EBooks enjoy a number of inherent advantages over printed editions. They are more transportable, easier to acquire and adjustable in several ways, including font size.
That said, there are also ways in which eBooks do not match up as favorably with printed books. Because eBooks are not physical objects, for example, they cannot be distributed at author events such as signings and lectures. These events, as publishers well know, represent powerful opportunities to reach out to audiences, build interest and promote particular works.
However, many ePublishers are now taking steps to expand the utility of eBooks in these circumstances. Notably, Atria, a Simon & Schuster imprint, has developed a means to distribute eBooks at author events.
The news source noted that Atria worked with Impact Mobile to develop a system for distributing eBooks at live events. A reader can attend a book signing featuring an Atria author and, while getting his or her book signed, receive an email with a code or digital voucher that can be used to redeem an eBook.
The digital voucher system was first put into use at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in conjunction with Gary Schwartz's "Fast Shopper, Slow Store." Schwartz, who is also the CEO of Impact Media, touted the benefits of this development.
"Companies like Simon & Schuster are answering the needs of a more entrepreneurial, digital-savvy author base," said Schwartz. "We are using these vouchers to distribute via traditional email and via mobile messaging inserts, driving volume and opening up a valuable relationship with the end reader."
As more ePublishers develop similar content production and distribution systems, eBooks will become even better poised to assume a larger portion of the total book market. This is particularly the case as the total amount of mobile content is forecast to grow significantly in the coming years, as CNN Money contributor Kevin Kelleher recently emphasized.
Kelleher pointed out that the number of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices owned worldwide is on pace to reach 5 billion by 2017, up from 4.3 billion at the end of 2012. Furthermore, owners of these devices are increasingly relying on them to access a range of mobile content.
As this trend continues, eBooks will only grow in appeal, leading to greater adoption rates and further incentivizing ePublishers to develop advanced distribution methods.
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