Inkling Brings Interactive Features Into The Ebook Experience

E-BookSan Francisco-based startup, Inkling has integrated high-end interactive features into its e-book app, providing book publishers a platform to create their content, upgrade their high-margin books and choose their own prices. Having partnered with Pearson and McGraw-Hill, Inkling offers e-books with relatively higher prices compared to those in Kindle and iPad versions, which don’t fully support embedded multimedia. Zintro experts discuss Inkling’s future success in the U.S. e-book market.

According to software engineer, Francisco José Gómez López, Amazon and Apple have gained success as culture sellers, since they offer a huge catalogue of books with similar or lower prices than the nearby bookstore. “Kindle and iPad are great electronic devices that let us carry many books in electronic format. This facilitates the access to our private library wherever we are. Via a wireless connection to Internet, Amazon Book Store and iBooks are the first bookstores we will look for, to check if they have the book we want to buy,” he says. “Their policy of prices is focused on clients, who are able to buy e-books, or other cultural material frequently rather than clients, who will buy sporadically. If Inkling wants to be competitive, it has to offer high-quality material for sporadic buyers or review its policy of prices. Another handicap of the Inkling App is that it is another app for reading books, for the iOS System, and has to compete directly with iTunes Store and iBooks App.”

Ellen Violette, an eBook writing and marketing coach, describes how high-end ebooks with interactive features will succeed in the e-book market. “Statistics show that 44% of Kindle owners make over $80,000 a year. They are highly educated, enjoy the digital experience, and would probably be willing to pay more to get it since they can afford it.  Some niches lend themselves to interactive features like cook books, photography books, and other niches where people want illustrations and see the benefit of a richer experience, which they can only get with interactive ebooks,” Violette explains. “Over 55 million iPads have been sold in just 7 quarters (It took 22 years to sell that many Macs!), and in a recent survey by Brainshark, Inc, an online and mobile presentation company, it was found that more than 67% of iPad owners they surveyed said that the device has replaced books for them. With these changes in the way individuals and businesses consume information, and the voracious appetite for these tablets, there will be a larger and larger customer base for interactive ebooks.”

Freelance copywriter, Susan Fox, expects Inkling to quickly become a huge hit for digital readers of their ebooks. “The world comes in conceptual and visual learners. In the mid 70’s, UCLA did a study on learners, which revealed that 55% of learners are visual, 38% are auditory learners and only 7% learn by reading the written word,” Fox explains. “If the highest majority of learners learn visually, what does this mean for Inkling’s interactive way of publishing ebooks? I think it means they have a hit on their hands. As a freelance creative marketing copywriter, information product creator and ebook writer, I’m keeping my eye on Inkling. I expect to see a lot of them in favorable news items.”

As Victoriakumar Yallamelli, an expert in ebook publishing points out, price wars have been kindled and rekindled every time a new company forays into the market. “The difference I feel is the quality of content. Where Amazon and Apple are generalists, Inkling seems to be a specialist content provider. Specialist contents have their own niche market and also cater to special sections of the audience,” notes Yallamelli. “I do not think the pricing strategy would affect much in terms of success of failure of Inkling. What’s important is that they are able to penetrate and reach the target market.”

By Idil Kan


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