Posts Tagged ‘NetGalley’

One of the biggest challenges for publishers is tapping into the web’s inexpensive viral marketing while preventing the loss of sales and content due to theft. Oh, is that word too harsh? Theft? I bring that up because on one side of the coin, publishers don’t want to make their valued readers feel like potential criminals. But, on the other side of the coin, publishers are entrusted with authors’ content and don’t want it to lose potential profits either while sending out ARCs for review.

Let’s look at airport security for a second. It’s analogous. Airlines’ passengers, the very people who they rely on for business are treated much like criminals when poked and prodded through airport security.

Readers, who publishers rely on for reviews and buzz, may feel just as hassled and put out as airline passengers when they receive digitally rights managed (DRM) galleys. First, they have to figure out the type of DRM galley they’ve been sent. Maybe they have a Sony Reader but the DRM galley they received only works on Kindles. Or, they’re sick of reading things on their computer but the DRM galley can only be read on their computer and is not downloadable to their Kindle.

One way to avoid this is to survey your readers. Know your audience, right? Their reading habits have changed with the times. Find out if the majority of your readers use a Sony Reader, Kindle, Nook, iPhone, or other reader then offer those reading options. If you don’t already have a survey service, http://surveymonkey.com/  is great for a quick, free survey.  And, if you use NetGalley, then work with our Digital Concierge, Lindsey Rudnickas, to make sure your titles have the appropriate reading options available for your readers.

Another route to go, if you’d like to offer DRM-free, or open ARCs, so that they can be more easily passed from one person to the next, is to provide just the index and a few chapters of a galley, to get the benefit of generating buzz without all the risk. Digital galleys, unlike traditional printed ARCs, which are passed around as well, give publishers more control over how much of the content readers can view.

Let’s not forget our friends the excerpt. HTML excerpts are another way to give readers a taste of what a book has to offer without throwing the content to the wind. Just remember to use it as you would all marketing material with a call to action at the end. What would you like interested readers to do? If you’re a member of NetGalley you could provide a link to your title and suggest that interested readers request the galley now, or email the excerpt to a friend.

If you’re thinking, that’s fine, but a tad dull, add some video and or author audio clips to the DRM-free PDF you send to readers.  No matter how you dress up an ARC, it’s hard to include video and audio as easily and inexpensively as you can with a PDF (http://www.totalwebvideo.com/pdfmedia/pdfmedia.html). The benefit of digital galleys is that they can plug into so much more than their analog counterparts. 

With a little creative thinking publishers can use digital galleys to generate more buzz more easily and inexpensively than with printed galleys, without feeling like they’re giving away content for free.

 Additional Resources

E-Reader Matrix and supported formats: http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/E-book_Reader_Matrix

Adobe Content Server (ACS4) can provide DRM galleys for a number of devices including the nook and Sony readers. To see a complete list: http://www.adobe.com/products/digitaleditions/devices/

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Read on for today’s delivery of a pretty little package all dressed up with a big red bow.

Today NetGalley announced a partnership with Edelweiss. (Read the release.) Edelweiss, owned by Above the Treeline, provides web-based interactive publisher catalogs used by booksellers, retailers and other professional readers to research, organize and order new titles. Starting in early spring 2010, all the reading options you use in NetGalley can be made available inside Edelweiss’s digital catalogs.

Best of all, if you are a customer of both Edelweiss and NetGalley, this additional functionality will come at no additional charge. Edelweiss users will be able to read online and download full-text digital galleys. Publishers will continue to set reading options for their galleys, which can be uploaded with or without DRM.

John Rubin, founder and CEO of Above the Treeline, and Fran Toolan, Chief Igniter of Firebrand Technologies, NetGalley’s parent, opine below about how this partnership will benefit readers and publishers alike.

John Rubin, Founder and CEO, Above the Treeline (Edelweiss’s parent):

We’re really excited about partnering with Firebrand because, really, how can it not help readers and publishers?

We’re both trying to get info about new books to the people who care about them.With the recent demise of Kirkus, it’s more important than ever to develop new ways to spread the word. I have a lot of respect for what Firebrand has done with NetGalley and can’t think of a better partner. At the core, I think we see the marketplace in the same way that Firebrand does and have the same type of commitment to it. We’re both interested in helping the industry grow and transform in a way that works for all parties—publishers, retailers, media, authors, etc.. We’re both about solutions that work but that don’t undermine publishers and the authors they serve.

Fran Toolan, Chief Igniter, Firebrand Technologies (NetGalley’s parent):
“From my perspective, there are three main benefits to this collaboration. The first is that we are broadening our ability to deliver secure electronic galleys outside of http://www.netgalley.com, the second is an ability for us to potentially reach new customers, and the last is an opportunity to work on a project of real value with John and his team.

In this collaboration, a “widget” of reading options will be embedded into the Edelweiss catalog for titles in the NetGalley system. This widget will provide a list of options for a reader to access our secured content. These options will include our QuickBrowse function as well as our ability to download PDF’s or ePub files (with or without DRM) for use on reading devices. The development of this widget essentially allows us to bring the functionality of http://www.netgalley.com to any online catalog, website, or blog.

One of the very interesting parts of this collaboration is that if a publisher is using Edelweiss, they don’t need to be a regular customer of NetGalley. Under our agreement, if a publisher (who is not a customer of NetGalley) wants to take advantage of the new galley feature in Edelweiss, Above the Treeline will charge that publisher a nominal fee per title which will be shared by both of our companies. In essence, this gives publishers an opportunity to experiment with the reading options piece of NetGalley before taking advantage of its full functionality.

John and I have enjoyed being industry colleagues for some time now, and have looked for ways to collaborate in the past. This particular project is one that is interesting because of its simplicity and mutual benefits. I am very excited about proving our ability to partner on services to the industry. My hope is that over the next year there will be more announcements about a tighter integration between Edelweiss and Firebrand’s Title Management system.

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