A marketplace to create and sell non-text based ebooks: Japan has shown that novels which are written on and intended for mobile is a viable market. With the new touch interfaces, it is now possible to create a non text based authoring system on mobile for users to create image intensive books such as children's books, picture magazines, calenders et al. Attach the authoring system to a marketplace and you can create a Wattpad equivalent for non text based ebooks.
Mobile advertising in ebooks: Advertising on the mobile can be personal, engaging and useful if done correctly. Blyk has shown how successful mobile advertising can be with its user co-created advertising (pls read the 7th mass media for a detailed case study). Creating this form of advertising infrastructure for mobile ebook creators can lead to a thriving ecosystem that benefits content creators, advertisers and consumers. Imagine reading a emagazine on cars, and getting engaging car advertisements that is based on your preference of brands, car models and prices. Best of all, the reader can click the ad directly and booked a test-drive if he/she is interested.
A social ebook reader application: Seth Godin has pointed out how Kindle can be made more social. The opportunity here is to create an ebook reader application, rather than a physical reader, that reflects what he has stated.
--Let me see the best parts of the book as highlighted by thousands of other readers.
--Let me see notes in the margin as voted up, Digg-style, by thousands of other readers.
--Let me interact with hyperlinks and smart connections not just within the book but across books
In addition, the application should offer integration with the user's blogging platforms (wordless, blogger, twitter, tumblr et al) such that any highlighted text can be rebloged as a post or tweet. Fred Wilson has also echoed similar sentiments:
Its becoming more natural for readers to want to interact with the content they are reading. Computers have allowed this to happen and mobile devices need to support it. Its not just commenting, its tagging, sharing, reblogging, and a host of other interactions that make consuming content online a better experience than offline consumption.
It's gotten to the point that if I can't interact with content, I don't want to consume it. When I read books, I underline certain passages so I can blog about them later. If I were reading on a connected device, I'd simply reblog on tumblr and be done. I don't think I'm unusual in this regard but I do think I'm in the leading edge of behavior and that more and more people will feel this way.
Ebook readers with built in content for verticals: There are thousands of free ebooks on the web. You can built a ebook reader application that has already aggregates and organises free ebooks in vertical sectors such as travel, cars, gadgets, economics, science friction et al. In addition, ensure that each vertical has the relevant contextual services to enhance the book reading experiences. Some examples:
- For tourism related ebooks, link to applications like hotel finder, travel search engines etal. This will create potential affiliate revenue for the authors
- For cooking guides, link to online groceries services for users can purchase ingredients.
- For fanfiction, mangas, comics and celebrities' biography, link to wallpapers, ringtones, videos, merchandise et al where users can click to buy these items;
- For novels like science friction, integrate your reader with a related online community so that whatever the user has read, rated, commented, reviewed can be shared with the community, i.e. user generated context.
- For investment books, a CNN News ticker (scrolling news headlines on the bottom of the 24 hour cable TV news on screen) like mobile service where relevant stocks or investments that is related to the ebook's investment themes can be scrolled across the bottom of the screen. Users of course have the option to turn the service off if it is too much distraction. This can be a Zemanta type of play where authors have to first insert a script into their ebooks.
A playlist.com equivalent for reading list: Reading list to books is what playlist is to music. It is a powerful way to create and share context for books. What is needed is a way to share reading lists from ebook readers, both within the same application and across different readers. Such an service is more powerful on mobile because of its built-in payment channel. Readers can now look at the reading list from friends, and buy any title that they like immediately. It is magic!
Be a topspinmedia equivalent for authors for ebooks: Create applications that help authors better connect with their fans. These applications should be easily integrated into ebooks such that their services are embedded, rather than requiring readers to download another application. How are a few examples
- Mobile is, first and foremost, a communication device. Leverage that to create real engagement between reader and authors through real conversations enabled by the phone. The idea is to create Twitter widget that any ebook author can embed with their ebooks. Using this widget, readers can converse with authors in a Twitter like manner. Authors can also use this channel to send relevant links, short stories or blog posts and even answer questions from their readers;
- A book tour mobile mapping service that alerts the reader if any of their favourite authors are visiting their nearby locations;
- A mobile meetup application for fans to organise meetup sessions either between themselves or between fans and authors.
- A DIY ecommerce mobile site for authors to publish and market their ebooks. Imagine mobisiteglore but with a focus on authors.