Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Nice to find our Niche

Niche – From the Encarta Dictionary Definition:

Place in nature,
From Ecology – a niche is the role of an organism within its natural environment that determines its relations with other organisms and ensures its survival.

This is the most poetic of the definitions offered by Encarta, and the one that I always think of first. The part that I like so well is the point made that to occupy a niche ensures an entities’ survival.

With the evolution of the internet (see borrowing terms from science again), there has been a co-opting of the term niche to common use in the context of niche markets and niche marketing.

Niche – Again from the Encarta Dictionary’s Definition:

Specialized Market
From Commerce- a niche is an area of the market specializing in a particular type of product:

“Thanks to the Internet small, niche companies can reach mass markets in a heartbeat.” Forbes Global Business and Finance (November 1998)

This is what I plan to write a bit about – the DPPstore, our consortium of Independent Publishers, and eBooks – the niche that we occupy.

In the US, there are six major publishers occupying a huge segment of the book market. There are also some 80,000 independent publishers occupying the rest of this market. DPPstore proudly uses our slogan,

"eBooks by Independent Authors and Presses for Independent Readers and Thinkers."

You may ask why it is important that we feature content exclusively from independents. The internet and eBooks offer a unique opportunity to remake the book industry. There is much about books as they are now that is good and beautiful, and should be maintained. However, with books being about commerce as much as creativity; authors works are heavily edited, authors themselves are pressured to turn out content that is formulaic and readily marketable, and the endeavor to write is being turned into little more than a JOB.

eBooks give us a low cost of production, and the internet gives us a low cost for distribution. In the digital model of publishing, the commerce side can afford to yield some risk to allow room for creativity. The big six have been slow to move on this, but the Indies have embraced ePublishing. And traditionally, the independent presses have allowed that creative freedom even when it meant risking everything with expensive print runs of titles that may never sell. They believe in the entrepreneurial spirit and experimental, innovative books. We have the opportunity to utilize the vast and diverse content from these 80,000 independent publishers to bring every consumer exactly what they want – thus filling the niches, finding our place in nature.

A quick anecdote about the quintessential niche consumer:

I asked a friend of mine if she would be interested in vetting manuscripts for publication. I chose her because she would wander down the street with her nose in a book, she read at lunch, during breaks and any other time she had the opportunity. She said that she would love to help. So I asked her what genre she liked to read. She told me, “food mysteries,” and looked at me as if I ought to know what that was. I thought she was joking, so I asked her if the books involved figuring out what someone ate by the stains on their shirts. She snarled at me and then explained that there was at least a few series of mysteries that involved chefs, cooking and food somewhere in the plot, and these were what she most liked to read.

This is just a snapshot of what the niche markets are all about. Independent publishers might have always had the insight and willingness to publish books about boating. With ePublishing and online distribution, they can now risk selling books about nudist boating. It may not be for you and me, but sunburned sailors everywhere will love this!

Niche markets provide the customer with exactly what they are looking for. DPPstore and our consortium of independent publishers are attacking a broad niche – people looking for something different. Within that niche, we are happy to sell eBooks about nudist boating, food oriented detective fiction, or whatever floats your boat. Our customers come to us looking for unique, innovative eBooks unconstrained by large company box thinking and the bottom line – that is what we deliver.

Niche – Last, from the Encarta Dictionary Definition:

Suitable Place for Somebody,
A position or activity that particularly suits somebody’s talents and personality or that somebody can make his or her own.

The eBook market is a niche that DPPstore and the Independent Presses with enormously diverse content can make our own. To work together, to cement our place, to define our niche – those are the building blocks of success.

To browse our current selection of eBooks for everyone visit http://www.dppstore.com/
For more info on selling your eBooks through DPPstore visit us at http://www.dpppress.com/