Chicago Tribune Newspaper Launches eBookstore

The Chicago TribuneChicago Tribune Newspaper Launches eBookstore eBookstore has long been republishing news articles as ebooks, and earlier this month they expanded their ebook efforts with the launch of TribBooks, a new ebookstore powered by Inktera and Page Foundry.

While it might sound strange for a newspaper to get into selling ebooks, this isn't the Trib's first such effort. They have been selling their own ebooks (and giving them away to digitalPlus subscribers) for a while now, so this latest move comes as only a small surprise.

The bigger surprise today is how the Trib managed to keep it so quiet; it's been operational for at least a month but I only learned of it when they announced it to their digitalPlus subscribers last night (thanks, Matt!).

But what's more important than the surprise is the disappointment. This ebookstore stocks over a million titles which can be read by the integrated Android and iOS apps, but the ebooks unfortunately cannot be transferred to ebook readers (or so says the FAQ). That is a startling difference from the other two ebook sites operated in The Chicago Tribune's name; one site did not use DRM, while the other used Adobe DE DRM and enabled users to transfer their ebook purchases to their ereaders.

Like any ebookstore TribBooks offers sales and special deals, but it also has deals that are exclusively available to The Chicago Tribune digitalPlus and Printers Row Journal subscribers. These subscribers can log in to TribBooks with their existing subscriber account and take advantage.

By offering special deals to Trib subscribers, the newspaper both adds value to the newspaper subscriptions (which is still one the newspaper's main sources of revenue) and encourages those subscribers to come back and buy more ebooks later. This is a classic loss leader strategy adapted to serving two goals instead of just the one.

On a related note, this is the second time I have reported on a newspaper launching an ebookstore. In December 2013 Bild.de launched an ebookstore on the Tolino platform. I can't tell you how much work they are putting into cross-promotion but it would be smart for them to do so.

TribBooks

 

 

 

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

3 Comments

  1. Jack W Perry30 April, 2014

    Nate — thanks for the recap. I stumbled across the app last week and downloaded it. But I couldn’t find any information/articles/blogs on it. I am more interested from the business and marketing side of it. Appreciate your background on it.
    Jack

    Reply
  2. […] The Chicago Tribune Opens an Ebookstore (The Digital Reader) The newspaper has already converted its articles into ebooks. With TribBooks, it now has a space to retail them. […]

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