Tips for ebooks distribution and sales

Florencia Di Giovanni

People are reading more digital books per year than print books. According to the latest study by the Federation of Publishers' Guilds of Spain, it is estimated that readers who choose to read digitally, read 20 books while those who choose more traditional paper books get around to reading only books a year. Although this data is a reflection of digital book sales in Spain, it is a trend seen worldwide.  In this sense, the digital book is an indispensable asset to publishing companies as its popularity continues to grow. This raises a question: Should all my print content be replaced for the same in digital format? For the moment, the answer is no. There is no reason to jump the gun quite yet. Currently, digital book sales are used as a complement to print sales. For example, "La Diaria", one of the largest newspapers in Uruguay, used Publica’s services to increase sales. With our services, it was able to offer its readers a digital replica of their newspaper that could even adapt to their mobile screen using Publica’s Smartzoom tool. 

In order to distribute and sell digital books, it is helpful to know what products Publica has to offer, our product sales, how is our competition faring in comparison, and what are our growth and sale strategy updates. 

According to the latest study by the Federation of Publishers' Guilds of Spain, it is estimated that reading paper books are 11 books a year, while digital book readers double the number to 20 books a year. This data helps us visualize the context of sales of books in digital format that happens in Spain and is reflected worldwide. So the digital book is standing out and maintains its growth as a tool allied to publishing companies, especially in Latin America. 

This raises a question: Should I replace all my content in physical format for the same in digital? For the moment, no. Undoubtedly, it is important to clarify that digital book sales are used as a complement to physical sales. For example, "La Diaria", one of the largest newspapers in Uruguay, found in Publica a way to increase its sales. With our service, it was able to offer its readers a digital replica of the newspaper and incorporate the Smartzoom tool so that users can read the articles in a format adapted to the mobile screen. 

To distribute and sell digital books, it is important to know how are the sales of the products that our company offers, how our competition is moving and how are the growth and updates of sales strategies. Therefore, we give you some tips so you can face this challenge.

How a 360º digital marketing strategy can help you with ebooks distribution and sales

As mentioned above, digital books do not compete with paper books. One of the reasons for this is most readers use both formats, causing them to read more than ever before. 

In 2018, the VII Electronic Book Conference project stated that the average age of digital readers ranged from 25 to 45 years old. Subsequently, in 2019, the data showed an increase in the range, where digital readers spanned from 18 to 50 years of age. But, why exactly is this data relevant to you? It’s relevant because it defines what your readership looks like before you even generate a marketing strategy. The audience you intend to attract should play a huge role whenever you create content or plan a promotion.

As mentioned above, digital books do not compete with paper books since only a few readers use one of the two formats. On the contrary, it is common for those who opt for both formats to read even more than before. 

According to statistics from the “VII Congreso del Libro Electrónico”, a project about electronic books where digital reader data were studied, in 2018, the general age range of digital readers was between 25 and 45 years old. In 2019, on the other hand, the breadth was from 18 to 50 years of age. 

But why is this data necessary? Because it is defining your readership audience as a first instance before generating a marketing strategy. Whenever you have to create content or plan a promotion, you must think about the audience you intend to attract.

Define your Buyer Persona

Defining your buyer persona will help you know and understand your readers’ profiles. It is about establishing your target audience based on characteristics such as socio-demographics,  goals, personality, behavior,  interaction on social media, etc. The idea is to find out what kind of digital content your audience finds engaging and use this information to move them forward into the buying cycle. 

Defining a buyer persona helps you to attract the reader from the different platforms they use (such as social networking websites, email marketing and SEO positioning) to our digital publications store to generate a  purchase. 

But what is a Buyer Persona? It is an ideal reader model, which potentially responds to the thoughts, opinions, decisions, searches and insecurities that specific users of your service or product may have. It is a profile that shows us the attitudes and criteria when making a purchase decision or generating a subscription. 

It is not just a matter of designing and knowing your ideal reader. The essential thing is to understand their behavior: how they would move within your platform or virtual library, what they would look for, why, etc. To do this, you can use Publica’s specific tools to help you. 

  • Capture data from readers who choose your content in physical format. By generating a QR code through which they can obtain the digital version of the printed publication, you will be able to gather data on who is part of the community of readers, that is, the buyers of those printed books.
  • Analyze the critical metrics of your content store. Publica allows you to detect the most-read publications, how many views each user had, the time of permanence and the percentage of reading.

Establish sales objectives

This tip is related to the creation of your Buyer Persona because sales goals should be defined based on the characteristics and movements of your ideal reader. 

Creating small objectives makes the path to the goal clearer and more robust. Without objectives, there are no goals. To monetize and sell more in digital, you must have an objective that serves as a guide and allows you to optimize actions. For example, while studying the profile of your reader you may find that they don't know anything about reading and buying books in digital form. In that case, you might want to plan small objectives to strengthen their consumer confidence in the digital market. If you don't plan objectives, then you won't reach your bigger goal, whether that is to make an individual sale or to get them to join an upcoming subscription channel. Here are some steps you can take: 

  • Offer the digital version of your content with the paper format purchase by incorporating a QR code.
  • Offer free information as a promotion to attract the reader to the digital format. Remember to offer content on topics that are of interest to them.
  • Make pre-launches of books in digital format before the print edition. This is an excellent option to attract attention, especially for niche content.
  • Offer different subscription models so that your readers feel free to adapt their purchases to their needs. For example, you can offer the possibility to choose the number of subscription days,  whether it’s for an individual or family, whether the subscription gives unlimited content access or it’s segmented by topic, etc. 

So, how can you offer all this to your reader? What are the best digital media means to communicate with your buyers? In the following section,  we talk about the main content and information distribution channels.

Choose your distribution channels

A marketing strategy must have the most relevant content and data unified in the different digital formats available.  Here we have chosen three of the best strategies that are sure to reel in buyers. 


You should create a professional blog to write about topics of interest to a specific audience (your Buyer Persona). This strategy has as its main goal to bring back the importance that blogs have for a writer. A blog may be seen as a mean to establish a connection with readers, acting as a teaser for books which compile or contain content first appearing in the blog. The purchase of these books should be redirected to the website or platform where the digital format is sold. Some tips to keep the blog active: publish content frequently, promote content through social networks, write as a guest author on other blogs and create a subscription system so your audience returns to your blog easily.

Social Networks

Some of the leading social networks being used are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Goodreads, Wattpad, Pinterest and YouTube. These applications are necessary for authors and their works to become known. At the same time, they allow authors of books to connect with a global audience and facilitate networking between other writers and readers. One of the most important points when using social networks to market your product is to be consistent in keeping interest alive for the user, reader or follower. Some tips for incorporating content are: to quote phrases from different texts, share information about authors, essential dates, information about book fairs, etc.

Email marketing

Email marketing is one technique with the most significant potential since it generates direct, massive online communication. With this in mind, Publica allows its clients to collect email addresses and full names of users that access their libraries. With this data, an emailing strategy is initiated. What can you do with an emailing strategy? You can follow up with readers who are interested in the books and content provided by your publishing house. Keep the following points in mind when creating an emailing campaign:

-Draw attention with an eye-catching title for the recipient, conveying a clear message of what the newsletter will be about.

-Do not overload with images or long texts.

-Present the email with your company's logo 

-Add a hyperlink to your website, virtual library, social networks as a dissemination tool.

-Incorporate attention-grabbing buttons such as "BUY", so that the recipient can be redirected to facilitate making a purchase.

The Annual Digital Book Report by Libranda noted a 10% increase in digital book sales for the Spanish language between 2017 and 2018. At the same time, the publishing world is experiencing a huge surge in digital book sales as a whole. This is a trend that your business cannot afford to let pass by. It is time to adapt and incorporate digital format into your company and watch how your sales benefit as a result.