Archive for the ‘Authors’ Category

How Digital Reading and Adaptive Learning Are Revolutionizing Education

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

A study conducted across the United States revealed that higher education institutions faced instructional and learning challenges—almost 25% of freshmen dropout of college in the first semester.

Full-time students today reportedly studied for an average of 14 hours per week, when compared to students in 1971, who studied for 24 hours per week.

The industry is observing a shift from just books to education. Publishers are looking at ways to offer content that enables highly adaptive learning experiences. The proportion of Americans reading ebooks in 2013 has shot up to 28% from 23% in 2012, paving way for the popularity of e-reading and e-learning.

Now, almost 50% of Americans have either a tablet or e-reader, up from 43% in 2013, and even more significantly from 2012.

With the rise in e-reader and tablet ownership, most users aged 18 and above use handheld devices for e-reading. This has proven to be beneficial for adaptive learning, with students carrying their iPads, tablets, and smartphones to classrooms.

Modern technology is transforming digital education beyond just online learning to a more personalized learning experience. It is expected that over the period 2013-2018, the global eLearning market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.23%.

Adaptive learning is the latest trend to gain momentum in 2013. The concept is moderated and delivered based on the student’s knowledge consumption capability. It includes specifically designed targeted study paths that help enhance students’ understanding of subjects.

This is an expanding area of research and development, which uses sophisticated algorithm technology to continually assess students’ confidence levels, knowledge, and skills. It works in the similar way as that of the traditional form of teaching. Adaptive learning technology offers smart study tools to engage and assist students in their learning outside of the classroom. Moreover, it helps them in understanding the areas where improvement is required. Easily downloadable, it empowers students to drive their learning by this intelligently advanced technology. The system also keeps a track of individual student progress and, based on their performance, periodic progress reports are generated. It also supports instructors’ teaching goals. Many institutions are incorporating this modern method of learning.

Having collaborated with a number of big names in the publishing industry, we at Impelsys have gained insights about various reading and buying behaviors of readers across the world. By putting our wealth of experience and knowledge to work, we have developed our breakthrough platforms – iPublishCentral and KnowledgePlatform. With our platform solutions, we are anticipating a convergence in learning. We will soon be at a stage where through our range of flexible solutions, we will be able to empower publishers and educational institutions to not just deliver books but also deliver an online learning experience.

iPublishCentral offers enriched eBooks with a robust Learning Plan Integration (LPI). Our latest innovation of the LPI with eBooks takes digital learning to the next level. These eBooks empower publishers to offer a great interactive learning experience to readers. This helps readers access content from eBooks to create their own learning plan.

With learners and instructors consuming content online, adaptive learning is emerging as an efficient, flexible, and modern alternative for enhanced learning.

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Frankfurt Book Fair 2013: Digital is Growing Up!

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

I have been attending the Frankfurt Book Fair for many years now. Many of you might agree with me when I say that there was a definite decline in the hustle-bustle during the first few days of the “Messe.” Although despite the calm, one could easily spot the influence of digital publishing everywhere. I believe, we are witnessing a maturity in the industry today – a growth in eBook revenues, widespread acceptance of digital business models and maturity in digital publishing processes. It’s now safe to say that digital is growing up!

PWC’s 2013 reports state that the size of the U.S. eBook market is at a $4.6 billion and the print market has stumbled down to $10.7 billion from last year’s $11.8 billion. This data reflect that there has been a rise in digital consumption and also that more publishers are investing in eBooks confidently. While print is still a large chunk of their business, publishers have implanted strong digital pursuits to meet the growing demands of the industry. The fact that the Fair was calmer than the previous years shows us that publishers are a lot more in control of their digital plans. Everyone has their own initiatives going.

The calm also reflects that the sharp rise in digital that took the industry by storm over the last four-to-five years, has reached a stage of maturity. Digital won’t stop growing but the growth will be a lot more paced now. The slowdown in the manic growth in eBooks along with visible revenue results from their digital initiatives has comforted publishers as they now understand the medium better and are a lot more prepared to tackle digital challenges. What was once a 1%-to-2% share of their total book business revenues has now elevated to 20%-to-30% and in a couple of years from now is expected to be a 50% revenue generator for publishers around the world. This reflects the widespread acceptance of digital as a “must have” business model complementing their book business.

There is a maturity in digital processes as well. What publishers are looking at right now is how to bridge the gap and draw a perfect balance of both – print and digital business models. It’s important for to find solutions that can marry the two in a beneficial, complimenting manner. Within the digital business itself, publishers can open up multiple avenues to best suit their specific requirements. We have been working with some of the biggest publishers in the world and have witnessed the sequential change in their wish-list; starting from doing something ‘digital’ to catering to specific target audiences (retail/institutional) to working with us on innovative ways of promoting their online content and to making their content rich, reachable and remarkable (enhanced eBooks for devices).

All in all, the Impelsys team had a great time at the Fair and we noticed a reduction in digital anxiousness and an evident rise in digital acceptance. We were happy to be recognized as thought leaders and we — along with our customers — are very excited to push forward in connecting with our consumers through content digitally.

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App it!

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

The modern era of mobile Apps is just a few years old but their usage continues to grow at a phenomenal pace. With the boom in eBook technology and increase in the number of mobile devices sold worldwide, more and more readers are consuming content online.  The craze for new age devices like tablets, eBook Readers and hand-held devices has shot up. It has become important for publishers to constantly track the reader behavior and hunt the best ways to reach the target audience for their eBooks. Amidst the various options available in the Mobile market today, publishers have to make a wise choice for making their assets mobile.

eBooks industry is steadily embracing the digital growth and has become one of the dominating categories in the App store market. As more readers are accessing content online, it is becoming increasingly important for publishers to offer their content on variety of platforms. It should not be of surprise, that the publishers are turning to Apps as a possible product option for books moving a step forward. This has led to another movement towards enhanced books, particularly as Apps for hand-held devices including smartphones, iOS & Android devices and other tablets.

Creating and delivering books for devices is an enormous challenge, and different publishers handle aspects differently. Along with the possibility of making the content easily accessible online, the Apps are also being used to make the content rich and engaging. Not only this, the interactivity included in the Apps moves the narrative along in a meaningful manner.

An eBookStore as an App gives publishers the power to make titles available to their readers as an individual App available on the App stores (iTunes, Google Play etc.). With the eBookStore App, publishers can host a branded bookstore on hand-held devices. These branded Apps will be listed by publishers for free download from the App stores. Through the App solution, readers can now download and read their favorite titles on the hand-held devices. The Apps also empower publishers to offer much more enhanced and interactive eBook content to the end users.

Perhaps some the interesting features that make eBookStore as an App actually exciting are:

·It supports an entire catalog of eBooks made available by the publisher

·It helps the publisher to establish direct relationships with the readers

·Enables customization, where the publisher can display their logo and branding colors and choose the functionality that is required in an App

iPublishCentral contributes actively to the iOS and Android based smartphones through cutting-edge Apps for mobile devices. Through our continuous efforts to provide the best-in-class services to our customers, we strive to keep our offerings updated and at par with the changing market dynamics. iPublishCentral offers mobile Apps to publishers to have a fully-fledged mobile strategy, and choose to either offer stand-alone Apps for Android devices, for single titles or an entire collection/catalog of eBooks. We have developed more than hundreds of customized and unique App solutions for many of the leading publishers across the globe. Some of the renowned retail sites that we support are – AAP eBooks, HIMSS eBooks, Thieme Bookshelf, Sesame Street, AAOS eBooks, Artiste Network etc.

Along with facilitating eBookstore as an App, we also offer individual books as an App for Android devices. Having an eBook as an App can help you feature the titles/bestsellers as individual branded Apps and gain the advantage of using a customizable framework to quickly create individual title Apps. It also helps you understand your customers better through opt-in programs that help you establish direct relationships with your readers and enable you to collect anonymous usage statistics. It also helps you get customization, where you can display your logo and branding colors and choose the functionality that you require in your App. The access to administration back-end also helps to manage your App better.

Publishers all over the world are seeing the future of Apps and the value of having an App for their eBookstore, increasing their brand visibility as well as their reach to the end users.  We understand the growing concern among publishers to gear up quickly to meet the mobile content demands of customers. We can easily help you setup your branded App and help you connect with your readers directly. If you haven’t started with your Apps yet, do connect with us at marketing at ipublishcentral dot com. We would like to learn about your business and explore with you how a custom mobile App can help you stay ahead of the curve, and serve your readers better.

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ePub3 - Software masquerading as books

Monday, April 1st, 2013

The world of publishing is evolving at a rapid pace. Traditional forms are combining with the latest innovative forms to create multi-channel content in order to meet the ever-changing demands of the readers. There has been a phenomenal growth in digital publishing in the last two years. The digital revolution has made the availability of content to much more number of readers as compared to the print books.

Amidst of the eBook revolution, ePub came across as one of the most popular and promising web standard for the publishing sector. ePub3, which is the latest format, has created exciting new opportunities for publishers to offer rich, enhanced and interactive content to the readers. The ePub3 specification includes multiple new features that enable publishers to produce and distribute content with much enhanced accessibility and usability. Thus, with the help of this format, publishers can now reach a wider audience.

The ePub3 with HTML5 support provides rich media experience & interactivity, layout enhancements, global language support and accessibility improvements.  So with the help of ePub3, we will now get to see many interactive and enhanced features like video & audio embedding, metadata, linking, navigation, multimedia, font, scripting, text to speech, dynamic layouts, etc., in an eBook. ePub3 will enable a wider range in publishing creativity for - seamless delivery of content across multiple devices, improved flexibility for specialized content and complex layouts and a richer, enhanced reading experience at an affordable price.

There has been a lot of buzz about ePub3 for the last one year. But how to go about including ePub3 features in eBooks is the key question for many of the publishers. We at iPublishCentral have always been attentive to the growing needs of publishers. iPublishCentral is all ready to help publishers deliver rich, interactive learning experiences with the exciting new format – ePub3. There has been much progress in the adoption of eBooks landscape in the last few months. We hope that the upcoming months will see a widespread adoption of the ePub3 format by the publishing industry.

For more details on how we can help you deliver enhanced and interactive eBooks in ePub3, please write to us at marketing at ipublishcentral dot com.

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Pinteresting, that!

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Social media is the global local market. It is a revolution that has directly (and positively) affected individuals, brands and causes across the world. Who could foresee a decade ago that social platforms will one day be a critical part of marketing plans? And clearly, the publishing industry is not far behind with the concept of ‘communities’ now becoming digital.

The Publisher Marketing team at Impelsys works with publishers to promote (aggregate sales) of their eBooks. The team is always on its toes when it comes to adopting social technology to promote content of our publisher partners. This design has evolved over the years and now we are leading the eBook retail space.

The team has been working with publishers to understand their business, readers and sales cycles better, to identify lucrative marketing opportunities. The idea is to enable the Trade, K-12, Societies and Associations, Scientific, Technical and Medical publishers promote and deliver their content through viral marketing.

The most recent social platform that is witness early adoption is, Pinterest. Retailers are using their pinboards to drive traffic, others are using it to drive higher revenues per click, marketers are using it to create buzz for their new launches and lastly publishers are seeing it drive eyeballs. The Publisher Marketing team at Impelsys has engaged themselves in promoting publisher eBooks on Pinterest. You “pin” images of a particular title and share them with fellow Pinterest members. They in turn can “repin” those images and share them based on tier interest. Based on the fundamental human pattern of like and share, Pinterest provides discoverability on particular interests that you are looking for.

The team has been successfully leveraged Pinterest and have helped some of our publisher partners increase their eBook sales exponentially. These eBooks are hosted on eBookstores that are built on the iPublishCentral platform.

Large societies like Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, American Academy of Pediatrics have been able to capture the attention of masses on Pinterest which has boosted their eBook sales and increased traction to their respective portals.

What is the reason for the traction? The whole effort of searching content or a title drills down to finding them on your space of interest at Pinterest rather than just forming social connections from other traditional social site channels.

This article was featured in the iPublishCentral Newsletter. To subscribe to our newsletters, write to us at marketing@impelsys.com

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To DRM or Not to?

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Two recent announcements one by J. K. Rowling and other by Tor/Forge has put Digital Rights Management (DRM) back on the discussion table in the publishing world. What is interesting is that two completely different types of “publishers” have taken the same decision – sell their eBooks DRM-free. J. K. Rowling represents the new breed of “self-publishers”, authors who want to sell directly to their readers. Tor/Forge books is a science fiction/fantasy imprint of Macmillan, a big six publisher.

While there may be many underlying reasons for the decision, it addresses the key concerns of legitimate buyers on “fair use”. Consumption of eBooks over various devices (especially mobile devices) like tablets, smartphones and dedicated e-reader is increasing. Readers typically own multiple devices (not necessarily from the same manufacturer) and want to be able to consume the eBook on a device of their choice. Additionally, readers who buy new devices will want to access their previously purchased eBooks on these new devices.

Other publishers will closely watch the “success” of these moves in terms of impact on revenues and piracy before deciding to go DRM-free.

One of the key pain areas that we have heard from publishers who use industry standard DMR solutions is the costs associated with DRM. This is an acute problem for publishers who sell to the institutional market (like schools, public libraries) as there is a cost associated with each “fulfilment”. Large publishers are able to negotiate discounted fees, but this is not the case with smaller publishers. Over time these costs can add up and turn out to be prohibitive. Will such publishers be tempted to go DRM free? What if they are offered a DRM solution that does not have charges associated with each fulfilment?

A DRM free world is likely to throw up several interesting opportunities. For example, readers are likely to migrate from using reading applications/apps provided by the publisher to third party reading apps that provide a better reading experience. These reading apps are also likely to support a variety of file formats like (PDF, EPUB, MOBI). (Like video players that support a variety of formats today). Additionally, readers will want reading apps provided by publishers to support exporting of notes.

The team at iPublishCentral tries to track emerging trends in the industry and align the iPublishCentral roadmap to help publishers deal with these emerging trends. Do you have any thoughts on the impact of DRM-free eBook sales? Please share your thoughts with us - feedback at ipublishcentral dot com or pandith.jp at impelsys dot com.

This article was featured in the iPublishCentral Newsletter. To subscribe to our newsletters, write to us at marketing@impelsys.com

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eBook Marketing in a Long Tail World

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

More than a million ebooks are expected to be published in 2012. This number is it set to grow exponentially. This huge increase in the number of ebooks published, poses a huge challenge for publishers. How can publishers gain the attention of their audiences in a crowd of choices and alternatives? How can publishers market their ebooks in a cost effective manner? What tools can publishers leverage to market their titles even has their marketing budgets shrinks?

Publishers on iPublishCentral who sell directly to end customers are provided with a number of tools to market their ebooks. An overview of all the marketing tools available on iPublishCentral is provided below:

Widget: It is equivalent to placing a banner advertisement on website or blog. It is possible to generate a widget for each title on iPublishCentral. This widget can then be placed on other blogs and websites to provide the target audience with information about the book.

The widget can be configured to provide links to sample content, table of contents, and links for the buying the ebook. To see a sample widget that has been posted by the author on a blog for the ebook – click here

ViewInside: Enables a prospective buyer to browse through an ebook before it is purchased. ViewInside can be generated for each title on iPublishCentral. The publisher can control which pages the potential buyer can read. To see a sample ViewInside created by one of the publishers on iPublishCentral – click here

Access Code: Enables a publisher to provide access to a specific title without buying the title on iPublishCentral. The publisher can generate access codes with specific built in controls for access on redemption – can specify duration for which title can be accessed after redemption, can control number of times an access code can be redeemed, can restrict redemption to a specific registered user. Access codes can be used for a variety of purposes like - providing access to a professor so that it can be adopted as a textbook for a class/course, providing access to an electronic copy of the book when a print book is sold.

Discount Coupons: Publishers can generate discount coupons to run a variety of marketing campaigns. Discount coupons of various types can be generated – provide discounts only when value of ebooks purchased is above a particular value (Example more than hundred dollars), provide discounts when number of ebooks purchased is above a specific number (Example more than five ebooks), or provide discounts on every purchase. Discounts can either be set at a fixed dollar value (Example ten dollars) or as a percentage of the total cart value (Example five percent)

Free ebooks: Publishers can also mark an ebook as free to attract the attention of a specific target market. Publisher can either make it mandatory for readers to register on the portal before reading the book or make it a frictionless experience by eliminating the registration process.

The team at iPublishCentral recognizes the critical role that marketing tools will play in the years ahead and continue to provide additional tools. Do you have any thoughts or ideas on additional marketing tools that can be incorporated iPublishCentral? Please share your thoughts and ideas with us - feedback at ipublishcentral dot com or pandith.jp at impelsys dot com.

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Multi Format Support on iPublishCentral

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012!

One of the key themes for updates to iPublishCentral in 2011 was support for reading of eBooks on a variety of devices like the iPad, iPhone, Android tablets, and Android smartphones. Smaller screen sizes on these devices makes it very difficult to read “fixed-format” content (like PDF) that is intended for larger screen resolutions. The solution to this problem is to provide content in formats like EPUB that re-flows or automatically adapts to fit the display resolution of the device on which it is being read. As consumption of eBooks on mobile devices is increasing, it is imperative for publishers to make their content available in a variety of formats so that their customers can read on a device that they prefer.

iPublishCentral now makes it possible to associate multiple file formats with an eBook. An eBook on iPublishCentral can be made available for sale in PDF, EPUB, and mobi file formats. Publisher can configure an appropriate file format to be delivered based on the device on which it will be read.

For example, iPublishCentral can be configured to deliver the eBook in EPUB file format when the eBook is accessed from an iPad and deliver the eBook in PDF file format when it is being accessed from a laptop or a computer. Multi format support also ensures that there is a single listing of the product on the end user portal.

Publishers are also provided the flexibility of pricing the different file formats either independently or as a bundle. For example, a publisher can decide to price a title at $10 for reading on the iPhone, iPad, and computers/laptops by making the PDF and EPUB file formats available for that price. Alternatively, the publisher can price the same title at $5 for reading on the computer/laptop by only providing the PDF format of the title and $7 for reading on the iPhone and iPad by only providing the EPUB format of the title.

In order to enable customers to read eBooks after purchase, iPublishCentral provides dedicated apps for reading on the computer/laptops, iPad, iPhone and Android smartphones, and Android tablets. iPublishCentral will continue to support new and emerging trends to stay relevant to the needs of publishers and end users.

Please share your thoughts on trends that will become important in future ipublishcentral dot com or pandith.jp at impelsys dot com

This article was featured in the iPublishCentral Newsletter. To subscribe to our newsletters, write to us at marketing@impelsys.com

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Apple Sets its Sights on the eTextbook Market

Friday, January 20th, 2012

On January 19th, Apple set off shockwaves in the educational publishing world when it unveiled its new iBooks 2 software platform. The latest version of iBooks made headlines because it represents Apple’s initial foray into the world of eTextbooks.

Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, made the company’s ambitions crystal clear during his remarks at the Guggenheim Museum in New York: “We want to reinvent the textbook,” said Schiller. He explained that all eTextbooks sold through the new iPad app are priced at $14.99 or less, a huge contrast to the high-priced paper books that currently fill college bookstores.

Apple’s announcement of their entry into the eTextbook market – in which they are initially partnering with leading publishers Pearson, McGraw Hill and Houghton Mifflin – has created a wave of speculation as to what it means for everyone involved in the textbook market. What is clear is that it will create a surge in the adoption of the iPad, which will put it further ahead of its rivals in the tablet space. More importantly, Apple’s move has raised the bar by addressing users directly with the creation of a highly rich and interactive reading experience at a low price point.

Just as the emergence of the Kindle accelerated the adoption of eBooks for the trade publishing market, we see this initiative as having a massive positive impact on the adoption of eTextbooks within the student community. Publishers now have a huge opportunity to enhance their content and optimize their delivery to the iPad, thereby tapping into the fastest growing market in 2012.

We anticipate that there will be a surge in demand by publishers to create rich textbooks in the iBookstore and to scale production cost-effectively. We also believe that publishers who create iBooks 2 will want the same functionality across all other mobile devices. Moreover, Apple’s announcement will create another significant channel for eBook sales. Publishers should look to be present in all possible sales channels and continue to build direct relationships with their end users by delivering their eBooks through their own platforms – ideally, platforms that are mobile device agnostic.

In response to this rapidly emerging growth opportunity for publishers, we will soon be announcing a comprehensive service offering for publishers who are seeking to leverage this additional channel on the iBookstore. We believe that our 10 years of experience building eTextbooks and related multimedia applications for book publishers ideally position Impelsys to support iBooks authors and publishers so they can realize the full potential of this new software.

This is an extremely significant initiative by Apple and represents a tremendous opportunity for publishers globally. For more information on our thoughts regarding iBooks 2, our services and how we can help you, please email me at sshariff@impelsys.com.

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Chapter Sale

Monday, September 19th, 2011

The future of eBooks is brimming with possibilities and promises. Nothing short of a revolution is happening in the domain of eBooks. Increased interactivity, e-reading clubs—authors, publishers and technology companies are pushing the frontiers and coming up with new ideas every day.

Here is a link that summarizes some of these trends

We live in a world that offers too many choices and too little time. Quick and easy access to relevant and accurate information in the most economical way is what discerning customers look for. They do not have the time or inclination to search for the proverbial needle in a haystack.

Then why buy an entire book, when you can buy just the relevant chapters in the book?

Last weekend, I was reading a book on lateral thinking. After progressing through the first four chapters of the book, I came to a chapter on information processing. It seemed like an area that I already had some knowledge about. Skipping the chapter, I read the rest of the book.

It occurred to me that I should have not paid for that chapter since I did not need it. Just to confirm my hypothesis, I went back and read the chapter that I had skipped earlier. It had information about what I already knew, although the chapter also contained the author’s perspective and some new info. Also, the author had made a few references about this chapter elsewhere in the book.

So does buying just certain parts or chapters of a book make sense? From a cost perspective, the decision is clear. Why pay for something that you do not need.

Another advantage is the time you save by arriving where you want to be without having to cut through the clutter. Why oppress yourself by spending time on information irrelevant to you. Additionally, there is no information overload. But, as always is the case, there are two sides to this coin too. The main disadvantage to buying just the parts and not the whole is the potential risk of not completely understanding the concept discussed in the book. If the author is building his arguments or explaining his concept in the chapters you chose to skip, there is the danger of misinterpretation and misconception.

Fortunately, there are ways to address and overcome this problem. When authors realize that readers want buy chapters of the book, instead of the entire book, they would design each chapter as an independent self-contained entity. Detailed previews of chapters—and not just the preview of the whole book—would give customers an idea of what they want to buy or not.

With chapter sale, we would be embracing the internet experience of searching for the most pertinent info and finding related info from the links that the chapter contains.

At this point, I am not sure how this trend will evolve, but I do feel that chapter sale would be a great option that all textbook buyers would like to have.

Please email your thoughts and suggestions to info@ipublishcentral.com

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