“The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood” has been a best seller for more than month, selling nearly 100,000 copies. But how many copies will it sell as a $16.99 enhanced e-book complete with 30 minutes of video? The eight videos include two color stick-figure representations of the late Mr. Mantle’s swing as a left-handed batter and a right-handed batter. A traditional e-book edition has sold more than 9,000 copies.
With tablet and e-reader sales continuing to mount, publishers are facing a conundrum: How much will consumers pay for digital texts enhanced with videos, author interviews, and in some cases archival material?
“When both digital editions are available, and consumers are given the choice, in half the cases they’ll pay more for extra content,” said Ana Maria Allessi, publisher of HarperMedia.
“We sold more than 4 million physical books with CDs, so we know that there is an interest in meshing text with audio and video,” said Dominique Raccah, publisher and owner of Sourcebooks Inc.
Although definitions vary, a book app usually features rich media and involves interactivity on the part of the consumer, but may not have the entire text. An enhanced e-book usually includes the entire text plus audio, video and other additional content, and may be priced higher than the app.
The number of enhanced e-books today for sale is very small; HarperCollins, for example, has produced 11 enhanced books since April but boasts a digital library of 8,400 titles in the U.S. and 14,000 globally.
Is your company exploring book apps and enhanced e-books as new revenue sources?