The latest—and most valuable—innovation in eBook publishing is the instant availability of sales data online. Publishers no longer need to wait for quarterly reports and impenetrable spreadsheets to gauge performance in the marketplace. With real-time analytics, it's now possible to access and interpret sales data quickly and easily—and to take action in response to the results.
Analytics let publishers evaluate a title's trajectory through time, in various regions and on different platforms. When comparing weekly or daily sales data, publishers can detect patterns in sales while measuring the effectiveness of marketing initiatives. The best way to identify trends is to regularly monitor movement in three areas—sales channels performance, regional sales, and pricing.
Many sales channels offer the option to distribute eBooks across multiple territories, meaning you can simultaneously release a title in the U.S., Brazil and Germany and immediately track sales in those regions. You may find that a title performs exceedingly well in a unexpected foreign market or that what's considered a popular genre in one country may be almost non-existent in another. These trends could help determine opportunities for expansion into other markets.
Sales Channel Performance
The surge in the popularity of tablets and eReaders has resulted in an influx of eBook retailers. These sales channels offer the potential for wider distribution across multiple platforms. Through our global distribution service, publishers can easily access the analytics and compare a title's performance from all available sales channels. The accumulated sales data will reveal whether a title is under-performing on one channel, allowing for swifter response to remedy the issue.
The price of an eBook is in constant fluctuation, often reliant on the perceived value of the book's content at any given time. Publishers can adjust prices seasonally or for a title-specific promotion and use analytics to measure the effectiveness of a particular promotion or sales action. Allow ample time for sales channels to update their databases to reflect new pricing, as some retailers take several business days to apply changes.
Trend tracking in sales data offers insight into consumer behavior and reveals opportunities for future promotional or marketing plans. Using these insights, you can improve on existing marketing tactics, revise pricing structures and identify new markets. Monitor daily trends to gauge the effectiveness of a price adjustment or sales action. Review monthly reports to compare performance across multiple territories and sales channels. With short-term data, you can make changes in distribution—either by country/region or sales channel—or in the content's metadata to help boost visibility and sales. Long-term data results can inform decisions on future content production and distribution.
Whether you're publishing one title or 20, sales analytics may prove invaluable to your marketing and distribution strategies. The digital shelf life of an eBook had yet to be determined, but the trends revealed in sales data will enable you to keep your title relevant in the marketplace and out of the virtual remainders bin.