Choosing E-Books or Print – New Options from NCDA
By Natalie Scrimsher and Melanie Reinersman
NCDA is proud to offer quality products in its Career Resource Store. As of late 2016, a new look to the Store debuted, marking a new page, so to speak, in the publishing side of our association. NCDA is excited to announce we now offer our products in three formats:
- E-Book (PDF)
- Subscription (or HTML)
With the goal of matching industry standards for publishing, NCDA needed to move its product offering into the 21st century. Because smart phones, tablets and e-reader apps are more versatile than ever and can read different file formats, shoppers want choices that match their reading preferences and lifestyles. Now NCDA can meet the need for a broader store selection while delivering content that is relevant, accessible, useful, timely and cost-effective.
If a shopper wants to find a book about multicultural issues in career development, for example, first the shopper visits www.ncda.org and clicks on the Career Resource Store (either on the right side of the home page or the link on the Professional Development dropdown). Then the shopper types in “multicultural” in the search box in the Store. The results show three choices: two in the Print category and one in the E-book category. When making a selection, look for the Item number with an E in front for the E-book, or for the words “PDF download” after the title.
Natalie Scrimsher, Publications Director, oversees the Career Resource Store functionality and distribution options. Melanie Reinersman, Website Editor and Publications Development Director, handles the publication process for new products and the webpage content and layout.
“I am happy to say the new store is up and running smoothly. Members shop by logging in and searching the different formats. I like the ease of generating sales and inventory reports while letting experts handle the distribution” says Natalie Scrimsher. Shoppers do not need to be members to make purchases, but will need to create an account.
Benefits Arise from a New Store
NCDA selected an e-publishing company with cost-effective association experience to guide NCDA in appropriate approaches and distribution strategies. Benefits to this switch include:
- improving member satisfaction, by meeting reader preferences – shoppers buy what they want, when they want
- staying on top of technology, showing that NCDA can evolve as an organization
- marketing our brand - because only carefully selected books are offered in our store, shoppers see the quality of our products
- allowing for redistribution options – especially important for larger reference works or older, historical content
- monitoring accurately the inventory levels – new potential for just-in-time publication
- expanding revenue opportunities, which is good for the whole association
- offering practical solutions to fulfillment challenges
- user-friendly content – great for readers on the go!
The new Career Resource Store layout shows tabbed sections for visitors to select the different shopping preferences. Members should login first (under Accounts) to view discounts. Monthly specials are posted under the Sale tab.
“The new 'Subscriptions' section offers products in an online format. Purchasers will receive an email with login instructions for accessing the product from any browser, anytime” explains Melanie Reinersman. “Currently the purchased subscription item is available to the customer forever. In the future, NCDA will offer products that renew with an actual subscription time frame. This is unique and valuable because NCDA can update products and distribute the new material to anyone who purchased a subscription within a certain time period.” For example, the next edition of the “Counselor's Guide to Career Assessments” will be offered via subscription – when a practitioner makes the purchase, for example a two-year subscription, any reviews of assessments that are completed and posted for the next two years will automatically be available to that customer for free, as part of their original purchase.
To make a purchase, use NCDA's secure online ordering system, with a convenient shopping cart for all your items. Select the item and add it to your cart. Proceed to Checkout and use the PayPal link to pay by Credit Card or your PayPal account. Shoppers can return to the NCDA website anytime by clicking on the NCDA logo at the top left of the page. Currently, purchase orders can only be fulfilled by emailing email@example.com
Another aspect of secure shopping involves the protection of the product after the sale. Digital Rights Management (DRM) and other tools are solutions for managing content among buyers and non-buyers. All stakeholders, especially authors, can feel confident in NCDA's fulfillment operations in terms of security.
Summing Up the Switch
“We have a wide array of books with very unique audiences,” explains NCDA Executive Director Deneen Pennington. NCDA looks at the preferences of Millennials and Baby Boomers in terms of how we deliver our educational materials (Omnipress, 2015). In the 21st century, digital formats make sense, yet there is still a place for print materials. NCDA worked for over a year to determine how to best keep our customers and budget happy. Our new store achieves a balance of convenience, flexibility, and efficiency. Offering options and avenues to career development information matches the NCDA mission.
Omnipress. (2015). Millennials and Training: How young professionals prefer to read educational materials. Retrieved from http://www2.omnipress.com/MillennialsAndTraining?utm_source=banner-ad&utm_campaign=blog-banner&utm_medium=blog&utm_content=D161117LP
Natalie Scrimsher has been the Membership & Publications Director for the past 16 years. firstname.lastname@example.org