2011 E-Book Basics

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Ebooks are poised to grow from a niche product to utter ubiquity, and must become an everyday part of a university press’s publishing process. But the landscape continues to shift rapidly between identifiers and formats, platforms and channels, and myriad complications and considerations along the way. To help navigate, panelists will examine the life of an e-book from multiple perspectives—from contract to rights and permissions to marketing and consumer/institutional sales to post-mortem analysis.



Chair: Emily Arkin, Editor for Digital Publication Development, Harvard University Press

Panelists: Claire Lewis Evans, Editor for Digital and Electronic Publishing, University of Alabama Press; Dean Blobaum, Electronic Marketing Manager, University of Chicago Press; John Hussey, Marketing and Sales Director, University of Kentucky Press


Introduction, Paraphrased

Welcome to Ebook Basics. Our initial thought for how to structure this panel was to lay out the Life of an Ebook in a linear fashion, mapping each stage in the ebook process to a department in the organization. [see simple, linear ebook process in handout]

But we quickly discovered that--due to the new and ever-changing nature of ebooks--each University Press has an idiosyncratic process, the organizational structure around ebooks varies greatly, and what is true this week may not be true next. [see complex, nonlinear ebook process in handout]

We could easily follow any one of a number of these ebook issues—for instance the debate about how many ISBNs or other identifiers to assign an ebook—down a rabbit hole that would prevent us from covering the “Basics” in a broad sense.

So to the extent that we’re able, we’re starting at the beginning of the process and touching on what we feel are some of the most important aspects of ebooks, from rights and permissions to metadata and formats to sales and marketing. The Glossary handout can help expand on the terms and, in addition to a couple of Roundtable Questions, we will leave time to take questions at the end.

  • Claire Evans, Editor for Digital and Electronic Publishing at University of Alabama Press, will discuss organizational issues, and contracts, rights, and permissions--without which ebooks can’t get off the ground.
  • John Hussey, Marketing and Sales Director at University of Kentucky, has seen a dramatic uptick in their ebook sales, and can speak to sales into different channels, metadata, etc.
  • Dean Blobaum, Electronic Marketing Manager at the University of Chicago Press, will cover Direct-to -Consumer, pricing including their Free E-book of the Month Marketing program, and analysis.


Presentation Files

Introduction & Handout

Read the Inside Higher Ed: "The E-Reader Effect" with panelist John Hussey.


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