Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Impelsys exhibits at the BookExpo America 2014

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Impelsys has been a part of BEA for many years now. What is North America’s largest publishing event is a key networking platform for us where we also showcase our solutions.

BEA’s focus this year was new titles published by major trade publishers such as HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and McGraw-Hill. BEA also launched BookCon, an event for readers and the general public to meet prominent authors and celebrities and have them autograph a copy of their books. BookCon, modeled after the annual ComicCon meeting held in Las Vegas for comic books and graphic novels, will be a permanent part of BEA in the coming years. The event, attended by over 11,000 publishers was a great success.

Impelsys‘ had three busy days filled with demos and meetings. We showcased our platform solutions – iPublishCentral and KnowledgePlatform – to highlight our capabilities to build successful digital strategies for any kind of content. We came across many publishers with digital concerns and queries. While some publishers were looking to understand their end-users’ buying patterns through richer predictive analytics, a few others showed curiosity in leveraging EPUB3 to improve reader/member engagement. On the whole, everyone wanted to find out more about seamless content distribution, multi-platform delivery and content marketing.

The industry has evolved to a huge extent since the advent of eBooks many years ago. The questions now are specific, the challenges are complex and the decision making is very well thought-out. BEA reflected the digital maturity that has occurred in the publishing industry and it was a pleasure to observe that technological advancement is no longer a threat but a strategic part of annual business plans.

All in all, as always, BEA 2014 was an exciting experience and a successful event for us and we hope it was the same for you too!

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Helping Associations and Society Publishers Optimize their Digital Assets

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Helping Associations and Society Publishers Optimize their Digital Assets

The boom in e-books is undeniable. According to PWC, consumer and educational e-books will account for 22% of all books sold globally, increasing from 9% in 2012. Publishers and learning organizations are adapting to the growing needs of their e-book patrons.

As a special group, association and society publishers are using e-books to expand services to their professional members. What trends do we see in this market?  Three come to mind:

1. Integration of learning management systems with content management systems.  This development is particularly important for organizations that currently provide certification or credentialing for professionals, or that want to explore the emerging interface between instructional systems and e-content.

Many association and society publishers are successfully adapting to this dynamic shift by incorporating innovative technology. Publishers can build a portal based on their educational missions. This can help them easily manage the complex content and online learning requirements of their members. Through the portal, patrons can also customize pages based on their content interests at a chapter or title level, personalize their content by putting together content from different books and journals, and even take tests online.

2. Continued experimentation with different business models, especially e-book subscription models that allow members to access resources for one annual subscription price. There are several platforms that can be used to create branded e-bookstores to help publishers warehouse, deliver, distribute, market, and sell their e-books to readers. A few platforms also sell e-content directly to institutes, libraries, hospitals, and clinics, further adding to the association’s non-dues revenue.

3. Greater interest in rich content for enhanced presentations, interactivity, and greater functionality, especially in areas of science with complex graphical and mathematical requirements. E-books with rich visual media, enhanced TOCs, and learning paths offer a highly effective, enhanced learning experience with reduced cognitive strain. Rich content, at the same time, ensures higher degrees of content engagement. Coupled with analytics, these features can help publishers shape their marketing decisions and improve digital content profitability.

It is important for association and society publishers to find the right technology partner who can offer solutions to leverage technology in their content. Over the years, Impelsys has accumulated rich experience and immense domain expertise to effectively solve the complex content requirements of publishers. iPublishCentral, our SaaS-based e-book delivery infrastructure platform and KnowledgePlatform, our customized content portal solution - are testimony to the fact that our solutions are aptly poised to cater to the dynamic technological advancements and changing reading behaviors.

This blog was featured in Digital Book World:

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The Return of the Book Club

Monday, July 1st, 2013

There was a time in our industry when many of the major book publishers built direct relationships with their readers by creating “book clubs” in which they would send one book per month to their subscribers. This was an effective business practice that helped publishers increase sales, build awareness of their brand and cultivate loyalty among a base of readers.

Those were the days before retail chains and the readers depended on the big city stores. Publishers took it as an opportunity for promoting their brand and increasing sales. They recommended and promoted the most famous and noteworthy books in any category. The most important advantage that the book clubs could offer to their members was convenience.

With the rise of large book retail chains, such as Barnes & Noble and Borders, those readers suddenly had easy access to a large inventory of books within short driving distances. They discovered they could buy books any time they wanted, often for a discounted price, and publisher book clubs went on the decline.

There is good news for publishers: Thanks to the internet, with the rise in ebook consumption every year, publishers now have the opportunity to restore the old-fashioned book clubs.

Some forward-thinking publishers are leveraging the power of email marketing and social media to build interest among their readers in joining an “ebook club” in which customers gain access to a collection of ebooks for a monthly subscription. At Impelsys, we work with some consumer-facing publishers who charge as little as $3.99 per month for subscriptions to their ebook clubs and with some professional-facing publishers who charge as much as $19.99 per month.

Ebook clubs are gaining in popularity for three simple reasons:

• They deliver great value to the end user, by having simple online access to a library of books for a low monthly price
• They protect publishers from online retail competition, especially from the large sites that are able to extend deep discounts, by providing ongoing sales revenues and by creating a different online product in the form of a subscription.
• They help publishers build direct reader relationships so they can engage on a deeper level with their customers and strengthen their brand loyalty.

We’ve observed that the key to a successful ebook club depends on a range of factors including:

• Captured market: Having a captured market targeting a genre of readers. For example book clubs within specific content like romance, cooking, pediatrics, medicine etc. A publisher having content and loyal customers in a targeted market could create a successful ebook club. For example one of our customers, F+W Media (parent to Digital Book World) successfully built seven ebook clubs based on its strengths in categories like romance, arts and crafts, guns, writing and design, markets where it has a significant position.

An example of an F+W ebook club, Crimson Romance:

impelsys crimson romance

• Brand value: A publisher with a strong and loyal brand can build ebook clubs. For example, we’ve partnered with Sesame Workshop to build a successful ebook club for its globally renowned Sesame Street brand, which is a powerhouse in children’s publishing.

Sesame Street ebook club:

impelsys sesame

• Unique Content: Publishers that have unique or must have content in targeted areas of reader interest can turn this value proposition into a subscription based ebook club.

We have observed that the ebook clubs have enabled publishers to create direct relationships with their readers and generate revenues with monthly auto-renewals on their subscriptions.

The data below shows how one of our ebook clubs retained its customers over a six-month period:

Customer Retention Chart

Book clubs are a smart business strategy for publishers today, just as they were in their heyday. The rise of ebooks offers an excellent opportunity to put this strategy to work once again, driving book sales, enhancing brand awareness and building direct relationships with their readers.

This blog was featured in Digital Book World.

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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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Digital Learning Paths

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Over the years, technology has played a key role in the education scenario and has changed the way students learn. From computers to eBooks, education has drastically advanced over the years. With the integration of current technologies into the curriculum, classrooms are becoming more technologically involved than ever before. The adoption of eBooks over traditional print books is growing consistently. Perhaps the greatest impact of eBooks is the change in perspective. And for some time now, eBooks have been presumed as the future of education. The reasons have always been pretty apparent - they are a lot easier to carry around and can be obtained immediately.

However, the introduction of enhanced eBooks has made the process of learning and knowledge sharing a more interactive and delightful experience. There has been a shift in the consumption patterns of the students and learning has taken a more personalized form. Learning Plans are the latest innovation in the field of personalized learning to provide both instructors and students with an engaging and adaptable digital platform for learning. It is intended to increase learning efficiency and teaching effectiveness.
Since inception, iPublishCentral has undergone frequent, scheduled upgrades and enhancements. As part of our continuous innovation we have introduced iPublishCentral 4.2 that has the ability to deliver the next generation of enhanced eBooks on the iPad. The enhanced eBooks will be integrated with robust Learning Paths to offer an enriched learning experience.

The enhanced eBooks will empower publishers to offer a great interactive learning experience to its readers as they can now access content from the eBooks and create their own Learning Paths at the same time using their iPad. Learning Paths (LP) refer to an effective learning methodology that is intended to equip students with an easy and convenient way to organize content from different sources and create a content sequence that makes learning while reading easy for them. For instance if a student is preparing for exams, it enables them to select the important topics from the eBook, take notes from a lecture and add it as part of the study material for next exam, it also enables students to ask the teacher to mark important topics and paragraphs for a specific exam/certification, they can also share such study material with their classmates and friends.
In a nutshell, Learning Paths provide highly interactive learning experience to the students. Being equipped with detailed features, it enables student to:

  • add a selection (of text) from a textbook, a topic, or a chapter itself to a LP
  • add media and ancillary from the book to a LP
  • add custom notes, images, video, web link to a LP
  • edit the order of contents inside a LP
  • add a Table of Content for a LP
  • share a LP with anyone

Well, the scope of Learning Paths is significant for publishers, authors as well as end users and it will be interesting to watch how it is adopted. The team at iPublishCentral is excited and geared up to help publishers incorporate this interesting emerging trend. We look forward to the changes this will unravel over the next few months.

Please email your thoughts and suggestions to

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Big Data Analytics for Publishers

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Electronic publishing industry is waking up to the possibilities of Big Data Analytics. By definition, Big Data Analytics means mining and analysis of data sources and massive volumes of data to discover user patterns, correlations, emerging trends, and resultant revenue impact. Businesses worldwide have begun to employ such valuable pieces of information to better understand market dynamics and user preferences in order to make informed decisions that have a direct impact on the bottom line.

As the popularity and usage of eBooks soar, Big Data Analytics offers a huge opportunity for eBook publishers to analyze end user consumption patterns and maximize sales.

Here are a few examples of user data that eBook publishers can gather from exploring their content repositories:

  • Understand sales patterns
  • Gather information about the users’ geographical location and demographics such as gender, age, profession
  • Find out how time/ month/ holidays/ seasons effect the sales of certain eBooks
  • Understand the buying patterns and correlations
  • Discover particulars such as what pages of a book is read most/least, who is the favorite/ least favorite author in an anthology, where in the book does users spend the most amount of time, do people re-read the books
  • Understand the sales trends in an author’s collection such as has a buyer purchased multiple books by the same author and so on and so forth.

Obviously, unstructured data as such is not useful. What matters is how you interpret the data intelligently and use the analysis to gain a comprehensive perception and competitive edge.

Inferences derived by analyzing data can be used to:

  • Decide on marketing strategies
  • Provide recommendations to readers/buyers
  • Help you give suggestions and guidance to authors in order to improve the quality of the book
  • Provide titles that are more relevant and in demand with your target audience
  • Vary pricing and determine discount programs
  • Choose the best time/season and location to launch eBooks
  • Help you decide what languages the content be made available
  • Plan book tours and other promotional activities.

Consider a scenario where a children’s eBook publisher wants to launch a three-day marketing campaign for promoting a new eBook. Would it be better to let the campaign run from Monday through Wednesday or should the campaign run over the weekend? Analysis of buying patterns from the online store could indicate that most parents buy books for children on Saturdays and Sundays. This information would help make a better choice on when to run the campaign.

In the world of online content, time seems to travel faster and data tends to get outdated quicker. Therefore, gathering feedback about your eBook and reacting swiftly to fast-emerging trends is crucial.

Challenges of Data Analytics

Gathering adequate amount of reliable data for analytics systems is vital in providing statistically accurate predictions. Predictions made based on small data sets can cause more damage than benefits.

The other important aspect to consider is the buyers’/users’ confidentiality. It is not appropriate to gather information about users without their permission. A number of legislations have been passed to protect individual privacy on the internet and regulate the kind of information that can be collected from internet users.

Data Analytics at iPublishCentral

Publishers that use iPublishCentral as their eBook delivery platform have already begun to benefit in manifold ways from data analytics. For example, data about buying and reading patterns was used to provide suggestions in grouping books into collections. These collections have been well received and have contributed to increased retail revenue.


Well, we haven’t gotten to providing accurate alternative endings to eBooks based on personality types or modify the content of eBooks centered on learning habits of individuals. However, Big Data Analytics can provide powerful and advantageous business insights that can be used to improve quality, ease usage, and increase popularity of eBooks and revenue.

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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

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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 at impelsys dot com.

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

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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 at impelsys dot com.

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