I’m Alexandra Kirsch, head of interactive at MEDIA CONNECT. Long before the rise of the eBook, the publishing industry faced the challenge of needing to adapt to an increasingly digital pool of consumers. I’ve been involved with the industry for more than five years, and while the settings have changed—from a university press to a small independent trade publisher, and now, to a book publicity division of a larger PR firm in midtown Manhattan—the challenges have remained a constant.
As to be expected, statistics show that eBooks are more popular now than ever. MEDIA CONNECT is witnessing this first-hand in our work with Chicago-based Tribune Media Services (TMS). We had the pleasure of working with TMS on the launch of their eBook imprint last year with two titles by pet columnist and radio host Steve Dale. Both titles (Good Cat! and Good Dog!) featured interactive versions complete with helpful videos, as well as standard editions.
Forwarded by animal lover Betty White, and full of helpful behavioral information about dogs and cats, the TMS eBooks competed well against similar titles across the eBook marketplace and marked a strong beginning to TMS’s entry into the world of downloadable content.
Our work with eBooks is not restricted to our online services. In fact, many of the radio and TV producers with whom we book authors regularly have responded favorably to the idea of receiving an eBook versus printed content. Naturally, across media (including with bloggers), there are requests for hardcopies, but they’re few and far between these days.
In addition to Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble making eBook access quick and user-friendly, platforms like Netgalley make the process of sending advanced copies equally as painless.
There’s still plenty of debate in the world of eBooks—including pricing, spelling (e-book? eBook? E-Book? ebook?), and platforms—but it’s safe to say that at the rate with which eBooks have evolved and continue to gain popularity, they’re here to stay.