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The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT
FA_2013 London Book Fair_Cover Wrap_resized.pdf 1 3/7/13 11:04 AM
An in-depth look at everything digital at the fair
SPi Global can help – visit us at booth 505 in the Digital Zone.
April 15-17, 2013
Let’s Discuss Your Digital Challenges at the London Book Fair
SPi Global’s Innovation Lab is currently working on a broad range of projects including: • EPUB, enhanced eBooks, Conversion, Apps, Mobile Content Development • HTML5 migrations • Conceptualizing “e-primary” workflow and production processes
• Review and implementation of design standards for products that are expected to move from 100% print to primarily non-print in future editions
Let’s discuss how we can help you at the London Book Fair (Booth Q505) or after the fair – please email email@example.com.
The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT
BY JIM MILLIOT
Growth Sets the Stage
E-book sales exploded in the U.S. in 2012, but what comes next?
-books are gradually ﬁnding customers in a greater E-book Trends in the U.S. number of countries Showing % of book buyers who bought at least one e-book that month across the globe, but there (blue) and the % who say they read e-books daily/weekly (orange). is no argument that e-books have had their greatest success in the U.S. The Association of American Publishers’ monthly StatShot program reported that sales of adult trade e-books were up 34.5% in the ﬁrst 11 months of last year compared to same period in 2011, hitting $1.5 billion at the companies that supply ﬁgures to the association. While the rate of growth slowed in 2012, e-books firmly took hold as the third-largest format in the year, moving ahead of % read e-books (daily/weekly) % book buyers who purchased an e-book (US) mass market paperback. The rate of change in e-book SOURCE: BOWKER MARKET RESEARCH sales vis-à-vis the other formats has been documented by Bowker Market Research, whose PubTrack Change in Book Formats, 2010-2012 Consumer service has been following book-buying trends for more than five years. The portion of book buyers who bought at least one e-book in January 2011 was about 13%—a ﬁgure that grew to 25% in January 2013. That increase in e-book adoption has changed the publishing landscape. In the ﬁrst quarter of 2010, digital accounted for 4% of unit purchases of American books, with hardcover representing 36% of units and trade paperback 34%. The mass market paperback segment had a 15% share during that period. By the final quarter of 2012 much had changed; e-books accounted for 27% of unit sales in the period, while hardcov- slowed to a seven-percentage-point gain year over year in the ers and trade paperbacks each accounted for 28%, and the ﬁnal quarter of 2012. What the data in the U.S. show is that digital and print mass market paperback format share dropped to 8%. The Bowker data do, however, reﬂect the slowing growth shown books can coexist, but over the next few years everyone by the AAP numbers. Between the fourth quarter of 2010 and involved with book publishing will be intently examining how 2011, e-books’ share of units rose by 13 percentage points, but that relationship plays out. ■
The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT
In the Zone
This year’s LBF Digital Zone features three days of presentations and demos in two theaters
n 2009, the London Book Fair Digital Zone and Theatre was a corridor of stands and a cramped, 23-seat presentation area on the edge of the show ﬂoor. But like the digital publishing business itself, it’s showing big growth. After drawing overﬂow crowds year after year to hear presentations about e-books and digital publishing, the Digital Zone has expanded once again, and this year’s edition will be the biggest yet, featuring a wide range of exhibitors, presentation in two theaters, and three full days of programming and
demos about the latest digital publishing tools, trends, services, and devices. Oh, and there’s a bar. This year’s Digital Zone for the ﬁrst time will feature a “networking bar” where you can meet a vendor over a good scotch, or chat with other professionals. To help you plan your LBF activities, we’ve included the schedule of presentations for the Digital Zone theaters over the next three days. (The schedule, is of course subject to lastminute changes).
DATE Monday April 15 Monday April 15 Monday April 15
START TIME 10:30 AM. 11:00 AM. 11:30 AM.
SEMINAR TITLE The Future is HTML5. The Future of Digital Publishing: From Analytics to Innovation. Your Interactive eBook Options in 20 Minutes. Inkling, Your Interactive eBook Options in 20 Minutes. Inkling, iBooks Author, Adobe DPS, or a Custom HTML5 Solution? Cross Platform Approach as Core of Long Term Strategy in Digital Dictionaries. Accelerate your eBook Business with your own Branded eBook Store. Smart Self-Publishing – What Indie Authors Do, and What They Can Do for You. TBC Big Data Insights to Drive Sales Through OverDrive’s Library, School, Retail & OEM Channels. Fragile to Agile: Confronting Publishing Production in the Digital Age. Reader Store - Better, Simpler, Easier. Innovate While You Think. Delivering ePub3 Titles to Support Your Direct to Consumer Strategy.
VENUE Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1
SPEAKER Dominic Floyd Fletcher Fionnuala Duggan Maria Bartoszewicki
COMPANY Ninestars Information Technologies CourseSmart Aptara
Monday April 15 Monday April 15 Monday April 15 Monday April 15 Monday April 15 Monday April 15 Monday April 15 Monday April 15 Monday April 15 Monday April 15 Monday April 15 Monday April 15 Monday April 15 Monday April 15 Monday April 15
12:00 PM. 12:30 PM. 1:00 PM. 1:30 PM. 2:00 PM.
Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1
Alexander Zudin John Costa Dave Anderson Anna Augé & Patrick Fidgen Johanna Briton
Paragon Technologie GmbH Qbend Kobo Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. OverDrive
2:30 PM. 3:00 PM. 3:30 PM. 4:00 PM. 4:30 PM.
Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1
Bret Freeman Tad Kitsukawa Mrs. Rita Paul Stefan Kend Johanna Krobitzsch and Jens Klingelhöfer Mahesh Balakrishnan Mathias Bauer Scott Cook John Wheeler Eraj Siddiqui
Aptara Sony Digital Reading Services S.a.r.l. Thomson Digital iPublishCentral / Impelsys Inc. Bookwire
The eBook Distribution Specialists for Digital Theatre 1 Publishers. We Get Your eBooks into the Shops. Simply, Speedily, Cost–Effectively and Worldwide. Platform Independent eBook Reader for Handhelds and Desktops. TrekStoreReader and Tablets Range 2013! Dashboard Command of Global Distribution & Sales Reporting. Distribute Your Content Across Apps. Digital Watermarking and its Impact on eBook Piracy: Creating a Holistic Approach. Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 2
10: 00 AM. 10:30 AM. 11:00 AM. 11:30 AM. 12:00 Noon
diacriTech TrekStor GmbH codeMantra SPi Global Attributor
From Manuscript to Market
Delivering All Formats, to All Channels, Worldwide
Visit us at Stand W605 at the London Book Fair to learn more about collectionPoint 3.0 and our publishing solutions!
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U.S. +1 610-940-1700; UK +44 (0)1865 261437; Spain +34-607 261 801 www.codeMantra.com • cminfo@codeMantra.com
The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT
DATE Monday April 15 Monday April 15 Monday April 15 Monday April 15 Monday April 15 Monday April 15 Monday April 15 Monday April 15 Monday April 15 Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 START TIME 12:30 PM. 1:00 PM. 1:30 PM. 2:00 PM. 2:30 PM. 3:00 PM. 3:30 PM. 4:00 PM. 4:30 PM. SEMINAR TITLE Podium 2.0: Responsive Design Made Scalable for ebooks. Using Amazon’s Independent Publishing Opportunities. How to Automateebook Distribution. Selling eBooks to Direct to Consumers: Tools for Publishers. VENUE Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 2 SPEAKER Kevin Burns Daniel Cooper Tyler Ruse, Matt Harris. Cliff Guren Nicola Johnson Mark Witkowski Gareth Cuddy Zola Afﬂey Ronan Higgins
COMPANY Apex CoVantage Kindle Direct Publishing LibreDigital Blueﬁre Productions The Test Factory JOUVE ePubDirect Evolving Distribution (edde) Aftermath
‘Assessments for Publishers – Driving Adoption, Digital Theatre 2 Learner Engagement and Revenue. Digital First and New Organizational Models. Digital Theatre 2 3 Use Cases To Discover What’s The Real Impact. Innovation in Digital Distribution. Writer to Reader: The Digital Journey. Aftermath: Exploiting Compulsive Social Network Usage among Students to Drive Educational Activities. Big Data Insights to Drive Sales ThroughOver Drive’s Library, School, Retail & OEM Channels. ‘Lektz’ - A Fully Integrated Approach to eReaders, DRM, eBook Stores and eLending. Accelerate your eBook Business with Your Own Branded eBook Store. The Secret to Success: Managing Rights & Permissions in the Digital Age. Interactive Content & Portability: HTML5. eTextbook or eResources - Why not both in One? Bookshelf - A Comprehensive Solution for Education and Publishers. E-reading the Future of Kids’ Books – And Baby, it Looks Bright. And Colourful. Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 2
10: 00 AM. 10:30 AM. 11:00 AM. 11:30 AM. 12:00 Noon 12:30 PM.
Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1
Johanna Briton Lindsay MacLeod & Dr Mohammed Sadiq John Costa and Kaushik Sampath Neeraj Beri Francis Xavier Jolanta Galecka
OverDrive AEL Data Qbend Aptara Cenveo Publisher Services Young Digital Planet
1:00 PM. 1:30 PM. 2:00 PM.
Digital Theatre 1
Michael Tamblyn Richard Stephenson Steve Rutberg
Kobo YUDU Firebrand Technologies & NetGalley Firebrand Technologies & NetGalley Qbend Onixsuite iPublishCentral / Impelsys Inc. Digibooks4all 3M Cloud Library MPS Limited
Building Communities and Customers in Digital. Digital Theatre 1 eBooks, Metadata, and Distribution: Reinvent Your Workﬂow. Generate More Buzz with Digital Proofs: NetGalley in Action. Accelerate your eBook Business with your own Branded eBook Store. From Single Author to Global Supply Chain: Why Good Metadata is Good Business. Delivering ePub3 Titles to Support your Direct to Consumer Strategy. A Global White-Label e-bookstore Mobile app, Paving the Way to the Future. 3M Cloud Library: An Integrated Approach to Library eBook Lending. Workﬂow Management and Digital Publishing Platforms from MPS. Digital Theatre 1
Digital Theatre 1
3:00 PM. 3:30 PM. 4:00 PM. 4:30 PM. 10: 00 AM. 10:30 AM.
Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 2
John Costa and Kaushik Sampath Christopher Saynor Stefan Kend Dr. Panayiotis Paschalakis Matt Tempelis Satya Pal (Narendra Kumar and Tarun Gupta will join the presentation via VC) Hervé Essa
Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16
From Text Books To Pedagogical Practices in Digital World. 2 Use Cases (Europe and US) To Discover. Top 10 Reasons Why You Need to Enrich and Tag Your Content Semantically.
Digital Theatre 2
Digital Theatre 2
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The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT
DATE Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 Tuesday April 16 Wednesday April 17 Wednesday April 17 Wednesday April 17 Wednesday April 17 START TIME 12:00 Noon 12:30 PM. 1:00 PM. 1:30 PM. 2:00 PM. 2:30 PM. 3:00 PM. 3:30 PM. 4:00 PM. 4:30 PM. 10: 00 AM. 10:30 AM. 11:00 AM. 11:30 AM. SEMINAR TITLE Project Managing Digital Assets. Podium 2.0: Responsive Design Made Scalable for ebooks. Using Amazon’s Independent Publishing Opportunities. Title Management, Two Unique Approaches. Selling eBooks to Direct to Consumers: Tools for Publishers. Text Books – Getting Ready for the Future! Project Management, Right and Permission in a Digital World. What Do That Mean? Lending Without Limits. Authoring XML with Word - What’s so Complicated About It? Insights from the eBook Front. Digital Watermarking and its Impact on eBook Piracy: Creating a Holistic Approach. HTML 5: Enhancing your Reach. The Global Reader. TBC TBC CINE-BOOKS – New Opportunities in Digital Publishing. Pushing The Boundaries of a “Book.” Watermarking and Personalisation of ebooks – the Better DRM Alternative. Rights Management – It’s a Piece of Cake. The London Book Fair/IC Tomorrow Digital Showcase. The London Book Fair/IC Tomorrow Digital Showcase. The London Book Fair/IC Tomorrow Digital Showcase. Embracing Change - Harder Working Book Campaigns for the Digital Age. Using Amazon’s Independent Publishing Opportunities. Epub in 2013, What Became of the Standard? VENUE Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 1 Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 2 Chris McCrudden Daniel Cooper Scott Cook Nicola Johnson Srikanth Subramanian Achille Coenegracht Richard Bowles Richard Bowles SPEAKER Darren Ryan Kevin Burns Daniel Cooper Scott Cook and Eric Freese Cliff Guren Natraj Kumar Mark Witkowski Zola Afﬂey Dr. Stefan Herman Rick Joyce Yuri Burka Ramnik Singh Zola Afﬂey Daniel Hill TBC Oleg Foranov Matthieu Kopp Huub van de Pol Dr. Clare Webb
COMPANY Deanta Global Publishing Services Apex CoVantage Kindle Direct Publishing codeMantra Blueﬁre Productions HTC Global Services JOUVE Evolving Distribution (edde) inﬁnity-loop Constellation Digital Services Attributor Q2ABILLSMITH Evolving Distribution (edde) Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. Ninestars Information Technologies Ltd. CINE-BOOKS Kobo BooXstream Capture Ltd IC Tomorrow IC Tomorrow IC Tomorrow MIDAS PR Kindle Direct Publishing codeMantra The Test Factory Hurix Systems Private Limited Aquafadas. Intel Intel
Wednesday 12:00 Noon April 17 Wednesday April 17 Wednesday April 17 Wednesday April 17 Wednesday April 17 Wednesday April 17 Wednesday April 17 Wednesday April 17 12:30 PM. 1:00 PM. 1:30 PM. 2:00 PM. 2:30 PM. 3:00 PM. 3:30 PM.
Wednesday 10: 00 AM. April 17 Wednesday April 17 Wednesday April 17 Wednesday April 17 10:30 AM. 11:00 AM. 11:30 AM.
‘Assessments for Publishers – Driving Adoption, Digital Theatre 2 Learner Engagement and Revenue. TBC. 360° Publishing Strategies in the Digital Era. Digital Theatre 2 Digital Theatre 2
Wednesday 12:00 Noon April 17 Wednesday April 17 Wednesday April 17 Wednesday April 17 12:30 PM. 1:00 PM. 1:30 PM.
Vision for Professional Grade and Next Digital Theatre 2 Generation User Experience with Digital Content. Vision for Professional Grade and Next Digital Theatre 2 Generation User Experience with Digital Content.
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The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT
The new group hopes to accelerate the adoption of EPub 3
ate last month marked an important step forward in the evolution of digital publishing: the introduction of the Readium Foundation. The foundation is a new membership-based nonproﬁt formed to develop commercialgrade, open-source e-reading software. The components developed by the foundation, it is hoped, will accelerate adoption of EPub 3 by the digital publishing industry. There are more than 25 initial members of the new Readium Foundation ranging from ACCESS, to Vibal Publishing House. The founding members are collectively contributing signiﬁcant ﬁnancial and development resources to the organization’s ﬁrst two key projects: Readium Web and Readium SDK. Both of these efforts are focused on helping the digital publishing industry as a whole realize the full potential of the EPub 3 e-book ﬁle format. EPub 3.0 is the latest version of the EPub standard that was established in 2007. The new standard embodies the industry’s hopes for rich, interactive books of all kinds that can be easily read on a broad range of desktop computers and mobile devices. EPub 3 incorporates the evolving HTML 5 standard and adds support for important core elements, such as the inclusion of embedded audio and video, page numbering, mathematical equations, and improved accessibility, as well as many other enhancements. The list below describes just a few of the new types of e-books that the standard will enable: ● E-books embedded with audio and video, such as cookbooks with how-to video clips or guidebooks with audio walking tours. ● Textbooks with interactive charts and graphs, highly detailed ﬁgures, and complex formatting. ● Illustrated children’s books with sound and animation that can highlight words as they are read aloud. Readium.org was founded in 2012 by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) to support the development of an open-source EPub 3 reading system that runs in a Web browser. This project matured into a popular Chrome browser extension (available via the Chrome Web store) that enables users to download and read unencrypted EPub 3 books in their Chrome browsers. The open-source codebase has been adopted as the nucleus of several browser-based cloud readers, including the new Bookshare Web Reader. The project will now fall under the wing of the Readium Foundation as Readium Web, which is being developed to work with all modern Web browsers. Readium SDK is a new open-source project focused on the development of a Software Development Kit (SDK) that can be used by skilled developers to create desktop and mobile reading applications that support the full EPub 3 ﬁle format. It’s important to note that you’re not likely to see a “Readium App” in the future—instead, you’ll see a number of different apps that were created by a variety of companies that all utilize the opensource Readium SDK code libraries. Think of the Readium
Readium Foundation Takes Shape By Micah Bowers
SDK as an EPub3 reading application engine. As our company (Blueﬁre Productions) dove deeper into adding more robust EPub 3 support to our e-book applications, we found that the EPub 3 spec is open to a considerable amount of interpretation—and we realized that developing great EPub 3 support would require substantial ongoing investment. We also recognized that publishers will need to know that the books they publish will look great and function as intended no matter which reading application is being used—whether it’s a Blueﬁre-powered application or an app from any other developer or retailer around the world. So we started talking to and meeting with other like-minded industry players, such as Kobo, Evident Point, and the IDPF. What evolved was a collaborative effort to create a robust, open-source EPub 3 application engine that each of us (and others in the industry) could use to build commercial-grade reading system applications. This group now has a name: the Readium Foundation. The founding members realized that coming together to jointly create a single open-source EPub 3 platform would be more efﬁcient than having each company separately develop proprietary implementations, and would create the momentum necessary to expand the digital publishing market. The goal is to raise the bar for EPub 3.0 support across the industry so that EPub maintains its position as the standard distribution format. Open markets require this kind of standardization. Publishers cannot be expected to develop unique ﬁles for proprietary reading systems. The Readium Foundation will be separate from IDPF. The latter focuses on developing and promoting standards and has over 300 members. Development of commercialized technology is optimized when the adopters are the drivers. The IDPF will continue to oversee several open-source projects related to promoting the EPub standard, including EPub check for validating EPub ﬁles and the EPub Reading System test suite. The Readium SDK will support ﬁle-level DRM extensions, but will be DRM agnostic and can be deployed with or without DRM. Blueﬁre plans to create a solution that is Adobe Content Server (ACS) enabled and will allow retailers and publishers to distribute ACS-protected EPub 3 books on tablets, smart phones, and desktop computers. We don’t expect the Readium Foundation be a silver bullet. However, we do believe that the use of common shared-code components across a wide spectrum of large and small companies will be an important step forward for us, our customers, and their customers. ■
Micah Bowers is founder and CEO of Blueﬁre Productions.
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The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT
Digitization and Its Drivers
BY TERI TAN
n the ever-evolving digital space, having a cross-media, multichannel and obsolescence-proof publishing strategy is the way forward. But streamlining processes to bring about content ﬂexibility, reusability and neutrality to deal with new (and different) standards, platforms and devices are easier said than done. For digital solutions companies, it is not just about having expertise in OCR, DTD, XML, CSS, EPub 3 or HTML5 (and the rest of the alphabet soup). It is also about reading—and interpreting—industry trends, publisher needs and consumer demands. Increasingly, publishers are moving toward platform-independent solutions for their digital content needs and demanding more interactivity in e-books. For CEO Subrat Mohanty of Mumbaibased Hurix, “assessments, games and quizzes are becoming a major part of an e-book especially for children. As for the educational segment, the focus seems to be on providing differentiated instruction to each student and ensuring that the student achieves the desired learning outcomes as efﬁciently as possible.” The publishing industry, adds Mohanty, is “in a state of ﬂux with clients looking at an XML-ﬁrst workﬂow at one end and using tools such as iBooks Author for custom production at the other end. But everybody is deﬁnitely moving away from proprietary standards such as Flash.” More educational publishers are also moving away from the ‘book model’ and embracing the concept of learning objects and learning objectives as they develop, design and produce content, adds senior v-p for strategy and emerging technologies John Wheeler of SPi Global. “Such an approach, combined with consistent metadata, will allow publishers to be far more ﬂexible in their delivery models across the digital spectrum.” Publishers, especially those in the trade segment, need to adapt to ‘B2B2C’, the new hybrid marketplace, or risk overlooking inﬂuential reader communities and emerging sales opportunities, advises COO Randy Petway of Publishing Technology. “As for publishers in the educational side, the trend is to break down assets into the most basic fragments that can be searched, browsed, repackaged and sold in different ways. ” One visible trend in the past couple of years has been publishers’ increased internalization of knowledge about the digital production process, observes president Maran Elancheran of Newgen Knowledge Works. “Gone are the days when a book publisher might just ask its prepress vendors to ‘provide XML along with the print ﬁles,’ and to suggest a suitable DTD for the purpose. Nowadays, a request to supply XML tends to be accompanied by exhaustive text capture instructions for a customized incarnation of a particular version of a speciﬁc DTD.” The same clarity of prescription is emerging in requests for e-book formats as well, adds Elancheran, who ﬁnds it “a welcome trend for those of us who offer digital prepress services, particularly when— as is commonly the case—we have been involved by the publisher in evolving these speciﬁcations. But perhaps even more welcome has been a consequent trend to reexamine existing digital workﬂows, a willingness to reengineer workﬂows to accommodate the myriad new delivery formats smoothly, rather than simply to treat those new formats as appendices to an established process.”
EPub 3 and all issues associated with bringing the next wave of interoperable titles to the market, says executive director of publishing services Walter Walker of codeMantra, “affect our operation and the decisions we make about technology, resources, production processes and fulﬁllment methodologies.” His team is encouraged by the latest Readium initiative and the IDPF’s push to address mobile compliance issues with respect to EPub 3 (see p. 8). “With customers making great strides in circumnavigating the entrenched and dominant e-book channels to sell directly to niche markets, we are busy investing in technologies to support such direct sales initiatives.” At the same time, the idea of treating large content repositories as ‘Big Data’ is gaining traction. This is especially true in areas such as research, legal publishing and news aggregation. The tools and repositories developed around data warehousing, discovery and research can then be leveraged across a number of publishing areas, according to Wheeler of SPi Global. ‘Big Data’ is the key for any future consumer interactions for publishers, adds COO Kaushik Sampath of Dubuque, Iowabased Qbend, pointing out that “with publishers just starting to realize the importance of selling direct, there may not be enough data now to get predictive intelligence. But that void will ﬁll up soon. Consumers want their content in various forms—and not necessarily in the form in which it was originally conceptualized. ” For Walker of codeMantra, the global e-book awakening, new markets and start-ups—topics addressed at the Digital Minds conference—are of special interest. “While the emerging markets—Asia, Spain and Latin America, for instance—will not mimic 100% the device adoption and e-book trends of the U.S., they are on a growth trajectory that would be similar to the U.S. of a few years ago. ” On the following pages are highlights of what some companies in the digital space are doing at London.
The focus at codeMantra in the last 24 months has been solidifying its services and software offering for the entire publishing value chain. “With the integration of full composition and project management capabilities as well as new software modules in collectionPoint [cP], we now offer customers solutions for asset composition, management, conversion, and distribution. So we can essentially help to drive a publisher’s workﬂow from manuscript to market—and that is our theme at LBF 2013,” says executive director of publishing services Walter Walker. (codeMantra’s trademarked Web-based digital asset-management and distribution platform is called cP 3.0.) The company’s strategic alliance with ePubDirect, an international full-service e-book distributor, has also enabled codeMantra “to offer customers access to an indirect reseller for their content—one that can place their content with hundreds of smaller retailers worldwide,” says Walker. The ever-evolving and surprising ways in which digital work-
The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT
ﬂow affects publishers’ bottom lines and product decisions never fail to amaze Walker. “Take one recent project from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Its publishing division has long wanted to preserve and make possible the recreation of its many high-quality—and out-of-print—art monographs and show catalogues. However, since the original production ﬁles for many of these titles date back to the 1960s, and have long-since disappeared, we used high-resolution nondestructive scanning processes to reproduce the POD [print-on-demand] ﬁles with remarkable ﬁdelity. Working together with Acme Bookbinding, Yale University Press, and the Met, we then set up protocols and processes to provide direct-to-consumer POD sales, as well as shipments of ﬁnished monographs. The Met has since reported very encouraging sales on many of its out-of-print titles.” For more of codeMantra’s conversion workﬂow and solutions across a broad range of formats and devices, drop by stand W605. Director of technology Scott Cook and senior manager of product development and technology Eric Freese will be on hand to demonstrate cP3.0 and answer any questions.
the perfect venue for senior v-p Pawan Narang and his team to spread the word about Contentra Technologies’ new identity and goals. “As a trusted partner for the book, library, and news industries, we plan to take our services to newer markets and industries. Our view is that all organizations in every industry are ‘content publishers’ with unique content life cycles and extraordinary amounts of content to be created, repurposed and distributed. Through our partnership with these publishers or content creators, we have broadened the scope of our services, and, as such, the new name is reﬂective of our new capabilities and specialized offerings in transforming content.” The company’s end-to-end delivery—from authoring to conversion—will bring substantial savings in terms of cost and turnaround time, adds Narang. “Our goal is to help publishers attain their two-pronged approach of retaining the focus on print content while aggressively tapping the digital space. ” Naturally the team has plenty of projects to showcase its capabilities. There was the iBooks Author project for middle school and high school textbooks that in total covered 12,000 pages, 13,300 illustrations, and a huge number of math equations. Another project on psychology requiring animation using HTML5 had the team creating static assets for all digital object storyboards, producing Flash and HTML5 versions of the animation, and making the HTML5 animations compatible with both iOS and Android platforms.
The name change (from the decade-old Planman Technologies) and colorful new logo are symbolic of the company’s renewed focus on content transformation services and service expansion. And London is Contentra_Ad_for_Print_(Digital-Spotlight).pdf 1 4/5/13 7:19 PM
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The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT
Samples of the projects mentioned above and demos in the areas of EPub 3, KF8, iBA, Flash/HTML animations are available to interested publishers. Please contact Narang at pawan.narang@ contentratechnologies.com to schedule an appointment at the fair.
ies,” which are one of the main factors that prompted Ahmed to create STUDYeBUDDY, which addresses the lack of affordable paperback editions of international titles and the urgent demand for such content. The February 8 launch in New Delhi—attended by 40 publishers—has since garnered a lot of interest from academic publishers looking into distributing their content in India. For Ahmed, the portal is a natural evolution of the digital services that DiTech has been providing to publishing clients worldwide. STUDYeBUDDY has specially designed apps for content downloading, robust search features, secure access, and a DRM system—everything that the team has been developing for clients’ projects. While STUDYeBUDDY may take center stage at the stand, Ahmed and his team will also be showcasing samples of digitization projects, which have been their bread and butter. One such project, for an international scientific and medical publisher, involved total project management of books and journals with print PDF, ePDF, and XML deliverables. The huge project saw the team coordinating and working with the client’s external suppliers, authors, and editors.
DiTech Process Solutions
Something radical is on display at booth V715. The brainchild of founder and CEO Nizam Ahmed, STUDYeBUDDY is a one-stop solution for aggregating academic and reference content from publishers worldwide for students on the Indian subcontinent. Unlike other e-learning portals, it supports both B2B and B2C models, as well as ofﬂine sales of ancillaries. “Currently, we are the only aggregator of multipublisher digital content in India that is focused only on academic content for curricula and reference,” says Ahmed. The potential market for Ahmed’s one-stop solution is huge— especially when India has around 100 million active Internet users, a ﬁgure that is set to hit 237 million by 2015. “Now that digital reading is rapidly gaining acceptance, there is visible enthusiasm among institutions and universities to convert and ultimately monetize their huge repositories of print content. The digitization, involving scanning and embedding search mechanisms and other enhancements, will lead to2:21 the creation of PW2013_half page_Layout 1 4/5/2013 PM Page 1numerous virtual librar-
Creating new content in EPub 3 and HTML, and converting legacy content into those standards, are the biggest challenges
The digital future is uncertain. Publishers face a diverse array of challenges on the horizon. Let Publishing Technology enrich the life of your content with a tailored solution from our full spectrum of extensible software and industry services. Visit us on stand V655, EC2 to learn how we can transform your business.
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The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT
faced by publishers today. And Hurix’s executive v-p and head of sales and products, Srikanth Subramanian, is offering two trademarked products, Kitaboo and Dictera, as well as his team’s HTML expertise as the solutions. Kitaboo, a cloud-based production platform for legacy-content conversion into e-books, also offers a white-label EPub reader for publishers wishing to provide their own customized experience to their e-book readers. “We have just added a feature enabling ﬁxedlayout EPub 3 output to Kitaboo, and this will be our special focus at London,” says Subramanian, adding that Kitaboo is now used by publishers in Asia, Australia, and Europe. Dictera, on the other hand, is a cloud-based content development and collaboration platform that is geared toward enabling authors, designers, editors, and project managers to work seamlessly 24/7. Now editors working with Dictera can use a highly intuitive WYSIWYG tracking tool to easily log and track projects; the tool includes additional project management reports and dashboards. For Grupo Anaya, a part of Hachette Livre, for instance, Kitaboo allows the publisher’s entire e-book strategy to be streamlined across 16-plus publishing units located in different territories. As for its HTML services, Mohanty and his team are focused on how to convert Flash content with 100% ﬁdelity, as well as on creating rich interactive HTML content through a cost-effective and scalable model. “Developing HTML5 content with the same level of interactivity as Flash for newer browsers and operating systems drives our team forward. For more on Kitaboo and Dictera, as well as demos, head over to stand Y650.
proved so successful with subscribers that the next tranche of 100 journals is being lined up for mobilization. For another publisher, we digitized the bulk of the frontlist for mobile distribution in a custom application. " This year, Newgen acquired Connecticut-based NETS, a fullservice provider of k-12 materials for teachers and students. NETS offers editorial, art and design, composition and prepress, and interactive media services—the latter an excellent ﬁt for Newgen’s Cloud Matters division in Chennai, which spent 2012 building cloud-based solutions and mobile applications for publishers. For more information on Newgen’s products and solutions, please contact Maran Elancheran at email@example.com.
U.K-based Publishing Technology’s main agenda at London is showcasing its full spectrum of industry-speciﬁc software and services. Attendees can check out its Advance infrastructure system, Pub2web custom hosting platform, Ingentaconnect turnkey hosting solution, and Publishers Communication Group (PCG) sales and marketing consulting services at stand V655. “Of particular interest to LBF attendees would be our next-generation digital/print marketing and distribution platform, Order to Cash,” says U.S.-based COO Randy Petway, pointing out that the application is available on its own or as a part of the company’s Advance operations suite. “It allows publishers to maintain their print business while also embracing digital, to blend different content types and business models, and, most importantly, to be free from the constraints of inﬂexible technologies.” With Order to Cash’s agile and integrated promotion and fulﬁllment functions, publishers can package, market, sell, and deliver content in whichever format the readers want, wherever and whenever they want it. Petway and his team are currently working on the implementation of a global publishing system (aptly named Global Product Manager) for HarperCollins. “We are also developing bespoke Web offerings on our Pub2web platform for several academic publishers and institutions. These solutions will make our customers become more discoverable online, improve online user experience, and ease future development of e-commerce options.” Naturally, promoting B2C business models through social media—in particular online communities—is another goal at Publishing Technology. In fact, it has teamed up with Bowker Market Research to undertake a study into the growth of publishers’ online communities. The results will be unveiled on April 16 at 5:30 p.m. during the BMS/Publishers Publicity Circle panel on “The Campaign Revolution: Reshaping the Way Publishers are Reaching Readers” in the Cromwell Room.
Newgen Knowledge Works
In 2013, Newgen is focusing on the simpliﬁcation of digital publishing workﬂows. President Maran Elancheran says, “It is a theme that we are pursuing in our conversations with clients and industry bodies. But because we have a maverick side, too, we also appreciate our clients’ openness to experiment with new formats and new approaches—whether in digital publishing, with one-off book or journal apps and cloud-based content-management solutions through our Cloud Matters division, or more generally.” At the moment, Elancheran and his team are bouncing around ideas with one client about how Newgen can publish academic books within two weeks of the author submitting the ﬁnal manuscript. “Mind you, 10 years ago, we might have been having a similar conversation about the feasibility of 10-month schedules.” With other clients, Elancheran is “looking at new solutions for publishing enhanced journal articles that better address the needs of researchers, developing accessible content as part of the workﬂow for undergraduate textbooks, extending our advanced editorial automation to handle European languages, and typesetting trade books in the cloud within a few seconds. ” Last year, increased demand for mobile products drove two large projects at Newgen. “For one journals client, we took 20 journals onto the iPad via Adobe Publishing Suite, reformatting the print product for optimum display on a tablet. This trial
“Selling direct” is Qbend’s primary theme at this fair. “We have been talking to various publishers and promoting the concept of establishing direct relationships with their consumers, which will have enormous implications for the publishers in the longer term,” says COO Kaushik Sampath. He adds that he and his
The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT
team will be “showcasing consumer analytics that help publishers visualize and understand how this can be mined and leveraged for their marketing campaigns and strategies.” The company, based in Dubuque, Iowa, is also busy working with publishers to build the latters’ brand presence through Qbend’s white-label e-bookstore platform. “We provide publishing clients with an incredible number of sales models—purchase, rental, subscription, and customization, for instance—as well as customer support services, analytics, and guidance for streamlining areas such as marketing processes,” says CEO Kris Srinaath. “We help publishers understand what the needs are and then use our e-bookstore platform’s various sales models, as well as our patent-pending robust publishing engine S.N.A.P. [Search, Navigate, Assemble, Publish], to deliver the content in the right manner.” Wolters Kluwer Law and Business (U.S.), for instance, found the perfect Qbend solution for offering e-content to law students across the U.S. The result is the eChapters Store, an e-bookstore that works in tandem with Wolters Kluwer’s primary Web site to create a direct-sales channel to reach out to consumers. Similarly, when Spain’s first specialty e-tailer Blue Bottle Books began searching for the right technology platform, it found Qbend. The two companies formed a partnership to provide the e-tailer with a turnkey solution for content acquisition and marketing. The e-store went live three weeks later and has been selling e-books to various countries since then. Offering two language options (English and Spanish), it features a few thousand business and management titles from leading business publishersr. Sampath and his team will give three presentations in Digital Theatre 1 or drop by booth W555 to talk to the team and view demos and sample projects.
Offering a uniﬁed approach that provides a seamless and crosschannel integrated experience is one of SPi Global’s major goals. “Nowadays, content-management systems, workflow, dashboards, data analytics, digital asset management, and social media are connected to one another and are no longer remaining as separate entities,” adds v-p for solutions architect John Prabhu. “Publishers and content producers have come to realize that various silos—print vs. digital, for instance—have to be uniﬁed in order to create digital products faster or hand-in-hand with print, thereby maximizing print and digital revenues. And this is where SPi Global (which is based in the Philippines) comes into the picture: to help publishers right from the start by implementing best practices and process models with a uniﬁed approach.”
Unveiling td-xps, an innovative, robust, scalable, and ﬂexible publishing engine from Delhi-based Thomson Digital, will be the focus at stand U505. This tool—aimed at reducing time-to-market, providing signiﬁcant cost efﬁciencies through bundled services, and creating additional revenue streams from new digital output possibilities—is a cross-browser with user-reporting capabilities. It also enables collaboration between authors, reviewers, subject matter experts, and any other contributors that will enrich the content. “We build this platform to be multilingual and global in order to address the dynamic and borderless nature of the digital marketplace,” says executive director Vinay Singh, who will be on hand to demonstrate the publishing engine. The pressing needs of multichannel publishing, content repurposing, localization, and new content requirements driven purely by technology demands a different treatment and approach. “Small- and medium-sized clients deserve to have the kind of technology and efﬁciency enjoyed by the top-10 publishers. For us, tdxps is the answer: it is a product of its time—something much more than a publishing tool, and one that can deliver at 1/10th of the conventional time frame,” says Singh. In addition, td-xps will enable modeling of Big Data with multichannel deliverables. Singh notes, “Big Data and EPub 3 are our focus areas as we move into the world of content mining, repurposing, and content discoverability. These are newer streams of revenue generation for the near future for our customers.” The multilingual aspect of td-xps is hardly surprising since Thomson Digital has long been aware of the limited support given to non-English publications by other digital solutions companies. Its Mauritius operations, for instance, were established in 2006 speciﬁcally to offer French-language services. Over the next 12 months, publishers will have access to Portuguese and Spanish editorial units in Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona, respectively. “This is all about extending our existing relationships with clients, aligning our operations to their content needs in different locations, and being closer to these clients within their growing markets.” More information on language-speciﬁc expertise and services is also available through Thomson Digital’s booth. ■
SPi Global’s senior v-p for strategy and emerging technologies John Wheeler says publishers are suffering from a bit of technology fatigue after facing several years of competing—and, for the most part, incompatible— devices, platforms, ﬁle formats, and technologies in the mobile space. “So these publishers are now looking for ‘low-friction’ digital distribution models that are simple, low risk, and global; work on multiplatforms; and make some economic sense.” At the same time, Wheeler expects to see app development for content delivery starting to lose ground to mobile-enabled HTML5 that targets the multitude of devices supporting the HTML5 browser. Visitors to stand Q505 will see solutions that address these changes, as well as solutions that focus on SPi Global’s domain expertise and semantic approach to structuring and transforming content for print, e-book, and mobile formats. EPub, HTML5, content distribution, and related topics will be the focus at the stand. Wheeler ﬁnds that “publishers are reevaluating what exactly is their place in the content world and what should be retained as a core competency within their organization.” The traditional book and journal models are going out of style, he says, noting that these are “being replaced with a ‘contentﬁrst, delivery-second’ methodology at most publishing houses. ”
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The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT
Online communities are becoming a popular weapon in a publisher’s sales and marketing arsenal
rade publishers have always operated as B2B entities. With booksellers and libraries acting as intermediaries to their audiences, they have rarely needed to step out from the shadows. With the exception of maybe Penguin, building a marketable brand for a book buying audience is something that very few publishers have ever deemed necessary… until now. As the second “B” in B2B erodes away, publishers have had to reassess their business models and explore B2C options. This is partly to make up for ground lost to Amazon and Apple in the e-book wars, and also partly to compensate for declining distribution options and subsequently falling print revenues. This middleman chasm is forcing publishers to take matters into their own hands. Short of opening their own physical retail outlets, they are ensuring that their e-commerce operations are well-structured and efﬁcient. But beyond this, there is a very real need for publishers to get closer and become more engaged with their customers directly, to build a loyal base around those who regularly consume their content, and to raise awareness of their brands and products. Publisher-owned online community platforms are a noteworthy trend of recent years and one that is poised to really take off. Traditionally viewed as refreshing alternative routes to market, they are evolving from being niche attractions to becoming a more established part of a publisher’s offering. Across trade, academic, professional and educational markets there are a plethora of companies experimenting and rolling out different online initiatives that allow publishers to communicate with customers, encourage interaction between audiences and spark enthusiasm around a common theme--their content. On the trade side, many publishers establish online communities as a means of engaging and involving consumers in forums around their brands. Instead of scattering community conversations about their products across external social networks, publishers are realizing that they can build walls around their content through membership, creating their own social hubs. In doing so, publishers can claim ownership of audience interactions, and in turn get closer to those who purchase their books. Some of the largest trade publishers are extremely active in this space, and committed and focused on building a network of loyal and dedicated consumers. Penguin’s Book Country, Authonomy from HarperCollins, Random House’s Buzzers, and Pufﬁn’s Pufﬁn Island are examples of successful trade publishing online communities. Other forward thinking online initiatives worth noting are Gollancz’s SF Gateway, an online community that promotes vintage backlist titles to a deﬁned, yet devoted, fan base; Goodreads; and J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore,
BY JANE TAPPUNI
with its enriched user experience and enhanced social engagement. Each of these sites bring together circles of passionate and engaged readers, writers and book lovers, to read, share, post work, review and, increasingly frequently, to buy. Academic publishers have been exploring various online community models for a long time. However, in this market, online communities have come to represent a slightly different proposition whereby the publisher is predominantly the facilitator of peer-to-peer interaction, the owner of a scholarly social network. Functionality is traditionally built around content that fulﬁlls the needs of a highly targeted audience, often a community of researchers and academics in a speciﬁc ﬁeld. Academic publishers are rapidly discovering that they can utilize these communities to aid the peer review process, encouraging their tightly knit group of users to submit material, collaborate and review research papers and articles. Notably for many society publishers, gaining an increased understanding of audience can also drive an increased usage of content and membership sales. There are several interesting developments in the scholarly arena that are certainly worth keeping an eye on, not least the recently launched open access online journal publisher PeerJ, which has been described as a “disruptor” and promises to revolutionize online academic publishing. Other communities of note, such as STAR from Taylor and Francis, which targets researchers in developing nations, and the Library Connect service offered by Elsevier, are well-established platforms that aim to foster a degree of loyalty and openness amongst customers. And we can add to this the many discipline-speciﬁc communities spread across academia, such as our own client, the start-up publisher GSE Research, with its content and policy hub focusing on government, sustainability and the environment. The common strand uniting all online communities is the fact that they allow publishers to take ownership and control of the relationship with readers directly. Some publishers are hesitantly dipping their feet in to test the water, whereas others have invested large amounts in developing their own platforms. With continued growth in community sites across the industry, it is time for publishers to embrace the need to saddle up closely to their customers or prepare to face the consequences. Online communities offer a unique way of doing exactly that and trends suggest that these platforms will become a more customary part of the publisher toolkit in the not so distant future. ■
Jane Tappuni is executive v-p of business development at Publishing Technology.
The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT
Technology changes everything…or does it?
t’s been clear for the past year or so that publishers feel relatively at ease with digital. They have systems in place and no longer worry so much. And the pace of change, once frenetic, tends towards the if-not-leisurely, then the justabout-manageable. Partly this is about having a clear e-book workﬂow that is standard across the industry. Partly, it is down to well-established, practiced, and skilled digital teams. Some of it has to do with the considerable revenues, especially for ﬁction, accruing from e-books. We can now predict e-book sales with a similar level of informed judgment as we always have for print. Not saying a huge amount, perhaps, but still something. The dominance of Amazon has the upside of at least putting a (relatively) known quantity in the driving seat. However, I have recently noticed a new narrative emerging among publishers, one even more bullish than the guarded optimism most publishers to one degree or another are expressing. Yes, the skeptical backlash is in swing. It runs something like this and makes a few telling points: Technology, it is argued, actually changes far less than we are prone to thinking. For example, even in the Second World War more horses were used than jeeps or tanks. Moreover even if we accept technology can and does change rapidly then people’s—consumer’s-—behavior does not. Actually, for the most part, people like things much as they always have done. Many recent technologies echo older technologies in their feel and functionality. Witness the ubiquitous phenomenon of skeumorphism, where digital design anachronistically echoes that of the physical world. Apple’s brushed book “bookcases” are a famous example. Beyond this, questions are being asked about how good digital is anyway. Orwellian, quasi-monopolistic, no longer a space for innovation: formerly enthusiastic voices are questioning if the undoubted centralization of digital networks isn’t a bad thing after all.
Has Digital Publishing Overreached?
BY MICHAEL BHASKAR
the storm will pass—in fact, as we see the plateauing of e-book sales and a retreat from some of the more outré products of recent years, the storm is already passing. In short, digital publishing has overreached, is in for a serious retrenchment and this is a good thing. Schadenfreude alert! There is something to recommend the view. Certainly, I am convinced that the value of crafted physical objects is already increasing. We have to believe in the power of stories told with words and we have to support the traditional supply chain for books. Digital publishing’s most starry-eyed acolytes have not done the industry any favors by hyping expectations to unreasonable levels.
Don’t Believe the Backlash
Still—and you might expect me to say this—but I’m going to say it anyway: don’t believe the backlash. There are several lines of argument here. Firstly, and most broadly, this kind of defeatist thinking has never helped publishing before. The book world was content to ride the coattails of other, sexier and ultimately much richer media for the entire 20th century. Conversely, to this day, publishing is a business driven by charismatic entrepreneurial spirit. So let’s make the most of it and avoid mistakes of the past. Let’s be the ones to mold the space, set the agenda and claim the rewards. Secondly, we simply cannot be complacent when convergence is driving all forms of media onto the same platform, effectively into the same channel. We here at the London Book Fair are not just in competition with each other, but with every media producer in the world—all the television shows, free-to-play games, celebrity magazines and the rest of it. I know many people disagree with this point, but you simply cannot avoid the way convergence works nor the way humans interact with media. Lastly, although digital is entering a more mature and apparently stable phase some threats are intensifying, not going away. To name just three, a second-hand market for digital products could explode the whole ﬁeld; now that e-books are widely accepted the risk of piracy has grown immeasurably from when they were niche items; and the slide in e-book pricing represents the biggest, fastest leakage of value in the 550year history of the book. Given just these three, an astute digital strategy has never been more important. So of course digital publishing hasn’t overreached. It is only just getting interesting. ■
Michael Bhaskar is Digital Publishing Director at Proﬁle Books and Serpent’s Tail. He can be found on Twitter as @ajaxlogos and is author of a forthcoming book about publishing.
An alternative future for publishing is being sketched. This is about a return to print and prime print production values, the physical object an even greater repository of value in the weightless digital world. It’s about what the publisher, writer and technologist James Bridle has called “the new value of text.” Away from the ﬂashing lights of our myriad screens, we actually might like to do that timeless activity: read a book. Cory Doctorow, hardly a skeptic of digital culture, has agreed. So, says the argument, there are a lot of issues in the book world. But if we cleave to good old fashioned editorial values, texts, solid print production, decent bookshops and our core mission
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A Small World: The Global E-book Market Expands
U.S. and foreign publishers are using English-language e-books to attract a world of new readers
BY CALVIN REID
s fast as e-book sales are growing in the U.S. trade book market, the potential growth of the category around the world will almost certainly be faster than in the U.S., as overseas markets begin to embrace digital content. The rise of easy-to-use e-book publishing platforms that distribute globally, the inherent speed of digital publishing, and the low cost and ever-rising demand for e-books in both the developed and the developing world, as well as distant economies like Australia, offer the potential of vibrant new markets as well as new revenue streams to publishers of all kinds. American publishers need to “rethink what our market is,” says Smashwords CEO Mark Coker, during a phone interview with PW, “a market that is not based on print. What will happen when publishers can deliver affordable books anywhere in the world?” Smashwords, which offers about 120,000 titles for distribution through its retail partners and about 160,000 titles through Smashwords.com, not only offers an e-book publishing and distribution platform for more than 55,000 self-publishers, but, Coker was quick to point out, “hundreds, if not thousands of small publishers” to markets around the world. Coker says Smashwords’ 200,000-plus list of e-titles is about 90% English-language and its best markets, in descending order, are the U.S., Australia, U.K., Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Mexico, Germany, Denmark, and Norway. Coker says the publishing world is evolving from one focused on territorial rights and “a print world restricted by geography, where you couldn’t send books into every corner of the globe, where book rights turned some territories into black holes, places where it wasn’t worth it to send books at all.” At the same time in another evolving digital content category, David Steinberger, president of Comixology, a fast-growing U.S. digital comics distributor and marketplace, told PW his company sells digital comics in 225 countries and that 40% of its accounts sign on from outside the U.S. Indeed, Comixology was selling so many English comics via its app—it was the #1 iPad book app in France despite offering no French language content—that this year it set up a French ofﬁce and began distributing French-language comics.
English-language content, comics or prose, generates intense demand around the world simply because it has never been easier to deliver content worldwide. At the Frankfurt Book Fair, publishing services and software developer CodeMantra, whose cloud-based digital asset management and production workﬂow systems are used by such publishers as Oxford University Press, McGraw-Hill, and Penguin, announced a deal with ePubDirect, a digital distribution platform, to provide e-book distribution for CodeMantra clients. The deal will deliver the titles of CodeMantra clients to “a myriad of global e-book retailers and wholesalers,” according to Walter Walker, CodeMantra’s executive director of publishing services, including more than 1,000 online retailers and more than 25,000 libraries worldwide. However, it’s not just U.S. publishers beneﬁting from the global demand for English-language e-books. Foreign publishers are learning that the Web makes it easier for them to translate their own books into English and get them into a U.S. market, which is otherwise considered resistant to translated works. Javier Celaya, CEO and founder of Spanish consulting ﬁrm Dosdoce, calls it the “second phase” of the trend toward global e-book publishing. “The first phase was Amazon, Apple, Kobo and others opening new markets for U.S. books because English is so popular overseas,” he says. “Now foreign publishers are starting to drive the trend. Overseas publishers and self-publishing authors are translating themselves into English to meet domestic demand for English-language content,” but also to get into the U.S. market. Celaya says that in the past only a few English-language authors could sell abroad proﬁtably, “but the Web has changed that. Anyone can sell abroad in English,” and this means more competition for U.S. publishers at home. While Celaya acknowledges there are few metrics at the moment to document the success of translated e-books in the U.S—“right now the evidence is all anecdotal”—he points to ventures like Stockholm Text, a newly launched company which translates Swedish titles in English to sell directly into the U.S. market; LeFrenchbook.com, a French digital-ﬁrst publisher which sells France’s best literary novels, crime ﬁction,
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The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT
thrillers, and nonﬁction into global English-speaking markets; and BarcelonaBooks.com, a new English-language digital publisher with ofﬁces in Barcelona and New York. Indeed, Celaya and Dosdoce are working hard to make sure the trend continues. Dosdoce is the founder of the Spanish Digital Link (TheSpanishDigitalLink.com), a service that helps U.S. publishers translate their titles into Spanish for both U.S. domestic and overseas demand. This year at BEA, Celaya is launching the English Digital Link, a service that will work to help Spanish publishers and authors translate and distribute their e-books into English-speaking markets in the U.S., U.K., Australia, and others, as well as capture their domestic demand for English-language content. Like its Spanish counterpart, the English Digital Link will provide publishers with market research, distribution support, marketing and sales tracking. “Translation is a normal business model outside the U.S.,” Celaya says, explaining that “translation costs are cheaper. We believe international publishers will be eager to translate their own books into English.” Smashwords’s e-books are distributed through all the major e-tailers, indie e-tailers, libraries, and via its own e-bookstore at Smashwords.com—and Coker says that 46% of the revenue the company received from the distribution of Smashwords titles through Apple devices came from outside the U.S. In fact, he notes that Apple increased its international distribution accounts from 38 countries to 51, with more to come. “It’s now cost-effective to have a presence in these markets through a single retail partner at a low cost of entry,” Coker says. “We also have Kobo, which has always been global, and now B&N is coming into the international market.” “I think 2013 will be the year of global expansion for each of the major retailers” Coker says. “The Apple iBookstore is now in 51 countries, and it’s pretty clear to me they’re already the #2 global seller of e-books after Amazon,” he says, “Look for Apple, Kobo, B&N, and Amazon to further expand their global footprints in 2013. The English-language catalogues, for now, will dwarf the catalogues in other languages by title count, but I think each will be aggressive about developing local language content.” At Smashwords, Coker says, “our brand is well-established among English language authors around the world. In 2013, we’ll work to expand our leadership in English-language content while taking proactive steps to further develop our positions in Spanish, Portuguese and others.”
the use of mobile devices—from smartphones and feature phones to tablets—both in the U.S. and in an exponentially growing market in the developing world, means publishers need to rethink not only how this marketplace will use content, but also what it’s likely to want in digital reading content. Other retailers have taken note. Lori James, founder of the independent e-book retail site AllRomance.com, says that foreign consumers accounted for about 30% of her sales in 2012, up from 20% in 2011. James says AllRomance has customers in over 200 countries, led by sales from Canada, the U.K. Australia, Germany, India, New Zealand, the Philippines, Malaysia, and the Netherlands. Bob LiVolsi, owner of the indie e-book retail site Books on Board, says at one time non-U.S. customers represented more than 60% of his sales. Over the last 60 days foreign sales at Books on Board have been a little over 54%, but LiVolsi said foreign sales (and overall sales) are up at Books on Board, and that U.S. sales have increased recently due to price changes in the wake of the DoJ e-book price-ﬁxing settlement. “Foreign sales are actually up,” he says, “but U.S. sales have picked up more signiﬁcantly. We think this is because we are now able to compete on price with the agency 2 product (under the new agency rules, retailers can discount agency e-books). “Publishers need to understand that these new markets may have a reading experience that is very different from what is acceptable in the West,” says Chris Rechtsteiner, founder of BlueLoop Concepts, a research and consulting ﬁrm specializing in mobile media markets, in an earlier interview with PW. “You’re going to see massive growth in content via mobile technology because that’s how most of the world accesses the Internet.” Rechtsteiner points to the global frenzy over the Fifty Shades trilogy to highlight a new phenomenon—“the massive expectation that a book that reaches some mass level of popularity will be available everywhere, immediately. No matter where it comes from, if it gets big, it’s not acceptable to be available in only one place.” “There’s a billion smartphones being used around the world and likely billions more to come,” Coker says. “There’s a market to be exploited in developing countries. A 99-cent book in India is how you reach that market.” Coker is seeing a steady rise in Smashwords’ international revenue despite 92% of the content on Smashwords being in English. “We’re selling English-language books globally every day,” Coker says, pointing out that in markets like Brazil and India, “bookstores always have large English-language sections,” and emphasizing that the market is transitioning to worldwide language rights rather than geographical rights. Print, he says, “will not go away, but it will become less relevant.” And what about the threat or perceived threat of digital piracy in overseas markets? Coker says that piracy is actually “a symptom of international demand that publishers are creating, but not satisfying.” And if you think Coker—an outspoken publishing maverick, new media entrepreneur, and digital disruptor—is just thumb-
Low Barriers Provide Opportunity
PW spoke with several digital publishing professionals who offered a vision of an international book market fed by a burgeoning collection of conventional Western publishers, new digital-ﬁrst ventures, and self-publishers, as well as native publishing efforts founded in the developing world and international markets. This new demand for digital content is attributed to the accessibility and low barriers to entry for digital publishing and to its global reach. In addition,
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The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT
ing his nose at the publishing establishment, PW heard similar responses from Angela James, editorial director of Carina Press, the digital-ﬁrst imprint of romance publishing house Harlequin, an established global publisher that has managed to transition to, and lead the way, in digital publishing. Carina Press, James told PW, is no different from its parent company and looks to exploit the demand for English-language content around the world. “We take world rights of the books we acquire and we sell in every country in the world in English with no restrictions,” she says. James says digital global distribution is “part of the story of Carina Press. It’s a global market, and we have a lot of readers in Australia and England, as well as in Germany, South America, and the Netherlands.” Digital piracy, says James, is often driven by readers in countries “who want to read Western content but can’t.” Indeed, she says, one reason why all Carina Press titles are DRM-free— although that isn’t always the case for the rest of the Harlequin list—is so the books can be easily converted into other formats and read on any device. “We don’t have to deal with piracy because we don’t put restrictions on our e-books” she says. Carina Press titles are offered for all platforms, including DRM-free ePub ﬁles, which can be read on any kind of device, from laptop to smartphone to feature phone. At the same time, despite Coker’s example of offering titles at
different prices in the developing world, James notes that Harlequin/Carina Press can’t necessarily offer different prices for the same books in the different regions. “Our readers are all on the Internet, they will notice and will want to know why,” she says. But she also says that a byproduct of ﬁnding new readers around the world has been ﬁnding new writers from outside of North America. While James acknowledges the power of technology in creating this new work of global English-language publishing, she’s quick to point to the enduring power of storytelling around the world. “Publishing always looks different everywhere, whether it’s North America or Europe. Content is different, depending on where it’s coming from. People want to read about something different and they want to have new experiences.” Nevertheless, the ongoing advances in technology are transforming the content choices—no matter what the language— available to consumers around the world. Coker says there’s “a battle for local-language titles, and a battle for devices. The retailers with the most e-reading devices and/or tablets in the hands of consumers for each language group will gain the upper hand, because they’ll be able to aggregate the most eyeballs for publishers in that language. Note I’m not saying ‘country.’ Languages span political ■ boundaries.”
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