| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Youtube RSS Feed

Innovation + Job News

Coffee House Press expands e-book line

Although e-books took their sweet time catching on with the reading public, the development of e-readers like Nook and Kindle has created a sense of momentum, and now it seems that on every bus and plane, there's someone clicking through their reading selections.
The rush for e-books left some smaller publishers scrambling to stay in the race, but Coffee House Press, an independent literary publisher in Minneapolis, caught up fast. Recently, Coffee House began publishing all of its new-release titles as e-books, and is currently converting selected backlist titles as well.
The progress toward e-books began slowly for the press, says publisher Chris Fischbach. About a year and a half ago, the company released some e-books and saw very slow sales, only about 10 per month. But when it made the shift toward releasing e-books at the same time as its print versions, there was a huge jump in sales.
At this point, e-book sales represent about a third of overall sales, but that number is hard to track because publishers never know exact sales figures until their new releases have been out for at least a few months. That's because bookstores regularly return unsold hardcovers before paperback versions are released. One advantage to e-books, Fischbach says, is that their sales figures are known immediately. Also, they don't get returned by stores or consumers. 
Another benefit to e-books is the ability to carry multiple books at the same time, he adds. Some people may download a number of e-books for reading later, instead of buying books and stacking them in an unread pile at home.
Publishers may be gravitating toward e-books because the production costs are low, in addition to high consumer demand. But that doesn't mean the e-books are for everyone.
"Personally, artistically, I prefer a paper copy of a book," says Fischbach. "There's just something about holding a book and reading it that way. I don't think I'll ever be the e-book-reading type of person."
What he anticipates for the future, though, is that more will be done with video elements and graphics within e-books, turning them into their own particular genre. For example, a travel book about Minneapolis could feature short videos to illustrate unique features of the city, or interviews with local celebrities.
Whatever happens with the e-book, look for Coffee House to be ready. At this point, the publisher is on track to meet all that click-click-scroll demand.
Source: Chris Fischbach, Coffee House Press
Writer: Elizabeth Millard


Signup for Email Alerts
Signup for Email Alerts