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December 30, 2010
eBook Trends That Will Change the Future of Publishing Sooner Rather Than Later (excluding, perhaps, WEXIS eBooks)
Philip Ruppel, president of McGraw-Hill Professional, identifies five eBook trends that will change the future of publishing:
- Enhanced E-Books Are Coming and Will Only Get Better
- The Device War Is Nearly Over
- The $9.99 E-Book Won’t Last Forever
- The Contextual Upsell Will be a Business Model to Watch
- Publishers Will Be More Important Than Ever
About the last listed trend Ruppel writes
Despite the hype around self-publishing via the web, publishing houses will play an even greater role in an e-book world. Commodity content is everywhere (and largely free), so high-quality vetted, edited content — which takes a staff of experts — will be worth a premium.
Well, I can think of one major legal publisher who needs to ratchet-up edited content by its "publisher's staff" if it wants to offer something more than very expensive commodity content in its current sales catalog of titles in print and electronic form.
Rupple also writes that "The e-book of the not-too-distant future will be much more than text. Interactivity has arrived and will change the nature of the e-book." Ah, well, not yet in the eBooks offered by traditional legal publishers. By and large TR Legal, LexisNexis and CCH law ebooks today are not much more than digital editions of their print versions. See, e.g., TR Legal eBooks Available in Kindle Editions: Run with the pack strategy trumps claim of being "ahead of the curve" and CCH Launches eBooks for Tax, Estates and Accounting Titles; Law Journal Press Launches Online Editions for Supplemented Treatises.
In the legal academy market, imagine Rupple's "contextual upsell" for law student eCasebooks and eTreatises where study aids can be sold by way of in-book app purchases. Of course, first sources cited in those eTextbooks have to be embedded with links to each publisher's online search service.
Publishers may be more important than ever in the law eBook market but "high-quality vetted, edited content" for enhanced eBooks in this market may be products by publishing houses whose names we have never heard of. Check out Rupple's post on Mashable for his commentary on eBook publishing trends. [JH]