I mentioned here before that I’m going to be in New York City in February giving a workshop at the Tools of Change conference. In preparation for our workshop, Kassia Krozser of Booksquare has put together a survey about women and ebooks. So, if you’re a woman and you read ebooks, please take a minute and fill this out. It takes 5 minutes!

Here’s more info on the workshop:

Smart Women Read eBooks
Kassia Krozser (Booksquare.com), Angela James (Samhain Publishing), Sarah Wendell (Smart Bitches Trashy Books LLC)
2:30pm Tuesday, 02/10/2009
Location: Broadway South (6th Floor)

For well over a decade, independent publishers have been publishing and marketing ebooks to a largely female audience. While the perception of ebooks is that they are more likely to be adopted by a younger, more tech-savvy audience, these independent publishers have found success by selling to a wide demographic of readers. Your grandmother reads ebooks.

While mainstream publishers initially viewed this market as fringe, in recent years, some have turned to these e-only houses to find new talent and to form marketing/distribution relationships. Traditional publishers have also introduced imprints and lines to challenge the market space occupied by these epublishers. Of course, these epublishers have countered by moving into the print market, finding shelf space in a time of shrinking retail spots.

Mainstream publishers such as Harlequin have responded to this growing market by embracing innovation and diversity, including making their entire front-list available in electronic editions when the print versions are released.

How has this female-centric ebook market thrived while efforts by mainstream publishers have found rough going? These small, independent entities have succeeded by offering readers what they want at reasonable prices; they’ve created easy-to-use marketplaces and made sure their books are available wherever ebooks are sold; they’ve released titles in DRM-free, device-agnostic formats, enabling their customers to choose how and where books are read; and they’ve developed strong author relationships through higher-than-average royalties and more timely reporting.

As traditional publishing houses move into the online market, they are not only competing with other media for readers, they’re also competing with independent entities who have developed loyal followings by not doing business as usual.

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