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BISG and PageMajik Survey Shows Publishing Workflow in Need of Rethinking

This piece was originally published in the Publishers Weekly Book Brunch London Book Fair Show Daily

When the digital revolution began over a decade ago, publishers were forced to examine their decades- old way of doing business. The move to digital forced publishers to look for dramatic ways to improve efficiency and keep up with a market they struggled to recognize. Unfortunately, the processes that followed were often a digital version of an existing system, barely improving productivity and, in some cases, creating additional unnecessary work.

To learn more about pain points in the publishing workflow, PageMajik and Book Industry Study Group (BISG) last fall partnered on a survey of publishing professionals. The goal: identify issues and offer workflow solutions that would help both the industry and individual publishers.

The survey revealed that 17% of respondents spend 25–50% of their time doing repetitive tasks, while 47% of respondents said repetitive tasks take up 10–25% of their time. Of those repetitive tasks, 58% of respondents felt that some of those tasks were avoidable. And, over half the respondents also said they could be more effective in their jobs if repetitive work was eliminated.

Among the largest time-wasting activities, according to respondents, were updating metadata, providing the same information in multiple reports, tracking projects in various formats, and outlining assignments.

A system that automates some of these processes would provide publishers with both efficiency and time. In turn, those publishers could focus on higher-level product development and related strategic work, such as acquisition, design, and promotion.

The conversation about workflow best practices doesn’t end with the survey or this article. On March 28th in New York, the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) will host a meeting focused on cloud-based workflows. Structured as an interactive, two-hour workshop, the program will solicit even more information about the challenges publishers and the book industry face.

PageMajik is also continuing to explore these challenges and share its views on how to address them. For more information about the survey or to discuss your particular workflow challenges and how we might help, please visit me at the PageMajik booth at Stand #3B08.

Jon White is the Global Vice President of Sales & Marketing at PageMajik.

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