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Building a New World Publishing Business: Lessons from Stanza. O’Reilly TOC Conference O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference. Neelan Choksi COO, Lexcycle [email protected] February 11, 2009. Who Am I?. COO, Lexcycle Former COO, SpringSource – open source

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building a new world publishing business lessons from stanza

Building a New World Publishing Business:Lessons from Stanza

O’Reilly TOC Conference

O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference

Neelan Choksi

COO, Lexcycle

[email protected]

February 11, 2009

who am i
Who Am I?
  • COO, Lexcycle
  • Former COO, SpringSource – open source
  • President and Co-Founder of SolarMetric (acquired by BEA Systems in 2005)
  • Previous Employers – Exxon, Andersen Consulting, TechTrader, MIT Blackjack Team
  • Board Seats – SpringSource, Tasktop, Lexcycle
  • BS from MIT, MS from Stevens Institute of Technology, MBA from Univ. of Chicago Booth
e books inflection point
e-books – Inflection Point
  • $44 million Wholesale e-book sales in last 4 quarters

* Source: IDPF US Trade Wholesale Electronic Book Sales

improved mobile displays
Improved Mobile Displays
  • Larger touch screens w/ crisp color
  • OTA, wireless
  • App Store
new hardware
New Hardware
  • Netbooks
  • Lots of new eReaders
iphone distinctions
iPhone Distinctions

As an eReader:

  • International reach
  • Color display
  • Multi-function device
  • Built-in wireless
  • No external light required
  • App Store
enter idpf s epub
Enter IDPF’s EPUB
  • Standard format – users don’t want to care about formats (or DRM for that matter)
  • Proliferation of proprietary formats (and DRM) is bad for users, creates lock-in for vendors
  • Standard format eases a historical burden of conversion
e book alphabet soup
e-book Alphabet Soup

Formats

  • .LIT
  • Mobi
  • AZW
  • PDB
  • FB2
  • PDF
  • RTF
  • BBeB
  • EPUB

DRM

  • Microsoft Reader
  • Adobe Adept
  • eReader
  • Mobi
  • Apple FairPlay
  • DNL
  • many others
  • HTML
  • RB
  • CHM
  • OEB
slide13
Stanza iPhone & iPod Touch
  • 1.3 million users in 60 countries
            • Over 5 million books downloaded
  • 100,000+ books available (half free)
  • Translated to 12 languages
  • Featured in:
            • NY Times, Boston Globe
            • Time “Top 11 iPhone Applications”
            • Forbes
            • Wired “10 Most Awesome Apps”
            • iTunes Top Applications of 2008
primary usage
Primary Usage
  • In bed – 31%
  • Commuting on bus / train – 29%
  • In waiting areas – 13%
  • At home – 12%
  • At work – 5%
  • At a bar or café or lunch or dinner – 5%
  • On an airplane – 5%
  • 2 write-ins mentioned “In the bathroom”

Readers enjoy having access to their library at all times in their pocket or handbag

stanza fictionwise store
Stanza Fictionwise Store
  • 44,000 titles
  • 3x sales growth since December 3 launch
  • 5,000+ purchasers
  • Average title price point ~$10.25
  • Buying patterns representative of print sales
publisher promotions
Publisher Promotions
  • Pan Macmillan Excerpts – first to notice Stanza
  • Random House Free Titles
    • Back list of certain authors
    • Included excerpts for forthcoming books
  • Harlequin Free Titles
    • 4 free “Minis” in December
    • 15 free titles from each imprint in January
o reilly book application
O’Reilly Book Application
  • O’Reilly’s iPhone: The Missing Manual application
  • Currently at TOC discounted price of $4.99
lessons learned readers
Lessons Learned - Readers
  • Quality matters – Virtuous or Vicious Cycle
  • Every reader is unique – Give readers lots of options to customize their reading experience
  • Every device is unique – Things that work for one device may not work on another device
  • Listen to the user – they are happy to tell you what you are doing wrong
  • Give your readers a voice
lessons learned readers continued
Lessons Learned – Readers(continued)
  • Holistic view of the entire experience for a reader:
    • Not enough to focus just on one piece. Readers expect more.

Search / browse content

Find book

Pur-chase book

Down-load book

Start Reading

Available now via partners.

lessons learned readers continued1
Lessons Learned – Readers(continued)
  • Moving users from established behaviors takes time and patience
  • Friction = bad
  • All about the reader and the reading experience
  • Immersive reading
publisher lessons
Publisher Lessons
  • Calls to action need to be clear and contextual
  • KISS – make it simple for the user
  • Hold your technology providers, conversion houses, and distributors to a higher standard
  • Keep experimenting
  • Support EPUB
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