book).
Typically sold in the range of 99 cents to $2, or 70p to £2, the value proposition of esingles to the consumer is simple: quality content, no bloat.
There are numerous differences between Apple's content ecosystem and Google's. One of the biggest: through iTunes, Apple offers a unified and arguably superior experience. Whatever you're looking for, be it music, apps or books, can be purchased and downloaded in a single place.
This apparently hasn't been lost on Google, which today announced that it's combining Android Market, Google Music and the Google eBookstore into a single entity dubbed Google Play.
With the iPad, Apple is the dominant tablet manufacturer and with the Kindle Fire, Amazon has become the company to watch in the tablet space.
But don't write bookseller Barnes & Noble (B&N) off. Its NOOK business, which started with E Ink e-readers, now has two tablets in its stable, the NOOK Color and the NOOK Tablet.
NBC News is jumping on the ebook bandwagon with the launch of a publishing arm, NBC Publishing.
It's another indication that the ebook market is getting so big that media companies not traditionally involved in book publishing are deciding to become book publishers, or more accurately, ebook publishers.
That Amazon would sell a fair share of Kindle Fires seemed inevitable based on the estimated volume of pre-orders the world's largest online retailer had received before its tablet device launched.
But hard numbers are starting to trickle in now that the Fire is actually shipping, and those numbers are impressive.
Facebook's revenue growth over the past several years is almost as impressive as its user growth. And with money pouring in, thanks in large part to advertisers eager to reach consumers on the world's largest social network, its profits are growing. How much?
According to Michael Arrington, Facebook generated nearly $800m in operating income in the first six months of this year.
By comparison, Arrington's sources said the company produced $1bn in operating income in all of last year.