Clearing Obstacles to Global Ebook Sales

Joseph ManganBrian DeFioreAshleigh GardnerNathan Maharaj

At the 2013 Digital Book World Conference &  Expo, a number of sessions examined the challenges in reaching international markets. For Clearing the Path: Eliminating Obstacles to Global Ebook Sales, representatives from the fast-growing Kobo, Inc. – a Toronto-based, global e-book distribution network – presented a summary of the most common obstacles and how to overcome them.

One particularly sensitive area covered practices for rights-selling out of step with the global digital marketplace. “Rights take time to negotiate. All legitimate – but none of those reasons are customer-facing,” explained Nathan Maharaj, Kobo’s Director of Merchandising.  “We’ve got to figure that out. And by we, I mean all of us. Nobody’s winning by leaving customers out in the cold and reinforcing every bad stereotype we can about how content creators view customers, and how retailers view the same.” Joining the Kobo presentation with Maharaj was Ashleigh Gardner, Director, Content Management.

In the following panel discussion, agent Brian DeFiore and Joseph Mangan, Chief Operating Officer, Perseus Books Group, reacted to Kobo’s description of the reality of today’s global marketplace. As Mangan told session moderator Chris Kenneally, the situation in 2013 has much improved recently – owing to the explosive growth in e-books – although there remains plenty to do.

“When we think about the opportunities for e-books, we’re very driven by the dollars,” Mangan noted. “We as publishers have a limited amount of resources. We all have to look at where we apply those resources, and we’d like to lead the dollars a little bit, but not by too much. So it’s hard to get a publishers’ attention and say, you really need to scrub your deep backlist rights data so that we can sell your fiction books in Korea.”

On-Demand Video of the Digital Book World Conference + EXPO 2013 is available now. Visit: http://store.digitalbookworld.com/digital-book-world-conference-2013-on-demand to learn more.

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