ebooks and LDP’s Publishing Strategy

LDP’s primary publication format was always intended to be ebooks.  As the technologies of e-readers and screen technologies move on, it seemed to be the appropriate strategy.  Well, it’s taken us rather longer than we had initially thought to get there, but we believe we are well on the road now.  For our ‘Big Books’ the ebooks are available in 3 formats:

  • ePub format for all e-readers except Kindle. This format has colour images.
  • Mobi format for Kindle and Kindle Fire only. Again, this format will be in colour for Kindle Fire and the standard Kindle converts the images to black & white (B&W).
  • pdf that again has colour images.

Our ‘Squibs’ are only published in B&W.

For all book lovers there is something particularly attractive about hard-backed books, but they are expensive to print and costly to transport, both in economic and environmental terms.  Fortunately for us, the publication software InDesign has advanced to such a level that colour and black & white (greyscale) versions can be simulated (or emulated) and outputted from the same file in an appropriate pdf print format.  Even more fortunately for us Printondemand-worldwide (PODW) has the capability to convert these pdf files into the 3 ebook formats.  So this is what we now do.

We have also tried to take full advantage of the technical possibilities.  In the Mobi versions for Kindle, the audio is enabled to help customers for whom the text is problematic to read.  In production we are able to keep all the images in RGB format until the final print pdfs are outputted by InDesign at which point the images are converted to CMYK for colour printing or to greyscale for B&W.  The capabilities that modern technologies present to publishers are quite remarkable.

Equally remarkable are the services that PODW can offer.  Apart from ebook conversion our titles are held in their BookVault  and printed on demand. PODW use local printing where possible and are forming partnerships around the world.  This has enabled us to offer paperback versions  (in B&W) and hardback versions  (in colour) of our titles. The design of the B&W paperback version of the print-on-demand POD books is targeted at providing a working document convenient for use at a desk. The selection of materials and associated pricing policy have been determined with this objective in mind. The design of the colour version has been targeted at replicating a traditionally printed hardback, and we would suggest that it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference.  In fact it takes something of a printing expert to do so.

LDP's titles on The Great British Bookshop

LDP’s titles on The Great British Bookshop

Of course, publishing the books is just part of the challenge and being able to reach the market is an equally sizeable barrier to surmount.  Registering the titles with Nielsens connects LDP to the major retailers and LDP has subscribed to the Enhanced Service so that we can add full bibliographic details and reviews for our titles as they are appear.  However, PODW have also initiated The Great British Bookshop (TGGB) and all LDP”s titles can be obtained from there, and at discounted prices.  The figure shows LDP’s page on TGGB.

LDP remains keen to support traditional book sellers and PODW can deliver books to them within days of the order being placed.  Equally Amazon is the choice of the majority of customers at the moment, and particularly for ebooks, so it is also an important route to market for LDP, and LDP’s authors have created Author Pages on Amazon.

Xenia Danos' Author Page on Amazon

Xenia Danos’ Author Page on Amazon

So, we have reached the position we planned to reach and now we’re looking to see what further opportunities publishing technologies and companies are bringing forward. As essentially a content provider, LDP is looking forward to making every use we can of the opportunities that emerge.

Links to current book pages:

Design: Models of change by Ken Baynes

Graphicacy and Culture: Refocusing on visual learning by Xenia Danos

Design Education: A vision for the future edited by Ken Baynes and Eddie Norman

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