New Technological Strategies

In the article Canadian Publishing 2015: Book Marketing in 2015 by Laura Godfrey, Godfrey shares about how publishers are finding new ways to compete in an ever-changing market, and reach new readers. One publisher, Dundurn Press, is selling their e-books through their own website instead of directing customers off-site, and they are offering special promotions if the books is purchased from them directly.

ECW Press is going the audiobook route since there was a demand for audiobooks from libraries, with librarians saying that audiobooks were not well represented. ECW Press is now working with voice actors and are trying to create and distribute the audiobooks themselves. They hope to have 100 audiobooks by 2016.

The most interesting of the bunch is from Second Story Press. They are combining the print and digital experience for readers. They have used Digimarc technology to place an invisible watermark on the pages of a book that will let readers scan the page with an app to bring up additional information on the content they are reading about.

Source: Digimarc.com

Each of these publishers have great ideas in expanding their market and gaining attention from current readers, while gathering new readers. Selling directly on a publishers website is a good way to direct more profit. One potential problem is that most readers, unless die-hard fans, will not think to go directly to a publishers website unless they are signed up for newsletters from the publisher, or a reader is looking for a great discount and stumbles across a publishers offer on their homepage.

Research shown in an article by the Wall Street Journal states that audiobook sales have increased since the technological boom since there are more advanced options to create audiobooks. This gains potential “readers” who can’t stand to open a book, but will listen to one. Another study done by Survey Monkey showed that 67% of young professionals actually purchased their audiobooks, and many of them were listening during commuting hours and while exercising.

My initial thoughts on Digimarc technology was that readers who buy a print book would probably not want to involve technology during their leisure time with print, and furthermore would not want to download an additional app. However, an article from 2014 showed that Digimarc technology was on the rise in the publishing industry. It seems like the technology is similar to QR codes one might see on an add in a restaurant. If a person is interested enough in the content they are reading, then it makes sense that they would want additional information on the topic.

Overall, publishers are getting very creative with their new marketing strategies that incorporate new technology every day for their readers!

Sources:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/international/international-book-news/article/68094-canadian-publishing-2015-book-marketing-in-2015.html

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323854904578637850049098298

https://www.surveymonkey.com/blog/2014/07/14/audiobooks-professional-habits/

http://www.digimarc.com/press-and-media/press-releases/2014/04/22/digimarc-report-reveals-fast-rising-growth-of-digital-watermarks-in-publishing-industry

A Negative View on the Future of Publishing

In the article, “Where Is Publishing Headed?: The Future Of Books In 7 Easy Steps” by John B. Thompson, Thopson discusses the dramatic changes and challenges the industry has seen “since Gutenberg”.

Thompson focuses in on two major process changes in the industry including social and economic changes, and the digital conversion. In regards to social and economic changes, Thompson points out that the industry is dominated by giants. This includes New York and London having the largest publishing companies still in existence, and Amazon’s penetration into the publishing landscape. Thompson also points out that e-books have successfully integrated the traditional publishing market, and are not going anywhere.

Thompson goes on to make seven predictions about where the industry is headed. He first predicts that Amazon will grow even larger and more successful in their ventures which will cause large chain book stores to go out of business such as Barnes and Noble chains. The elimination of large chain book stores goes with Thompson’s third prediction that if their are fewer retail stores, then there is less visibility for books to be noticed. It basically eliminates the window shopping aspect of retail for books, and he says forces publishers to increase marketing strategies online.

Thompson believes that all publishers will fall into financial difficulty. He says that small publishing companies will go out of business, and medium to large sized companies will notice increased pressure. He believes that these companies will fold to the publishing giants of the industry to control the trade. He also states in his fifth prediction that large publishing companies will see a decrease in physical publishing which will cause them to reduce costs.

Source: https://sfcb.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/kylebean04.jpg

Thompson also predicts a continued surge to digital publishing, and how electronic sales will be a significant portion of a publisher’s revenue.

While I think Thompson has a valid point about how there have been dramatic social and economic changes to the publishing industry, I think his view is overall very negative. He didn’t show any research on how digital sales have helped publishers, or the vast opportunities digital media opens for publishers. In fact, he didn’t include any statistics at all for any publishing sales in the last few years. He also didn’t cover any new publishers that have opened, or existing publishers that have closed.

While his concerns are legitimate, I don’t believe publishing is heading towards extinction like he eludes to. Many different industries have gone through drastic changes as well with changing social and economic factors, but the beauty of business is that it can adapt with the change. It has to.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-b-thompson/future-of-books_b_1501182.html

Lindy Gervin