While I was preparing to write this blog I thought about one film that talks about problems publishers have. Do you remember the movie «You’ve Got Mail» starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan? If you don’t I remind you that the whole film is about how old small and very family shops are dying and big stores with lots of stuff that have no idea what books about are replacing them. Maybe this is obvious just for me but publishing has always had problem beginning from switching from limited number of books written on parchment and ending with eBooks that don’t cost a lot to publish (but not to produce).
So first thing we need to think about is making a book really free. Should the book cost nothing? When you create the book you need to think about profits you can make this includes the price you sell at and the expenses you have. Expenses include lots of fix costs such as distribution provides including Amazon and other infrastructure costs. Other expenses are connected with writing the book, it takes at least half a year to write a book and it means that the author bears alternative costs because he’s not working at the same time. From my perspective person is expecting to earn at least the same salary as at his previous job so it will be around 2000 pounds per month. All in all it is around 12 000 pounds. The same thing is important for journalism. You are expecting to earn salary as you publish your articles. So one of the ways to go through it is to get money from newspaper that will solve this problem on their own. For newspaper this problem is connected with the bigger costs as they need to think about the platform (probably the web site or app) to run their business on and there also should be marketing and IT team to support it.
This is how the cost of producing the book or article-newspaper counts but how can we actually receive this money. First of all there should be multichannel approach. It’s not just about blog, web site, app or any other channel. It is the right proportion of all of them. Let’s start from the books as they are easier. You can either choose Amazon or Apple store to sell your book for iPad, Kindle or any other device. However these platforms don’t promise you any money so you have to promote it somehow. I like the idea of letting people buy part of the book for cheaper price so if they get interested they can have the whole eBook or even go further and ask for offline copy. I want to make stress that this approach can work just in case you have done the right product oriented on specific audience that likes to read. Other way to find readers is to have blog where you can publish several parts of your book to get feedback from them and give the link to the store to buy it.
The same way of thinking should be used about the newspapers. You can have free articles that everyone can see. Than you can have trial version of paid one and several different memberships with the diamond one where you can have a real newspaper every day. The other thing people might not want to read newspaper everyday so they are ready to be asked everyday about an option to buy it (for instance for Kindle or iPad) and decide on their own. It might include also some reward option. Saying: «Thanks for buying our newspaper all this 6 days get Sunday edition for free».
The last thing through which you can get money is banner advertising or creating special content for companies. The last one is really interesting for both company who wants to advertise their product and publisher. In such team they can create some interesting product that will add value to both brands.
Anyway I am pretty sure there are a lot of opportunities for people to get into this industry right now. You just have to forget about the way it was done before and be open minded to innovations.