We have noticed a sizable increase in the sales of “parts/portions” of eBooks – teachers are obviously looking to buy these “chunks” which are smaller and less expensive. There has also been a rapid, substantial increase in sales of digital teaching materials at sites that offer smaller documents at lower prices – some created by teachers themselves.
We know that the materials created by our publishing partners are of higher quality, but we also know that many teachers (and parents) are much faster to spend $20 on five $4 items that they might be to spend $20 on one item. (With thanks to Apple and iTunes for creating this “only buy what you want/need” approach to shopping.)
We encourage all of our publishing partners to take advantage of this growing opportunity to sell “slices” of their products. Quite simply, we want to help you further monetize the digital content that you have already created.
Some FAQs on slicing follows:
What is a slice?
A portion of an eBook – it can be any number of pages. It is a stand-alone lesson or activity.
Which eBooks should we slice?
Anything that logically lends itself to being sold in smaller portions. A chapter book would be a bad candidate for slicing; a math resource that had four sections (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) would be an ideal candidate for slicing.
Can an eBook be sliced in more than one way?
Yes – if a title lends itself to being sold in a variety of ways, then slice it accordingly.
When we create slices, how should we name the files?
Some of our publishers will be assigning unique ISBNs per slice; they might choose to name the slices (PDF, cover, metadata) by that unique ISBN. Another approach that works well is to use the “parent product” (the original eBook) as the base ProductID and build out the associated slices from that base. Example:
Parent Product: ABC1234
Slices: ABC123401, ABC123402, etc.
Using this “parent and child” naming convention makes it quite straightforward to link both the “whole book” (the parent) and the slices (the children) through a variety of online marketing and placement strategies, thus alerting customers to multiple buying options.
How should the slices be priced?
We believe that the sum of the slices should total more than the cost of the whole book but as always, pricing your products is ultimately your decision. Due to the processing economics of e-commerce, we would appreciate you not pricing any of your slices below $1.50 US.
Should we create slices as part of the new product creation process?
Yes – moving forward, this is a logical time to create the slices. As part of the workflow of product creation, the slicing will add some time to the process but should be more economical than going back to slice the book later. One thing to consider is when the slices should be sold. One approach is to wait 6-12 months after the release of a new title; another approach is to sell the slices immediately.
How do we create slices?
Due to the nature of slicing eBooks, this is: a) not an automated process; and b) must involve someone who knows the content well enough to make logical decisions in regards to the contents of each slice. Please remember that the slices you sell will reflect your company’s brand; take the time to slice the books with an eye to quality end products.
Who can slice our eBooks?
Personnel “in house” or a trusted third party (as you will be releasing your DRM free, unlocked digital content to them). For in house slicing, once a workflow is established for the creation of the slices, this becomes a great summer job for a college student. Alternately, there are many service providers (ie: www.slicebooks.com ) that can also assist with the slicing or your eBooks.
Can TecKnoQuest help with the slicing?
Yes – we can slice your eBooks for you at no charge. In return, we would ask for exclusive distribution rights to these new products. This means that they would only be sold through our retail eStores or fulfilled through our digital warehouse. And yes, you could sell them on your own website but all fulfillment would be done through our digital warehouse.
What about answer keys?
If the parent product contains an answer key, its inclusion in the slice is important. You can either edit the existing answer key to include content that only pertains to the slice, or you can include more of the key than is covered in the slice. (Most publishers prefer the later approach – much faster and less costly.)
Do we need cover images for each slice?
Yes – as we make use of cover images extensively on our sites, they are required. However, there are many approaches to this task, three of which are: a) a screen shot (JPG) of one page of the slice; b) one cover for all slices for one parent product with the title changed for each slice; or c) one generic cover for all slices from the same parent product.
Do we need metadata for each slice?
Yes – but this metadata can start with that of the parent product. If it helps, ask us for the core metadata for your products as it already exists in our system; given some notice, we can provide this to you as a starting point. Also, strongly consider collecting the metadata as the slice creation process takes place. Otherwise, you will need to go back into the slices for page counts, titles, descriptions, etc. “after the fact” and this will cost time and money.
Does each slice need a unique ISBN?
Ideally yes, as it increases the discoverability of the product. However, it: a) is not required; and b) can be added to our metadata for the slices at a later point.
For more information about increasing your sales with TecKnoQuest, please contact us at:
Phone: (970) 835-4460
Toll Free: 1-866-933-1786
Fax: (815) 377-3681
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