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"Highlights from FBF 2023"

"Five" Principles Publishers Should Follow to Thrive in the Digital Era


Digital Transformation is top of mind for everyone in the industry today. Everyone knows how to order vegetables and groceries online. Be it entertainment, education, communication, or transacting business, everything has become possible using digital tools.

Even reading. The printed book will always be desired by avid readers, but there is a revolution here too. E-books and websites with all kinds of content are available with paid and free content. Book publishers are now competing with content online that is wide and varied, easily available, and available in many formats. Therefore, while traditional books will continue to find readers, there is much publishers need to do to improve their content, processes, and market reach by leveraging digital technologies.

Four key principles that publishers will have to embrace to continue to be relevant and successful in today’s world include:

1. A Top-Down Approach to Digital Transformation

Habits die hard and old habits die harder. The publishing industry is one where veterans who are thorough with the process continue to hold sway on how a book should be published. While this continuity improves efficiency, it also can become a bottleneck to changes.

For any change to be effective, organizational buy-in is very important. Right from the top management to the last man selling the book, everyone must understand the value of using digital tools and platforms for publishing and distributing books. The management must create digital strategies and communicate them down the line for the transformational effort to be successful and achieve the expected results. They should be able to see the business case and articulate it to the teams so that the transformation is smooth and seamless.

2. Accelerating the Production Process

Publishers have their own criteria for accepting a manuscript for publication. The evaluation process itself can take time, and even after a book has been accepted, the production cycle may well cause the book to be released a couple of years after submission.

One of the reasons for this, of course, is thoroughness. That is why traditional publishers continue to be respected—for their vigilance and focus on quality. But the time taken to publish can cause authors to get restless. Sometimes, in this fast-changing world, the topic itself may become irrelevant by the time the book is released. Therefore, speed is of the essence.

While some processes cannot and should not be automated, a few others can be. For instance, PageMajik is a publishing tool that facilitates automating processes such as castoff, tracking manuscript progression, manuscript storage and retrieval, and so on. By automating some of the processes, the production cycle can be made more efficient and faster, speeding up the time-to-market.

3. Content Relevance

Another aspect connected to relevance, apart from currency, is the tastes and preferences of the readers. Sometimes, fantasies may be fast-moving, and sometimes, mythologies. There may be much demand for self-help books at times, and at times, it may be all about relationships.

Publishers need to invest in tools that can help them analyze the trends, evaluate the performance of their own publications to identify patterns, and choose the right content to cater to the requirements. This can increase sales conversions, improve revenues, and enhance brand value.

4. Improved Collaboration

Communication between the author and the editors, the intervention of the author during the production cycle, and the changes during the design and proofing stage – all these can cause confusion, version variabilities, rework, and time. A collaboration tool that provides transparency and alerts and notifications can make the entire process very effective. PageMajik enables this by ensuring that the author and editors work on the correct version and receive alerts whenever they are required to review/approve/change and communicate within the system.

5. Wider Market Reach

The marketing divisions of publishing houses will also find digital marketing strategies expanding their reach and improving the effectiveness of the promotional campaigns. They can rely on advanced analytics to predict market trends, identify virgin markets, and strengthen their presence in existing markets. They can create targeted marketing, even pricing and strategies, and leverage multiple channels to maximize sales at minimal costs.

There are many other benefits of using digital technologies, such as printing only as per demand, minimizing errors, reducing the back-and-forth between the author and the publishing teams by unifying processes and improving time-to-market.

Modernizing the publishing process by leveraging digital tools can speed up the production process by lowering costs and improving efficiencies. Cloud-based tools further reduce the infrastructure costs as they work on a SaaS (software-as-a-service) model, allowing publishers to use them on a need-basis. They do not have to invest in the hardware and software, and do not have to fear their investments becoming irrelevant due to the fast-paced changes in technology. They can continue to focus on their core area and outsource their software requirements to experts such as PageMajik.

For more information on PageMajik, click here.

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