Large-scale growth is now evident in the e-book market, with technology and market research company Forrester Research reporting a 150 percent increase in the number of online U.S. eReader owners in the last year. This market boom has publishers wondering how to most effectively capitalize on this developing trend.
Thanks to advances in conversion technology, publishers can quickly convert their files to any platform-specified format. Publishers with a strong internal digital asset management system will be best positioned to capitalize on emerging eReader features, which are more data-intensive and interactive, and offer great monetization potential. Publishers who want to prepare their content for use in e-books and other digital formats need to start planning now by:
- Developing short- and long-term e-book strategies: because the e-book market is still emerging and evolving, it is prone to quick swings based on new partnerships and developments. There are many factors for publishers to consider in this changing environment. For instance: publishers with a substantial number of backlist titles must decide whether to proceed chronologically, by popularity or by genre. Reviewing the sales of related e-books will help publishers determine the salability of certain genres, as well as specific titles.
- Planning a digital distribution rights strategy: books published 15-20 years ago specified publishers’ rights for reprinting, but they did not contain provisions for digital or electronic distribution rights. Consequently, publishers must ensure that they hold or retain electronic distribution rights. If they do not possess these rights, obtaining them is crucial. Backlist and/or orphaned titles may be impacted by the “Google Book Settlement.”
- Setting-up the optimal workflow: for publishers with a single source publishing workflow, in which one source file for editing content and generating products in multiple outputs is created, this is a fairly simple step. For those without such a workflow, it is necessary to create a tactical plan to digitize content quickly and get it into the marketplace. A plan to optimize the workflow can then be created. e-book functionality is improving rapidly. Publishers must have the capacity to add and manage their digital assets and meta data to help leverage additional monetization avenues in the future.
- Understanding current device functionality and its potential impact on content: knowing which devices align with which platforms, as well as understanding which devices optimize various content mediums (newspapers, magazines, etc.), is a must. These factors must be considered in advance in order to best present the various forms of content, establish alliances and make business deals.
- Considering distributors’ partnerships and alliances:the choice of a platform (such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony, etc.) is preceded by negotiations and partnerships. These negotiations must cover how publishers will deliver content, whether or not the platform will convert the files, how e-book files will be maintained and updated to capitalize on newly emerging e-book technology and trends, etc.
- Selecting a value-added e-book conversion partner:digitization and conversion projects sometimes involve millions of pages. Publishers also require features that simplify search and support repurposing. This is one reason why many publishers elect to work with a digitization and conversion partner with a deep understanding of publishing needs.
Innodata can help publishers with each of the steps listed above. We’re the first choice for publishers and information services companies seeking to digitize and convert massive content sets. For example, we digitized thousands of books for an online retailer to help customers browse books online, and we’re involved in ongoing digitization and conversion projects for a number of large publishers.
For more than a decade, Innodata has helped publishers analyze and deploy industry-leading content-related systems and solutions. We understand how these systems mesh with, and can improve, publishers’ overall content supply chain, from establishing the proper privileges and rights for authors to creating content repositories based on leading practices.