Direct to consumer: The IPG DQM, 26th November

Posted on December 1, 2015 in Uncategorized

Direct to consumer: The IPG DQM, 26th November


Last week an SYP delegation was invited to a Digital Quarterly Meeting of the IPG. The Independent Publishers Guild is a membership organization that in 2012 celebrated its 50th birthday. Serving as a support and networking resource for independent publishers it currently has a membership of 600 companies. The IPG’s DQMs are a chance for independent publishers to hear from key figures in digital publishing and the subject of Thursday’s evening was direct to consumer retailing.

The speakers were from a range of online retailers and licensing businesses including:
> Andre Breedt from Nielsen
> Lindsey Mooney from Kobo
> Steve Potter from Wordery
> Jonathan Griffin from the Publishers Licensing Society

The focus of the evening was on how independent publishers can leverage digital platforms to reach more consumers.

Andre Breedt began with an insight into digital book and e-book sales. He told us that there are many ways to understand the e-book market from guessing to consumer data. Without data from however, who according to some estimates control 95% of the UK e-book market, it is difficult to get an accurate picture. Breedt argued that although the overall trend in e-book sales was a plateau, the actual picture was more complex. For example, sales vary greatly according to genre and 24% of e-books are self-published.

Lindsey Mooney spoke next about what independent publishers can do to maximize sales on Kobo. She said that their promotions already included email marketing, backlist promotions and daily deals, but that now they were looking into what works in physical bookshops like multi-buy offers. She noted that multi-buy is perfect for mid and back-list authors and told us that publishers saw an 8% increase in market share and 20% lift in volume during these promotions. Customer loyalty is also key to Kobo with 10% of customers making up 50% of sales.

Steve Potter from Wordery stated that their aim was to work with as many publishers and distributors as possible to replicate the ‘hand selling’ experience online. Wordery has in excess of a million users with 68% of these being regular visitors. Platforms like ebay, Rakuten, and Wordery offer more input to publishers on merchandising and pricing. To drive online sales publishers must make sure their metadata is correct and complete. This includes the obvious information like pub date, format, price etc. but also jackets and inside pages.

Last to speak was Jonathan Griffin from the event’s sponsor, the PLS. They have identified that publishers want permissions to be easier to manage, less frustrating and profitable to rights holders! The PLS are developing a tool (PLS Clear) to improve licensing of content and to manage the permissions process from beginning to end. They are also there to support independent publishers with permissions by handling outsourcing, offering consultancy and workshops.

The evening broke for drinks and networking in the lovely surroundings of the Faber offices.

The SYP had a really enjoyable evening and would recommend our members to visit the IPG website at to find out more about their events.