The Vearsa team works closely with our publisher clients each day to provide them with an eBook distribution service designed to meet their needs. We’ve noticed a few common queries over the last few months, so here’s our take on the current burning issues for Publishers. We hope you find it helpful.
1. How do I improve my digital sales?
The easiest, fastest and indeed the cheapest way to improve your sales, is to look at your Metadata in detail. We’ve covered this topic a few times in webinars and previous blogs. Everything for the Title Name, Subtitle, BISAC Codes, Keywords, Descriptions, Author Bios etc. can be utilised to maximise your sales. There’s no “correct” set of metadata, so getting this right will involve some experimentation, but remember, the beauty of metadata is that you can change it anytime you wish!
2. How many ISBNs do I really need?
The short answer here is that the best practise is to provide a separate ISBN for each format you distribute. This is the most straight forward way of keeping the sales reports and files organised, particularly as your number of titles grow. This would normally mean 4 ISBNs for a standard title. Parent, PDF, ePub and Mobi ISBN.
However, it is possible to use the same ISBN for ePub and Mobi if you wish. There’s no disadvantage here, just remember this will become harder to manage if your number of titles moves from hundreds into thousands. In doing this, you can reduce the number of ISBNs to 3.
Furthermore, it’s worth noting that most Libraries are moving to ePub format and that PDFs are selling in fewer and fewer quantities. If you’re budget restricts your number of ISBNs, its far better to assign an ISBN to an ePub/Mobi file for a new title, than to assign an ISBN to a PDF file for an existing title. Getting more titles out there will be far more beneficial than getting your PDFs out there. So, this could theoretically reduce your ISBNs you require to two.
If your title is a digital only publication, then the same ISBN is used for Parent and ePub/ Mobi file. And we’re down to 1 ISBN! Remember, the best practise is an ISBN per format, but ISBNs shouldn’t be seen as a barrier to getting your titles out there.
3. Should I supply my titles to libraries?
This one’s easy. Yes you should.
Libraries are contributing significant sales and there’s a growing trend of people moving towards digital libraries. While major retailers still tend to contribute the largest portion of sales, the libraries continue to gain ground.
Many publishers are concerned about a lack of DRM with libraries but in fact libraries apply the same DRM to ePub files as standard retailers.
Another common concern is Library pricing. One re-assuring point is that libraries will pay a higher price if they wish to make the title available to more than one user at a time and this can sometimes be 4/5 times the price you set in your metadata.
Put simply though, more distribution outlets equals more sales.
4. Why is a different price displayed than the one I set in my metadata?
Retailers will add sales tax to your price where necessary and may also choose to discount the price if the title fits in with an existing promotion or offer.
Regardless, your earnings will always be based on the price you set in the metadata, not the display price. You can also experiment with different pricing to try and hit a specific price point if you wish.
5. What are the lead times for seeing new titles or updates on the retailer sites?
The majority of retailers will display new titles or updates somewhere between 48 hours and 1 week. However, some of the channels we supply deliver titles to numerous other channels and it can take time for the new titles of updates to filter through to these outlets. Usually, a maximum of 3-4 weeks would apply.
A key point in making sure your titles are displayed quickly is to make sure your metadata is correct and your files meet the retailer requirements.
From time to time there may be delays so if you need to have a title displayed on a specific date, it’s best to give plenty of notice, just to be safe.
The Vearsa custome service team are available to answer any questions you may have. To contact a member of the team please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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