Calculating the Publisher’s Cut in Subscription Services: Revenue Share vs. Breakage

“The Subscription Model” got a lot of airtime at BEA this year, as book publishers explored delivery models that have the ability to generate recurring revenue through subscriptions. The buzz was so pervasive that it was difficult to escape the discussion. Not only did BEA’s sessions cover subscription, the topic was also covered during the IDPF Digital Book and BISG’s […]

Session Description: Driving Value and Revenue Through Digital Collections (IDPF/BEA/Digital Book 2014)

Session Description: Digital Book 2014 (IDPF/BEA)
The whole is greater that the sum of its parts: Creating reference value by providing access to collections of related e-book titles.
Publishers and distribution partners have opportunities to create profound customer value by providing access to curated collections of related titles. A curated collection of thematically related and authoritative works represents a unified information resource […]

Improving Ebook Data Quality: A Frank Assessment and the Path Forward

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.


The level of data quality in EPUBs is generally low. This is true whether the EPUB is generated in house or through a service provider. Publishers give ebooks short shrift. The […]

Intelligent Content Delivery

When new communications media emerge, the typical pattern has been to simply put old content into the new format. The filming of stage plays in early cinema or the reading of newspapers over the radio are two oft-cited examples.

However, I would argue that the most effective use of any medium is achieved only once the unique characteristics of that medium […]

It’s all about the Data: How Metadata and User Analytics Add Value to Online Subscription Services.

One of the my favorite bits of cinematic absurdity is from “The Graduate”

Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.

Benjamin: Yes, sir.

Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?

Benjamin: Yes, I am.

Mr. McGuire: Plastics.

(As ridiculous as the scene may be, it is interesting to consider the value of this advice 47 years later. Those who invested heavily […]

Subscription Service Readiness Checklist: A Planning Tool for Book Publishers

The overarching question all publishers must ask, the existential über-question, trumping all others, is: Where will revenue and earnings come from in the future?     The answer to this question is fundamental: all other aspect pertaining to digital media – whether it is asset management, metadata solutions, or social media strategies – are dependent upon these future revenue dynamics.

For many book […]

Subject-Specific Solutions: A Path to More Effective Learning Technology

The advent of digital media has presented educational publishers with not only opportunities for the delivery of effective teaching and learning solutions, but also significant challenges that are well known by readers of this column. These challenges include the need to acquire within the organization’s new competencies, the creation of new partnerships with service providers, and the need to sort […]

Transformation’s End

Transformation’s End


2008 was the most significant year for print publishing in the past 40.  That was the year that ebook revenue took off, coincident with a decline in print sales.  An inflexion point was reached.  According to Price Waterhouse Coopers, by 2017, ebook sales are expected to eclipse print and audio books.

Print publishers have long dabbled in a variety of […]