Liz Scheier is the Editorial Director of Digital Content at Barnes & Noble.com. She lives in Brooklyn with her partner.
Welcome, Liz, please describe your new position with Barnes and Noble.
I work on developing new lines of content for bn.com and across all our mobile platforms. I also do promotions on a title-by-title basis, and work on finding new ways to reach readers wherever they are – and however they like to read.
What kind of original content do you develop across your mobile platforms?
One of my favorite projects right now is a program called More in Store. You can take your nook into any Barnes & Noble store, sign onto the store’s dedicated wireless, and download free, exclusive short content – essays, short stories, Q&As, you name it. We’ve included content from a wide variety of bestselling and emerging authors, including Dean Koontz, Adriana Trigiani, Alexander McCall Smith, Jim Cramer, Kelly Corrigan, Mitch Albom, Rebecca Skloot, Ruth Reichl, Debbie Macomber, Justin Cronin, and many others.
Can you tell us about any programs to get shorter e-only content into the storefront?
One of my favorite characteristics of ebooks is that they’re not tied to a particular range of lengths; we’ve all read books that were stretched out far longer than they needed to be, or smushed into too few pages, to fit the needs of a print market that requires a certain price point to be financially reasonable - but can’t be so long that it’s too costly to print. I love that econtent is viable – both aesthetically and financially - at whatever length suits it best.
Barnes & Noble will be announcing some initiatives this summer that take advantage of the flexibility of shorter content. Stay tuned!
Would you give us examples of how you work with publishing houses and/or authors?
I work closely with a variety of talented, devoted people at publishing houses – account reps, digital teams, marketing gurus, editors. We discuss upcoming titles, important backlist, thematic promotions, opportunities for creative ways of presenting new content – or getting existing books into readers’ hands.
What are your speculations about the future of the industry?
We’ve all seen various projections about ebooks and how much a part of book sales they will be within the next few years, but no one knows for sure. At Barnes & Noble, our strategy is to provide our customers choice, be it in ebook or p-book format, any book, anytime, anywhere. This is an enormously exciting time for the book industry as a whole, and I’m delighted to be a part of it.