The publishing industry has survived for generations, constantly evolving and presenting its finest reads. Global publishers are facing challenges in reducing their cost of operations, marketing publishing services, speed to market and being different. However, behind each publication, every publisher has to face a number of his or her own challenges. Let’s look at some of these challenges that publishers and other stakeholders have often faced right across decades of their publishing experience:
1. Reader’s demand: The reader’s demand for variety in content, format, and detail has always been a driving influence for publishers. Readers love being pampered with the opportunity to choose from a number of reading options and unique features, of course in an economical and easily accessible format. Achieving these insatiable demands of the reader with conventional publishing approaches has always been a challenge.
2. Preorders: When a book is released, its success is often unpredictable. Thus, publishers were always running the risk of over-printing the number of copies. Predicting sales numbers has always been a challenge, with publishers constantly seeking an accurate solution for breaking the preorder or subscription prediction puzzle, including smart options where consumers can place their orders even before the release of the edition.
3. Reader–author engagement: There has always been a gap between the authors and readers, despite readers connecting closely with their authors through their content. But apart from this connect, there’s hardly any scope of interaction between the author and reader in the conventional publishing space, apart from a few signing events or conferences. This boundary has been a major limitation in enabling the reader–author relationship.
4. Appearance: The aesthetics of a book is an important element not just in enabling sales but also in delivering an effective reading experience. The size, dimension, artwork, format and page layout, in addition to the title and cover, do have an impact on the consumer reading experience. However, the limitations of conventional publishing in delivering not just variety but also brilliant design elements and content presentation formats have been quite a challenge.
5. Instant information: In today’s fast-moving world, immediate access to information is what readers expect from their book-reading experience too. The information is to be in such a form that it is easily shared and accessed by everyone.
6. Change in reading habits: A consistent increase in the availability alternative entertainment options has been threatening the audience’s interest in reading. Thus, authors and publishers had to compete on marketing publishing services and keep pace with the other entertainment options to make reading an equally attractive option.
While most of the above challenges do exist even today, the digital revolution, with its brilliant innovations and technological excellence, has taken the publishing industry by a storm. Not only has this revolution resolved most of the publishing ecosystem’s constant challenges, but the unending surprises from the world of technology are creating new growth and expansion opportunities for publishers across the world. Technological developments and innovations have helped the publishers and stakeholders worldwide go beyond conventional publishing approaches to explore new avenues in data mining and management.
In this tech-savvy generation, smart phones have brought the entire library and more to our pockets. Varieties of local to international reads, online newspapers, magazines and e-books are available in a single click. A single content source can deliver innumerable output formats with exponential formatting options, at an unimaginable speed and high quality. But more importantly, technological innovations have disrupted the way we think about publishing today – most of the boundaries that existed earlier are crumbling, be it between print and online, between different formats of digital content, in terms of easy access to content anytime from anywhere, or with respect to empowering authors to getting their own content published with ease.
Digital publishing has reduced the production costs and increased the ease and reach of distribution. Works are published and can be distributed easily through digital publishing without third party interaction. But the challenge is how to marketing publishing services. Instant access to reader’s feedback and suggestions through chats and blogs has improved the reader-author relationship as well. Various other features such as audio e-books, graphics, search and interactive options have taken the publishing industry to an entirely different level.
All these exciting options that the digital revolution has indeed remodeled the entire publishing landscape. With content being created, formatted, presented, and distributed in innumerable ways. Technology has not just brought content to the reader’s fingertips but also has build multiple points where the author and reader can connect to build an inspiring relationship of trust. Right from data mining and permissions to automated production process, multiple output formats, and extensive global distribution, the publishing world is leveraging the magic of technology to shift the frame of publishing from content to data and from print to online. With such a tremendous transformation disrupting the entire publishing landscape, it is definitely critical that every player in the publishing arena has to take a step back and assess their technology kit to be sure that they are well prepared for production and marketing publishing services . If not, it’s definitely worth looking around for trustworthy technology partners for some serious help.
Author Raj Mohan Technology Marketer @addkraft