Sunday, April 14, 2013

Doing digital the right way: Open Road

Open Road Integrated Media is a digital-only publisher and because digital is the main event, not merely a sideline, they do it right! A lot of their books are (sometimes quite old) back-list titles, which for other publishers often means they would be scanned from paper and slapped up as ebooks with hardly a second look. Sometimes publishers don't bother getting a cover for the ebook. Again, not Open Road!

I recently bought some Lord Peter books for my Kindle. Dorothy L. Sayers was a British mystery writer who created a wonderful amateur detective named Lord Peter Wimsey. Sayers died in 1957, so none of these books is even close to new, but Open Road not only did a great job in putting them into the proper format, they commissioned a wonderful, imaginative set of new covers! I've included a few here so you can see what I mean.

Lord Peter was a wealthy, well dressed aristocrat, so each cover shows a man's torso in an outfit suited (pardon the pun) to the story. And of course, Lord Peter's signature monocle appears above the title.

When I read on my Kindle, I highlight any formatting problems that I notice. When I finished my first Lord Peter Kindle book from OR, I checked and there was no highlighting—not a single formatting error!

In addition, OR has figured out that one of the strengths of ebooks is you can change the price as often as you like. The Lord Peter books generally sell for $7.00 to $9.99 in the Kindle store, but OR put three of them on sale for $2.99 or less. Now, I have actually read all these books. I used to own them in paperback, but I gave them away to a good home. But at that price, I bought those three books so I can read them again whenever I feel like it without having them take any space in my downsized bookshelves.

There you go! Quality books, quality formatting, quality covers, and flexible pricing. That is the way to do ebooks right!

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