LONDON BOOK FAIR 2014

The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT

An in-depth look at everything digital at the fair
APRIL, 2014

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The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT

APRIL 2014

The Center of It All
Tech Central will be a bustling hub at the 2014 London Book Fair

F

or years, we’ve spoken and written about digital publishing, sometimes as if it was a separate part of the
business. Those days are clearly over. Publishing is a
digital business. Even when the final product is a
printed book, the processes that get that book into
print, and ultimately discovered, and into a reader’s hands,
are digital.
At this year’s London Book Fair, the digital conversation
will once again showcase the impact of ever-powerful technology throughout the book business. From the opening Digital Minds conference, to the exhibit floor, through the fair’s
professional program, you’ll hear from—and hopefully meet
with—a wide and ever-growing range of service providers
and innovators. And once again, much of the action throughout the fair will be found in Earls Court 2, in Tech Central.
The switch to the name “Tech Central” from the previous
“Digital Zone” reflects the overall change in the way digital
has been perceived at the fair: what began in 2009 as a small
DATES

TIME

SEMINAR TITLE

corridor of stands and a cramped, 23-seat presentation area
on the edge of the show floor has grown—and changed—
quickly. The new name captures the role of technology in the
publishing business—no longer a part of the business to be
“zoned” off, but something that is indeed central.
Tech Central will be a bustling hub at the 2014 London
Book Fair, with a wide range of exhibitors dedicated to “all
the new ways in which content can be treated,” whether “an
app, a game, a mobile development or an enhanced e-book,
or a development not yet launched.” Oh, and there is a networking bar, because really, what better way to talk tech
than over a good single malt? And, of course, there will be a
full slate of programming in the Theatre at Tech Central.
To help you plan your LBF activities, we’ve included the
schedule of presentations and demos at the Tech Central theatre over the next three days. (Note: the schedule is subject
to last-minute changes, so do check the final program, or
check the schedule at the theatre for any changes). 

SPEAKER

Tuesday
9:30 AM.
The Impact of Common Core on Publishing Today
Roy Kaufman
April 8
Tuesday
10:00 AM.
Selling Direct and Building Your Community
Kaushik Sampath, Kathy Wiess
April 8
Tuesday
10:30 AM.
Interactive Video Books—New Interactive Technologies TBC
April 8
for Individualised Teaching and Learning
Tuesday
11:00 AM.
What Self-Publishing Can Teach Publishers—
Dave Anderson
April 8
Time is Money
Tuesday
11:30 AM.
Changing the Way People Build Websites
Mark Harvie-Watt, Supadu
April 8
Rupert Haslam
Tuesday
12:00 Noon Getting Your eBooks Discovered is the Biggest
Richard Stephenson
April 8
Challenge in the Digital World
Tuesday
1:00 PM.
The Quest for eBook Digitisation
Ken Jones
April 8
Tuesday
1:30 PM.
Connect with Readers around the World: Selling eBooks Julia Graber
April 8
on OverDrive’s HTML5 Browser-based Platform
Tuesday
2:00 PM.
Big Data: How to Use Analytics to Increase eBook ROI
Gareth Cuddy
April 8
Tuesday
2:30 PM.
Key Factors to Consider in Producing Multi-Platform
John Prabhu
April 8
Content
Tuesday
3:00 PM.
The Profit in Knowing—Using Semantics in Education
Jarred McGinnis
April 8
and Academic Publishing
Tuesday
3:30 PM.
How to Overcome the Pain of Digitalization?
Tomasz Boszko
April 8
Tuesday
4:00 PM.
Producing and Distributing Audiobooks through ACX
Jon Fine
April 8
Tuesday
4:30 PM.
Turning Digital into Dollars (and Pounds and Euros…)
Gregg Sullivan
April 8
Tuesday
4:50 PM.
Producing and Distributing Audiobooks through ACX
Jon Fine
April 8
Tuesday
5:20 PM.
The Challenge of Highly Illustrated Content in an eBook
Anupam Jain
April 8

COMPANY

CCC
Qbend
Ricoh
Kobo

YUDU
Circular Software
Limited
OverDrive
ePubDirect
SPi Global
Ontotext
YDP
Amazon
Cenveo Publisher
Services
Amazon
Innodata

1

The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT
DATES

TIME

SEMINAR TITLE

APRIL 2014
SPEAKER

COMPANY

Wednesday 9:30 AM.
Need of the Hour? Collaboration
Ravi Venkatramani
April 9
Wednesday 10:00 AM.
Project Managing Digital Assets
Darren Ryan
April 9
Wednesday 10:30 AM.
TBA
Steve Rutberg
April 9
Wednesday 11:00 AM.
Adaptive Content: A Publisher’s Wish List’— Using in
Borislav Popov
April 9
Financial/Media Publishing
Wednesday 11:30 AM.
MPS DigiCore: Expediting Speed-to-Market for
Harish Iyer
April 9
Journal Publishers
Wednesday 12:00 Noon A Global White-Label eBookstore Mobile App,
Dr. Panayiotis Paschalakis
April 9
Paving the Way to the Future
Wednesday 12:30 PM. Selling Direct and Building Your Community
Kaushik Sampath, Kathy Wiess
April 9
Wednesday 1:00 PM.
Need of the Hour? Collaboration
Ravi Venkatramani
April 9
Wednesday 1:30 PM.
Alternative to Publishing Outsourcing—Publisher and
Pradeep Jain and Jim Hill
April 9
Author-friendly XML
Wednesday 2:00 PM.
Interactive video books—New Interactive Technologies
Norbert Van Halderen,
April 9
for Individualised Teaching and Learning
Director Ricoh Europe
Wednesday 2:30 PM
Evolution in the Digital Age: Adapt to Survive or
Randy Petway
April 9
Adapt and Thrive?
Wednesday 3:00 PM.
Freemium Strategy in Premium Dictionaries
Alexander Zudin
April 9
Wednesday 3:30 PM.
Smart Content—From Discovery to Engagement
John Prabhu
April 9
Wednesday 4:00 PM.
A Complete Digital Conversion Services for Your Content Floyd Fletcher
April 9
Wednesday 4:30 PM.
The Impact of Digital Watermarking on Piracy
Devon Weston
April 9
Wednesday 4:50 PM.
STARTUP @ TECH—Learn More about these New and
TBA
April 9
Exciting Companies
Wednesday 5:20 PM.
TBA
TBA
April 9
Thursday
9:30 AM.
New Solutions to Accelerate the Production and
Manuel Ranchin
April 10
Monetization of Digital Publications
Thursday
10:00 AM.
eBooks—Possibilities Unlimited
Natraj Kumar
April 10
Thursday
10:30 AM.
A Complete Digital Conversion Services for Your Content Floyd Fletcher
April 10
Thursday
11:00 AM.
How Websites, Apps and Games Can Use Basic
Kelvyn Gardner
April 10
Licensing Principles to Enter the Consumer

Products Market
Thursday
11:30 AM.
Making it Real
Alistair McNaught,
April 10
Coates, Liz Warman
Thursday
12:00 Noon Emerging Trends and Challenges in Technology
Deborah Harman
April 10
Adoption by Scope eKnowledge

Exeter Premedia
Services
Deanta

SourceHOV

2

Thursday
12:30 PM.
Rule 14: Using Big Data to Drive Content Aggregation
Shao-Shao Cheng
April 10
Thursday
1:00 PM.
Selling your Book through Kindle Direct Publishing &
John Fine
April 10
CreateSpace
Thursday
1:30 PM.
eBook Watermarking and Personalisation: BooXtream
Huub van de Pol
April 10
social DRM as the Better DRM Alternative for ePub
Thursday
2:00 PM.
Bringing Content to Life with Contentra’s Digital Solution Pawan S. Narang
April 10
Thursday
2:30 PM.
Creating a Single Comp Workflow for Digital and
Walter Walker
April 10
Print via XML
Thursday
3:00 PM.
Connect with Readers around the World: Selling eBooks Ms. Johanna Brinton
April 10
on OverDrive’s HTML5 Browser-based Platform
Thursday
3:30 PM.
Introduction to iPublishCentral & Case Studies of
Sameer Shariff, Gary Rodrigues
April 10
Successful eBook Strategies Leveraging iPUblishCentral
Thursday
4:00 PM.
SSPARKL—Content Delivery Solution for Handhelds
Gopinath Rajamani
April 10
Thursday
4:30 PM.
TBA
TBA
April 10
www.publishersweekly.com

Net Galley
Ontotext
MPS
DigiBooksForAll
Qbend
Exeter Premedia
Services
Ictech
Ricoh
Publishing Technology
Paragon Technologie
GmbH
SPi Global
Allzone Digital
Digimark
STARTUP @ TECH
TBA
Aquafadas
HTC Global Services
Allzone Digital
LIMA

The Publishers Tim
Association
Scope eKnowledge

Amazon
BooXtream
Contentra
Technologies
Codemantra
OverDrive
Impelsys
Diacritech
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3/24/14 3:59:05 PM

The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT

APRIL 2014

Fast-Flowing Streams
The question is no longer whether streaming will be
significant—it’s whether publishers will embrace it

E

veryone knows that publishing is changing more than
at any time since Gutenberg. But is it? I’ve always
believed e-books are much less of a disruption than
was supposed. They require all the same basic processes as print books, from editorial to marketing and
publicity. E-books actually resemble print books in almost
every way—including their business model. Publishers know
this. It’s why e-books have become the new normal so
quickly. The real radical change, which is to say, a change in
the business model, has been surfacing in academic publishing for years. Many of us on the trade side have been involved
in numerous discussions about the much-hyped, near mythical “Spotify for e-books.” Yet the stately progress of the
unit-download model, as it might catchingly be dubbed,
continues. Despite the endless chat, not much has changed.
Journals and monographs aside, books still tend to be bought
in the same old way, whether print or digital.
That is poised to change. When it does, the shift will happen faster than you think and with more far-reaching consequences.
Go back five years and streaming made up a fraction of the
total revenue of record companies. Even though music was
being listened to digitally, it was either pirated or purchased.
Today, streaming makes up 41% of digital music revenue
(which is more than 50% of record industry income). It’s still
growing in double digit figures.
The once mighty iTunes registered its first fall—of 5.7%—
in 2013, as users migrated to streaming services. Industry
commentators expect the trend to continue. One insider told
me he expected streaming to be by far the biggest revenue
source for record labels within five years, if not sooner. At
this stage someone usually points out the many and well-documented flaws in the publishing/music analogy. Whereupon
someone else roles out Exhibit B: Netflix and movie streaming. (Bear with me here.)
Netflix, like Spotify, is a media powerhouse and now, incidentally, with series like House of Cards, a top-tier content
producer and owner. It’s content acquisition strategy, despite
being full of gaps, has made progress with coups such as the
exclusive streaming rights to must-watch TV like Breaking
Bad. Both Spotify and Netflix are immensely sophisticated at
what they do. These are businesses whose immense growth
has been fueled by understanding content.
Books are behind the curve on this front, but are about to
catch up. Oyster, a New York–based subscription reading
company, recently took $14 million from Highland Capital

4

www.publishersweekly.com

By Michael Bhaskar

Partners and Peter Thiel’s Foundation Fund, among others. For
publishing, this is a significant
investment. Scribd started its
own subscription service last
summer as well. Other operators, such as 24 Symbols, have been around for some time.
New models, like that of Valobox, are becoming more
accepted. In the run up to the fair this year I have seen several
presentations of new business models, variants essentially on
streaming and subscription, which promise a lot. And Amazon always has the power to shake things up.
Two things make this a pivotal moment. First is what I
have already indicated—in music and increasingly in film,
downloads are not just plateauing, they are declining. People
who believed streaming was the natural way of consuming
digital content now have hard evidence that the public thinks
the same way.
Secondly, publishers’ attitudes are evolving. They are, like
I am, studying and understanding the metrics of the business
model in more and more detail. With that familiarity comes
understanding and a greater willingness to experiment. Publishers, such as HarperCollins, have recently shown themselves amendable to new start-ups and models. Anecdotally,
I get the impression attitudes are changing.
The question is no longer whether streaming will be significant. It’s whether publishers will embrace it. This won’t be
easy. For trade publishers in particular, moving to an entirely
new business model, one where content is a service, is an
enormous change. Change, as we know, is hard. Despite the
evidence and the hints of an attitudinal shift, it is still up for
debate whether publishers will make this happen. For all
kinds of publishers, book content will start resembling Web
content, breaking free from the confines of the unit model.
This is tremendously exciting and incredibly scary. There are
huge dangers involved. Our relationship to reading and
books will change at a deep level. Much of what we know
about Web content and revenue means that if this shift does
happen, as looks likely, publishers will need to be clever. If I
had to call it, publishers will move to streaming, but not for
another two or three years. When they do, the download
model will be finished. We’ll be in a new world. 

Michael Bhaskar is digital publishing director at Profile
Books and author of a book about publishing, The Content
Machine. He can be found on Twitter as @michaelbhaskar.

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The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT

APRIL 2014

Open Source for an Open
Publishing Ecosystem:
Readium.org Turns One

BY Bill McCoy

The first three projects undertaken by the group are
nearing “1.0” status

L

ast month marked the one-year anniversary of the
formation of the Readium Foundation (Readium.
org), an independent nonprofit launched in March
2013 with the objective of developing commercial-grade open source publishing technology software. The overall goal of Readium.org is to accelerate adoption of ePub 3, HTML5, and the Open Web Platform by the
digital publishing industry to help realize the full potential of
open-standards-based interoperability. More specifically,
the aim is to raise the bar for ePub 3 support across the
industry so that ePub maintains its position as the standard
distribution format for e-books and expands its reach to
include other types of digital publications.
In its first year, the Readium consortium added 15 organizations to its membership, including Adobe, Google, IBM,
Ingram, KERIS (S. Korea Education Ministry), and the New
York Public Library. The membership now boasts publishers, retailers, distributors and technology companies from
around the world, including organizations based in France,
Germany, Norway, U.S., Canada, China, Korea, and Japan.
In addition, in February 2014 the first Readium.org board
was elected by the membership and the first three projects
being developed by members and other contributors are all
nearing “1.0” status.
The first project, Readium SDK, is a rendering “engine”
enabling native apps to support ePub 3. Readium SDK is
available on four platforms—Android, iOS, OS/X, and Windows— and the first product incorporating Readium SDK
(by ACCESS Japan) was announced last October. Readium
SDK is designed to be DRM-agnostic, and vendors Adobe
and Sony have publicized plans to integrate their respective
DRM solutions with Readium SDK.
A second effort, Readium JS, is a pure JavaScript ePub 3
implementation, with configurations now available for cloud
based deployment of ePub files, as well as Readium for
Chrome, the successor to the original Readium Chrome
extension developed by IDPF as the first reference implementation of ePub 3. This February, the first results of independent ePub 3 conformance testing were published on epubtest.
org (a joint project of BISG, IDPF, and DAISY Consortium),

6

www.publishersweekly.com

and the recently released Readium for Chrome configuration
of Readium JS received the highest score of more than a
dozen tested reading systems.
The third project, Readium LCP, is an interoperable vendor-neutral (DRM) technology. LCP stands for “Lightweight
Content Protection,” a name that captures the spirit of the
initiative to create a low-cost consumer-friendly solution to
protect content from unauthorized redistribution. The initial
spec for Readium LCP is complete, and initial implementations of Readium LCP client and server technology were
demonstrated the 2014 Paris Book Fair. Readium LCP is
available for use with Readium SDK, as an alternative and
complement to commercial DRM solutions.
These projects are open source software, with active development communities. More information is available on readium.org; the code is available on github.com/readium.
As the executive director of IDPF, I was delighted that we
could help launch Readium.org last year. We felt strongly
that an independent open-source organization that focused
on the needs of commercial adopters would be a good complement to the standards-development focus of IDPF. So far,
so good: there’s positive momentum established across all
the projects, and a growing critical mass of leadership and
contributors.

More to Come
As a newly elected board member of Readium Foundation,
now serving as its president, I’m pleased with the progress to
date but also feel an urgency to take things to the next level.
As I see it, we’ve only just begun to tap the potential for Readium.org to be a game-changer for digital publishing industry. It’s fantastic that the key building blocks for high-quality
ePub 3 reading software are now available and on track to
become widely adopted. That will significantly lower the
cost of entry for industry players, for app developers, publishers doing direct distribution, and retailers and libraries.
But it’s clear that there’s much more work to be done. ePub
3, HTML5, and the Open Web Platform are moving ahead,
including active efforts now underway to develop profiles of
ePub specifically focused on e-textbooks and other learning

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The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT

content (EDUPUB) and comics/manga. I believe that Readium.org needs to be opening new fronts to facilitate and
promote the advancement of ePub and the Open Web Platform for publishers. One such front is accessibility. ePub 3
was designed to enable fully accessible digital content. But to
fully implement all of the accessibility capabilities of ePub 3,
across multiple platforms and underlying browser engines, is
no easy matter. And, for content to be accessible it must be
appropriately structured. In the coming year, Readium.org
will be working to showcase accessibility in our Readium
SDK and Readium JS software, and we hope to add a new
project to perform ePub 3 accessibility testing and potentially editing.
Stepping back, I see the larger ends of the Readium.org
initiative as being strategic in nature.
Tactically, it’s simply more efficient for implementers to
band together to develop the necessary “bits and
bobs” of ePub 3 support, rather than separately
implementing proprietary solutions, particularly for
functionality that needs to be interoperable. Publishers can’t afford to develop unique files for different proprietary reading systems, so consistent and
widely adopted ePub 3 support is a key enabler for
an efficient digital publishing supply chain.
Readium.org is not only about lowering industrial costs. It’s also about fully establishing a truly
open global ecosystem for next-generation digital content.
The bigger ambition for ePub is as the next generation portable-document format for the Open Web Platform, which
means it’s not just about e-books any more. One leading
indicator was Readium Foundation member IBM’s
announcement this February that IBM is adopting ePub as
its preferred portable document format, to improve accessibility and mobile device support. The Open Web Platform
itself is a positive indicator that a vendor-independent ecosystem can be successful, and the only reasonable foundation
on which to base the future of publishing technology. The
positive precedents of Apache Web Server, Firefox, and WebKit were significant inspirations for the formation of the

8

www.publishersweekly.com

APRIL 2014

Readium effort. But the Web as a whole also affords cautionary lessons: while interoperability has improved and no one
vendor controls the browser ecosystem, the “browser wars”
are not entirely over: Google and Apple just in the last year
decided to “fork” development of WebKit rather than continue to share code between Chrome and Safari browsers. So
Readium.org will have to work hard to bridge the differences between the multiple implementations of the Web
stack, and seek to avoid “forking” at the ePub layer.
Overall, it’s critical that vendors not end up with “lock in”
of readers and content providers. Books, learning materials,
and documents as a whole are simply too important to society to suffer one or two commercial companies controlling
key content formats and having a chokehold on content distribution. Empowering smaller players as well as giants, via
a collaboratively developed open format that’s accessible
and global, is key to assuring that many companies get
involved in digital distribution. But open standards can only
be successful if they are implementable. Thus, Readium.org’s
bigger job is to make that so.
By this time next year, I believe that, in no small part due to
the collaboration of the contributors to Readium.org, there
will be absolutely no question that ePub 3 has become the
widely adopted industry-standard publication format.
It is and will remain a delicate balancing act. Readium
Foundation was formed to support commercial enterprises,
aiming through collaboration to nudge the natural tendency
of firms to seek competitive advantage in the positive direction of creating innovative solutions that make life better for
consumers and content authors. But the boundary between “commoditized” open source and
commercial value-add are never entirely clearcut. This is going to be a tough juggling job for
our board, members, and contributors. But with
40 significant organizations, many of them competitors, already constructively collaborating
under Readium.org’s banner, I’m cautiously
optimistic that we will be able to strike the right
balance to deliver on the promise of an open
platform without diminishing the opportunities for innovation on top of the platform. The proof will be in the pudding
though, and a year in, Readium SDK, Readium JS, and Readium LCP are still in the oven. So I eagerly solicit your support of Readum.org: contributors are the lifeblood of any
open-source activity, and we need your help to bake an open
future for the publishing industry! 

Bill McCoy is executive director of IDPF and president of
the Readium Foundation. Learn more about Readium and
EPUB 3 at the IDPF Digital Book conference at BookExpo
America (May 28-29 NYC). http://idpf.org/digital-book-2014.

The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT

APRIL 2014

Big Data: Should Publishers
Even Care?

By James Lichtenberg

The rise of data- and analytics-driven decision-making is
poised to transform the book publishing industry

L

ike many people across the business world, publishers
have a skeptical view of so-called Big Data, seeing it as
“the next big hype.” This is especially understandable
in that book publishing has always been a “gut business,” as Ken Brooks, senior v-p, global supply chain
management, at McGraw-Hill Education, puts it. Datadriven decision-making is simply 180 degrees away from a
business model based on intuition.
Business has always run on data—in publishing, sales data
has always been important to decision-making. But beneath
the hype about new data, is there new value? Just in the last
six months, Big Data has been the cover story on publications as diverse as Science, Foreign Affairs, and Harvard

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Magazine (not to mention
scores of IT trade magazines).
Has the time come for publishers to focus on data and analytics, which prove to be powerful business tools in this era of digital transformation?
Chantal Restivo-Alessi, chief digital officer, HarperCollins,
has an answer. “Of course we are having to make investments in a new area. It is difficult convincing the business to
do this so early on. So we put financial skin in the game from
center down, to make the importance concrete. And, fortunately, our CEO sees the value.”
As the global COO of Macmillan, Ken Michaels, puts it,
the goal of collecting and analyzing data is to be able to
“chart better strategic business objectives, improve the effectiveness and efficiency in all parts of the business, including
developing better products and audience outreach, enhancing how we market, even one to one[marketing].”
Perhaps the best way to understand Big Data is through
the lens of social media. At first, Facebook seemed like a cool
way for college kids to connect online, and Twitter… only
142 characters? Really! It took a while for publishers to take
social media seriously and the arrival of Big Data has only
continued to validate its utility. In the aggregate, Facebook
and Twitter (and hundreds of other social network systems)
now provide enormous information about what customers
are thinking, trends in buying patterns, and problems with
products. As the WordPress Codex, the online manual for the
WordPress blogging system, contends, “loyalty” as expressed
by social media support for known authors appears to be a
far better predictor of new book sales than even the fame of
the author.
Similarly, Restivo-Alessi notes that the “beauty” of publishing over other industries is that publishing “has a lot of
product. This can actually help in the day-to-day work of
making convincing little case studies that grow the number
of internal advocates.” Such is the language of the data miners, but the numbers are welcome.
Just as consumer product companies are now monitoring
these streams of data, the same is starting to happen in publishing. “For the first time, we have a chance of understanding what the ultimate consumers are doing with our content,” Restivo-Allessi says. “Not only primary data about
heavy users, but now secondary data, that big universe of

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27/03/2014 10:33

APRIL 2014

The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT

“For the first time, we have a chance of understanding what the
ultimate consumers are doing with our content”
— 

Chantal Restivo-Allessi, chief digital officer for HarperCollins.

readers who are not engaged, or are lightly engaged.”
With the increasing ability to store and analyze huge flows
of data—and not just data from social media but also from
the use of sensors, live video feeds, YouTube, Google searches,
email and the rest of our ever growing connectivity—the
commercial potential of Big Data rises exponentially. Benefits
include supporting in-store sale of physical books; improving
discovery; shelf-space and inventory management; direct-to-customer marketing in real time. All of this would
have seemed inconceivable a decade ago.
Scientific publishers are actually publishing Big Data itself,
making available huge data sets that come from wherever:
Mars, or the Hubble telescope or virtually any scientific research. Timo Hannay, managing director of digital science
businesses at Macmillan (whose online data “imprint” is
Figshare.com, where scientists can post their research data
for free), notes that this allows not only for greater scientific
transparency, but provides a treasure trove of experimental
data for other scientists.
Similarly, Big Data provides a huge upside in discovery,
sales, and delivery of digital content, as U.S. publishers expand the market for English-language materials in emerging
economies. Nielsen states that there are two billion people
around the world for whom English has become a second
language. One important caveat commercial companies of
all stripes are learning: those populations need and use products in ways that are very different from the U.S.
The key questions about data and analytics, Restivo-Alessi says, involve what kinds of data are relevant, and what
kinds of insights can be derived from them in order to take
action. A household-name energy company asserts that Big
Data can be understood as a series of Vs:
• volume—how much data are you collecting: megabytes,
terabytes, petabytes?
• velocity—how fast is it coming: hours, minutes, seconds,
nanoseconds?
• variety—what sources are you using: social media,
email, searches, sensors?
• variability—are the important flows continuous, or does
it depend on time of day, week, month? And perhaps the
most important,
• visualization—how are you analyzing, displaying, and
sharing the data across the company to best tell the “story,”

break down corporate silos, and thus derive maximum insights and business usefulness?
In higher education, data and analytics have become a mission-critical reality for major publishers. They underpin platforms that combine subject
Big Data provides
matter, digital learning enhancements, metrics of how
a huge upside in
students are interacting with
discovery, sales,
the subject, how well they are
doing in learning the material,
and delivery of
and then connecting all these
digital content,
results to the universities’ information systems. In fact, compaas U.S. publishers
nies across the business specexpand the market
trum are realizing that the successful use of data and analytics
for English-lanrequires “a different breed of
guage materials
cat” in terms of employee skills.
Brooks reflects that, for some
in emerging
time now, “Editors have had to
understand the technology
economies.
perspective just as technologists have had to understand that of subject matter and pedagogy.” Add the ability to incorporate data and analytics to
the mix, and you can understand why the “upheaval in higher-ed publishing” continues.
But benefits appear to outweigh “upheavals.” Restivo-Alessi points to the importance of using data and analytics on authors’ behalf, to build a brand and “take authors
into a journey beyond ‘title.’ Of course, as with building any
brand, this takes time.”
Big Data may seem to be another big hype, but so did the
Internet in the late 1990s and social media a few years later.
To be sure, this represents yet another challenge and expense
for publishers. “It has its bumps, its ups and downs” Restivo-Alessi admits, “but we are committed. This is an on-going
process and we are going to stick with it.”
As Ken Brooks exclaimed at the Digital Book World Conference in January, when asked for a final comment after the
Big Data panel discussion—“Just do it!” 

Jim Lichtenberg is president of the consulting firm, Lightspeed, LLC, based in New York City.

11

M

Y

Y

The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT

APRIL 2014

Publishers and Internet Standards
Building the next generation of storytelling

R

ecently, experts working on ORCID and ISNI, both
ISO-standard identifiers, spoke with one of the
founders of schema.org to facilitate their use as
embedded persona references, particularly through
extensions such as BibExtend. That probably sounds
like gobbledygook to you. You may even think it irrelevant
to your day job—but you would be quite wrong. What that
string of acronyms represent are ongoing efforts to incorporate author identifiers into metadata about books and other
publications so they can be found more easily through search
engine queries at Google, Bing, etc. Does it sound more
important now?
Indeed, there is a flurry of work underway in the Internet
standards community that involves publishing. And yet,
publishers are largely absent from most of these conversations. If you look at the membership of the most important
Web standards organization, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), there are only two large publishers listed:
Hachette and Pearson. None of the other Big Five: Random,
Macmillan, HarperCollins—are currently members. And yet
today, publishers commonly complain that users can’t find
their books for sale when they do searches on the Web.
If you perform a Google search for Catcher in the Rye by
J.D. Salinger, for example, you’ll get a listing at Amazon, a
panel with metadata about the title, including direct links to
Goodreads and Barnes & Noble. What enables that display
are metadata standards, like schema.org. If HarperCollins
wants to make an authoritative link to one of its published
titles appear alongside these entries, it would transmit the
proper schema.org metadata as part of a manifest it provides
to search engines.
And that’s not at all hard. Schema is relatively simple, and
a heck of a lot less confusing than ONIX. Schema is a parsimonious standard that is focused on linking together disparate tags and identifiers so they can be presented in a manner
that helps users (and other software) make associations
between relevant data, like reviews and pricing. ONIX is a
metadata behemoth that requires arcane content management databases and massaging. Generally, few outside publishing have even heard about it.
As the pace of change in Internet technologies has quickened, and our ability to work with networked data grows
more sophisticated, publishers have continued to place overwhelming reliance on traditional “house” standards organizations like BISG and AAP that have to cope with the needs
of existing workflows and supply chains. These organizations do tremendous work. Unfortunately, they are not a big

14

www.publishersweekly.com

By Peter Brantley

part of the conversation around
the technical standards that
make information easily locatable on the Web, or media capable of fluid interaction within
the browser. In contrast, organizations focused on publishing
technologies, like IDPF and Readium, provide a very useful
bridge to larger standards organizations like the W3C. The
IDPF has worked to make the larger Web standards community aware of the needs of the publishing industry, and helped
catalyze vital new W3C communities, like the Digital Publishing Interest Group.
Publishers need to continue to support these organizations, but they shouldn’t assume that the full 360-degree
scope of their needs will necessarily be addressed. The
focused efforts behind ePub 3 and online reading environments will be built atop of the broader standards of the Internet and Web ecosystem, rather than existing as separate silos.
It’s likely that we’ll soon see the PDF format as the last standalone digital document format; standards will forever now
be open to the network.
What does that mean for publishers? For one, publishers
need to staff standards organizations with senior, technically
informed individuals who can authoritatively represent their
interests. As Bill McCoy, the executive director of IDPF, notes:
“By all means, please participate in IDPF and help shape the
next generation of portable documents based on Web standards, but that’s not enough to ensure that publisher requirements will get addressed across the wide spectrum of standards that collectively comprise the Open Web platform. The
W3C’s Digital Publishing Activity will not achieve critical
mass if only two publishers end up being W3C members.”
As you browse the technology at this year’s London Book
Fair, consider being more active in broader open-source and
open-standards efforts, including but not limited to joining
and participating in the W3C. These organizations can often
be expensive to join, and their processes sometimes time-consuming, but they are building the paper, pen, and ink of the
next generation of storytelling. And it is critical for you as
publishers to articulate your vision for how we will build the
literature of the future in a networked age.

Peter Brantley is director of scholarly communication at
Hypothes.is, convener of Books in Browsers, a summit for
software developers and UX designers creating new forms
of storytelling, and a contributing editor to PW.

THE ONLY PROFESSIONAL DIGITAL
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Javits Center, New York City

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Seating is extremely limited. Register today to ensure your spot at
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The world’s longest-established professional digital publishing
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#DIGITALBOOK14

The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT
New Blood
Michael Cairns takes over as CEO
Of Publishing Solutions

O

n April 1, Michael Cairns
officially replaced the retiring George Lossius as CEO
of Publishing Technology.
Cairns’s ascension to the
top spot comes less than a year after
he joined the company, in May,
2013, as COO of the online division, and after serving seven years as president of R.R.
Bowker. We caught up with Cairns to talk about his new job
and to survey the digital landscape in 2014.
Congratulations on your new post. Tell us a little about
what might be first thing on your plate, and a little about
what you might be looking at over the next few years?
First, Publishing Technology is a relatively old company as
a ‘technology’ business and in my new position, I benefit
from a significant amount of institutional knowledge about

APRIL 2014
By Andrew Albanese
technology and the mechanics of the publishing industry.
The company is also very stable and we have a good balance
between some of our legacy products—such as Vista and
Ingenta, both of which continue to do well—and our new and
very up-to-date technology platforms in advance and pub2web. My task will be to press harder on expanding the
opportunities for those newer products in the enterprise software market, which is the market for [the product] advance
and, in the content management market for pub2web.
The e-book business, although still pretty young, is now
well-established. But as we gather in London, are we on the
brink of another tech-driven shift, driven by customization,
subscription models, bundling, etc?
Certainly, we have come out of the “rush to digitize”
period that characterized the past five years or so. I think
publishers are now thinking much more broadly about different models for selling and distributing their content. On
our pub2web platform, one of the key drivers motivating
new customers is a desire to place all their content in one
place. And more than collecting the obvious publications
they produce, our platform enables content owners to collect
all the content they produce, so books and journals can be

Digital Piracy Exists Everywhere.
Do you know where your content is hiding?
Attend our presentation or visit booth
#S530 to learn more.
“The Impact of Digital Watermarking on Piracy”
April 9, Wednesday at 4:30pm in Tech Theatre One.

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16

www.publishersweekly.com

www.digimarc.com/guardian
guardian@digimarc.com

3/28/14 10:43 AM

The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT

APRIL 2014
collected together with conference proceedings, webinars,
special publications, and just about any other type of content. Subscribers and consumers of this content are then able
to search and draw on all the content produced by this publisher, whatever the original format of the material. This
facility offers the potential for the publisher to own more
relationships with their customers via one site.
What has surprised you about the digital landscape in
2014? Can you give us an example of the kinds issues you
see for publishers, looking forward?
Perhaps the thing that surprises me most is the we haven’t
seen the erosion of foreign rights as quickly as I might have
thought, given how digital distribution is no longer dependent on needing a local distribution node. I think that’s doubly odd, given the precipitous decline in physical retail
options in places like Australia and New Zealand and to a
similar extent in the U.K. and other English-language markets. Perhaps part of the reason is that print may be a little
more resilient than we give it credit for.
I think one of the increasing concerns we work with is
around reporting and how to interpret the vast amount of
data that can be—and often is—collected through publishers’
platforms and their content. While we produce a raft of standard reports for our publishers, understanding and interpret-

ing data is a significant gap in capability, and I think one of
our added-value services could be to help publishers better
understand and act on the information contained in these
reports. There is also a lack of standardization across reporting formats and methodology that can make comparisons
between sites and providers very difficult. Understanding
these issues can make the marketing and sales staffs smarter
about how they allocate resources, and I think we will see a
lot more emphasis placed in these areas in the years to come.
Metadata has become a major topic at recent conferences
and fairs. Is it fair to say there is an expanding awareness
that metadata practices are crucial?
In my experience the issue has always been the same: publishers, and actually most businesses generally, fail to allocate sufficient resources to manage the collection, distribution, policing, and quality of their metadata. I ran a metadata
company [Bowker] and I’ve been on many metadata panels
and I can say for sure that we are still talking about the same
things we were at the advent of Internet retailing. So I live in
hope that publishers will see the light and invest more in

their product information.
Michael Cairns will be on the CEO panel: “Beyond Open
Access” at The Faculty, 11:30 a.m. on April 9.

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
The digital
future
uncertain.ofPublishers
face
a diverse
array
of challenges
the horizon.
Let Publishing
Technology
enrichwe
the
lifetransform
of your content
with a tailored
solution
from our
fullisspectrum
extensible
software
and
industry
services.onVisit
us on stand
R550, EC2,
to learn how
can
your business.
solution from our full spectrum of extensible software and industry services. Visit us on stand R550, EC2, to learn how we can transform your business.

Content
Content
Systems

Audience
Audience
Development

Royalties
Royalties
Permissions
Permissions
Editorial
& Production
Editorial & Production
Online Sales & Marketing
Online Sales & Marketing
Digital & Print Distribution

Global Sales Representation
Global Sales Representation
Telemarketing
Telemarketing
Market
Research
Market Research
Customer Service
Customer Service
Strategic
Consulting
Strategic Consulting

Systems

Digital & Print Distribution

Publishing
Technology_PW
Daily
Page_2014.indd1 1
Publishing
Technology_PW
ShowShow
Daily
HalfHalf
Page_2014.indd

Development

Content

Content
Delivery
Delivery

Online Platforms

Online
Platforms
Semantic
Enrichment
Semantic Enrichment
Mobile
Mobile
Ecommerce
Ecommerce
Access Entitlement
Access Entitlement

3/21/2014
4:41:56
PM PM
3/21/2014
4:41:56

The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT

APRIL 2014

Meeting Publishers’ Digital Needs

T

he proliferation of digital devices in the classroom
and the reinvention of education from traditional
models to new, more interactive and individualized
means of learning will change education publishing
faster and farther than other segments, says executive director Bill McCoy of IDPF. “It is not just about ‘digitizing’ a print textbook into an equivalently monolithic
e-textbook. It is about chunks of rich and enhanced content
that support multiple learning paths and styles.”
There is now more content, more outlets selling physical
and digital books and more retail opportunities for publishers than ever before, says David Taylor, senior v-p of content
acquisition at Ingram Content Group, and group managing
director of Lightning Source U.K. Ingram’s position and
reaction to this diversity of readily available content, he
adds, “is to use print-on-demand (POD) and digital distribution technologies to create content availability to the broadest number of outlets.”
On the other hand, the lines demarcating publishing
departments are blurring, observes chief marketing officer
Rahul Arora of MPS Limited, adding that “editorial, produc-

BY TERI TAN

tion, marketing and IT departments now play equally
important roles in product development and delivery. Creating fewer yet more engaging and interactive learning products is the goal. And now, more than ever before, publishers
are committed to understanding their end-users through
richer analytics and market research.”
There have been more requests to compose content as individual assets along with the entire title, says v-p of sales and
marketing David Bass of codeMantra. “Publishers are thinking about ways to customize content for their end users digitally in ways that they cannot do with print products, and
they are using XML to ensure content functionality and display capabilities within e-book readers and browsers,” Bass
says. “They want ways to develop a title one time, have the
entire process producing different outputs for print and digital, and a single file to update and edit going forward. For
publishers, it is all about improving operational efficiencies
to create and distribute print and digital in a variety of ways.”
The following pages highlight what some companies are
doing to help publishers meet their digital needs and what
they will be discussing at this year’s London Book Fair.

bluebottlebiz
It is all about business content at two-year-old bluebottlebiz,
where new titles in both English and Spanish are added every
week to its cloud-based platform. It also offers trade journals, research reports, case studies and videos. “We collaborate with more than 80 publishers,” says Jeanette Noble,
director of content acquisition and partner strategy.
Bluebottlebiz’s free e-reader supports both PDF and ePUB,
and allows users to highlight, comment, bookmark and add
notes to specific selections of text while reading. Users can
then share their activity in the book with friends and colleagues. All of these user activities and more are captured as
reader engagement data and shared with publishers. “We
give a free 20-day trial so that interested users can register—
without any commitment—to discover the platform for
themselves. We also offer discounts to businesses depending
on the number of seats,” says Noble, pointing out that 55%
of earned subscription revenues are shared with, and paid on
a quarterly basis to, its publishing partners.
Noble adds that “it is important for Human Resources and
training departments, often regarded as cost centers, to be
able to quantify their contribution to an organization’s overall success. Integrating bluebottlebiz into their existing infrastructure is a cost-effective way to achieve this since our platform provides clear data on how users are engaging with the
content, including which subjects are most read by employ-

18

www.publishersweekly.com

ees. That gives valuable insight about areas where employees
need more training.” Getting relevant content to busy executives is a challenge, she says. “So we offer a weekly newsletter—customizable to fit organizational needs—that provides
a 15-minute reading recommendation on a given topic. We
will soon offer Discovery Paths, a small collection of chapters, case studies, and/or videos put together by experts in a
specific field or topic, that are free to subscribers or available
for purchase on a one-by-one basis.”
For more information, check out partners.bluebottlebiz.
com, or call Noble at +44 (0) 7539 291460 during the London Book Fair.

codeMantra
Crescendo, codeMantra’s newly launched XML-anytime
composition workflow, takes the center stage in London. A
powerful XML authoring and dynamic composition engine
that imports, exports and transforms content across multiple publishing applications such as Word, InDesign and
Quark, Crescendo can work with, or provide, XML at any
point in the publishing production process. It also seamlessly integrates with a publisher’s existing workflow. “That

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3/31/14 11:22 AM

The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT

APRIL 2014

means that no matter where, or how,
your edits are occurring before you
create a final page or file, Crescendo
captures those edits and can create
and store the current XML within the content at any time,”
says v-p of sales and marketing David Bass, who will be in
London to promote the XML-anytime workflow capabilities with his Italian editorial team.
“We have designed Crescendo to be flexible enough to permit a designer, author, or editorial manager to intervene at
any juncture of the publishing process. Whether it is for
last-minute edits, design changes, or design that just cannot
be done programmatically, Crescendo can handle it with
ease,” says Bass, adding that the workflow integrates with

cloud-based collectionPoint 3.0 [cP
3.0] platform—codeMantra’s flagship
product—to store and distribute content to any digital retailer or printer.
Recently, the codeMantra team used cP3.0 to work on
content from the IMF (International Monetary Fund),
“where the documents were enhanced with an XML layer,
allowing IMF to distribute their e-content across the Web for
marketing purposes and drive users back to their e-bookstore and e-library. This enables them to measure marketing
ROI and traffic trends,” Bass says.
For more information, on Crescendo and cP 3.0, drop by
booth W605, or email dbass@codemantra.com to join codeMantra’s 90-minute luncheon/discussion on April 9 focused

Making Digital Pay at Cenveo Publisher Services
For Cenveo Publisher Services, 2014 is the year digital strategies must deliver in terms of profits for its publisher clients. Publishers are figuring the best way to use technology
to creating products and content that best serve their markets as well as their business. “There is no one-size-fits-all
answer. Some markets—trade books, for instance—demand
both print and digital offerings simultaneously whereas
other markets such as STM journals require digital editions
ahead of print version,” explains
Cenveo marketing director Marianne Calilhanna, who believes that
the tipping point of acceptance for
digital products has been reached.
So faced with publishers who have
been investing heavily in technology for decades, how does
Cenveo go about helping them put the “R” in “ROI” (return
on investment)?
Simplifying app development is one of the ways. Cenveo offers three flexible app solutions that showcase complex content to engage readers and open digital revenue
channels. The three different packages—Starter, Business
or Custom editions—meet publishers’ requirements and
budget while showcasing content in a modern app. Publishers provide the Cenveo team with PDF, XML or application files, and the Cenveo Mobile dPub framework flows
the content into a rich mobile experience, allowing publishers to distribute content easily on any mobile devices.
Cenveo, which has more than 125 years of experience
working with publishers to create the printed page, has used
that understanding and experience to craft digital solutions
that provide return on investment. One society publisher, for
instance, needed to shift its peer-reviewed journals from print
to digital-only in response to the business needs of its members who required immediate access to content via mobile
devices. “We were already producing their print-ready XML
files. So modifying those files and flowing them into the Cen-

20

www.publishersweekly.com

veo Mobile dPub platform was a natural, and fast, solution,”
notes Calilhanna.The Cenveo approach is to help publishers
monetize content however they want. That includes in-app
purchases, single-edition payments, multi-issue licenses, or all
of these combined. “You can start at a digital baseline, capture user metrics such as devices used and time spent on specific content areas, and even facilitate user feedback,” says
Calihanna. “You have the ability to test many concepts and
evolve your digital path and offering.
And the great thing that digital has
over print is the speed in which these
things can happen.”
Cenveo also can help publishers
repackage its content. “Repackaging  content is not a new concept.  Special print editions,
anthologies, and annual collections are familiar concepts to
publishers. But with digital products, it is easier to envision
‘content remix’ and publishers are indeed combining assets
to create new products. This is particularly common among
educational publishers,” Calihanna says.
Users now expect both digital and print formats of content across devices, says Calilhanna. “But have publishers
reached the expected return on digital products? Will readers
pay for hybrid publication models? Are audiences looking
for more than print replicas with a few interwoven pieces of
rich media? These are some of the questions we ask in our
publishing survey, Making Digital Pay, which gather metrics
direct from the source.”
Take part in the survey at www.cenveopublisherservices.
com/making-digital-pay. The responses, results and analysis will be published in a white paper and made available at
the same address. Respondents will receive a free copy of
the consolidated research and understand how their organization measures with others on the profitability
scale. More information about the survey and Cenveo services is available from booth Q510.

BEA is the premier showcase for Digital Innovation for the
North American publishing industry.
Find leading global Digital Suppliers, discover the latest
Digital Trends/Insights, and learn from the industry’s best
at the IDPF Digital Book Conference.

All of this, plus more, is happening at BEA. Will you be there?

BEA Covers Everything Digital

Cutting-Edge Sessions at IDPF Digital Book Conference & BISG’s Making Information Pay
Digital & Technology Track in the BEA Conference Program featuring sessions like:
Demystifying Subscription Models: Current And Emerging Options
Successful Business Models & the Metadata Behind Them
Data Driven Marketing – Engaging Readers & Driving Sales
The Media is the Message: How Technology is Affecting the Development of Content

Thursday, May 29 - Saturday, May 31, 2014:
All BEA Exhibits Open, Conference & Special Events
(Wednesday, May 28, 2014: Conference and CIROBE Remainders & Sidelines Pavilions Open Early)

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The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT

APRIL 2014
forms are not tied together in closed proprietary silos. EPub
is also being used for corporate publications and enterprise-wide documentation in corporations such as IBM. So
ePub is not just about e-books any more,” says McCoy, adding that one IDPF key meeting  at the London Book
Fair  will  focus  on “delivering the goods for accessibility.
There is just no excuse that people with blindness and other
print disabilities have no way to read a majority of the books
and documents that are published.”
For McCoy, publishers and content creators are still on the
upslope of HTML5 adoption and the overall Open Web
Platform, which is the key enabling technology for delivering
content, data and experiences. “EPub, the next-generation
portable document format for the Open Web Platform, is
part of that bigger story.”
Major announcements about ePub3 support will be coming in May and June with a lot happening at the IDPF Digital
Book conference at BookExpo America (May 28–29).

on social interaction between publishers, industry trends and
technologies. The company will also be participating in the
XML Anytime Publishing Workflow session (April 9, 2:30
p.m. at the Digital Hotspot).

IDPF
EPub3 adoption is progressing steadily, says executive
director Bill McCoy of
IDPF. “Japan’s e-book infrastructure, for instance, is completely ePub3-based whereas
EduPub, ePub3 for e-textbooks and other education content,
is taking off in a big way,” says McCoy. “Our workshop on
ePub for comics and manga in Paris last month was a major
milestone with over 80 participants, including major players
from Europe, U.S. and Japan. And underlying everything is the
accessibility support built-in to ePub3, which will ultimately
drive adoption even for English-language novels that were
already pretty well handled with ePub2.”
Segment-specific requirements are very  important to
McCoy. “Comics, for instance,  sound simple but ‘motion
book’ and other more advanced forms of interactive ‘sequential art’ need more work to be done to enable an interoperable ecosystem where authoring tools and distribution plat-

Ingram
The company’s recent acquisition of CourseSmart, combined
with Vital Source, creates the world’s largest provider of digital course materials.  “We are  pleased to make another
investment in higher education, strengthening our services in

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PUBLISHERS WEEKLY ■ THE INTERNATIONAL NEWS MAGAZINE OF BOOK PUBLISHING AND BOOKSELLING

Your 24/7/365 all-access guide to the latest trends, book reviews and insider information

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APRIL 2014
this market and furthering our commitment to helping
publishers, institutions, educators and students navigate the
shifting landscape of digital learning and helping them succeed by offering content in any format,” says the company’s
David Taylor.
Known in the industry for the strength of its POD manufacturing paired with worldwide distribution, Ingram solutions continue to help publishers quickly and efficiently print
and distribute a wide range of books. “POD provides great
opportunity for publishers looking to keep more books in
print and available for sale while finding efficiency in book
manufacturing and the supply chain,” Taylor says.
One client, M-Y Books, uses Ingram services to make titles
widely available without spending on costly infrastructure.
Fans can access the late Barbara Cartland’s existing novels
and 160 previously unpublished manuscripts because of
Ingram’s POD and e-book distribution services. Another client, DeVry University, uses Ingram POD and digital solutions to provide education content for students enrolled at
the institution.
Further development of the company’s Global Connect
solution is ongoing. Global Connect expands the reach of
publisher content to major book markets through relationships with leaders in bookselling and manufacturing. Ingram
has deals in place with partners in Brazil, Germany and Russia, with further locations to be announced in 2014.
Similarly, Ingram’s CoreSource DAM platform enables
publishers to easily reach markets in different parts of the
world with e-books and through the company’s fast-growing
self-publishing platform IngramSpark.  
“Ingram is uniquely positioned to seamlessly connect physical and digital content to points around the globe. Through
our solutions, we fully integrate distribution, technology,
logistics and manufacturing so that tens of thousands of publishers and millions of books reach retail, library, school and
distribution outlets worldwide,” concludes Taylor, whose
team can be found at stands H400, V655 and Y525.

Publishing Technology
The latest from Publishing Technology is a digital-only installation of its Order to Cash sales, marketing and e-commerce
application. A part of the advance enterprise system, this module is for publishers looking for the ability to create and distribute digital content without replacing their print fulfillment
systems. “Our advance enterprise suite, which covers backend processes from rights, royalties, permissions, product
management and distribution, can accommodate any kind of
digital media or
business model.
But for publishers with established technol-

The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT
ogy who now want to package, promote, sell and deliver digital content, our stand-alone Digital Order to Cash solution
will integrate with existing customer relationship management, production management, DAM, finance and fulfillment
systems,” says U.K. marketing manager Emily Taylor Gregory,
who will be at the fair to demonstrate other Publishing Technology’s industry-specific solutions, including pub2web custom hosting platform for digital content, ingentaconnect turnkey hosting solution and Publishers Communication Group
(PCG) sales and marketing consultancy.
In recent months, Publishing Technology has launched the
new semantically-enriched AIP Scitation portal on its pub2web platform (hosting nearly a million articles from a dozen
member publishers), created the digitally-native global fulfillment system for Turpin Distribution  through  its  advance 
platform, signed new PCG sales representation agreements
with IET in Europe and ISPG in India, and undertaken a digital subscription research study for the U.S. Book Industry
Study Group.
For  more information on Publishing Technology, head
over to stand R550, or get the latest on the industry from
new CEO Michael Cairns, who will take part in “In Conversation: IET Digital Library—A Next Generation Publishing
Platform”  on  April 8, and  “CEO Panel Debate: Beyond
Open Access—What’s Next for Academic Publishing” on
April 9. Both events are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at The
Faculty@LBF. Or attend  “Why Open Access Means a
Rethink for OECD’s Digital Strategy” (April 10, 11:30 a.m,
The Faculty@LBF) and “Business Models—Experimenting
for the Future” (April 10, 11:45 a.m., BIC Supply Chain
seminar) and hear from COO Randy Petway and executive
v-p Jane Tappuni, respectively.

MPS Limited
The cloud-based platform MPS
Insight, one of the first to be
COUNTER 4-compliant, is a natural choice for publishers looking
to understand their customers
better. “Publishers’ sales and marketing department can access this dynamic platform in real
time to analyze usage patterns in order to develop richer
content, make intelligent pricing decisions, focus on specific
distribution channels, and configure overall marketing
strategy,” says chief marketing officer Rahul Arora, whose
team did a complete overhaul of the MPS Insight user interface last year.
The core business at MPS is now about platforms across
different facets of publishing. Cloud-based MPS Trak, a
workflow management platform, for instance, powers the
overall publishing process, and it has affirmed its leading
market position by winning two significant awards in 2013.
The Peer Review module of this platform, having passed the
early development and testing stages, will be implemented

23

The DIGITAL SPOTLIGHT

APRIL 2014

for a U.K.-based publisher sometime this year.
According to Arora, MPS’ DigiCore system continues to
allow publishers to realize savings and reduce time-to-market in the content production process. “We have also been
busy conducting several pilots with publishers using
DigiEdit, our intuitive online editing platform with underlying XML,” says Arora. “The success of such platforms is
dependent on the publishers’ ability to absorb and adopt
innovation and change. On our part, we are committed to
redefining how content is managed, and we continue to
develop more products to make life easier for authors, edi-

tors, production planners and publishers. Our platform survey results are showing that the user-group including authors
are welcoming a platform-enabled workflow.”
Currently, 90% of the content that MPS produces for publishers is for digital consumption. Adds Arora, “Our production processes are driven by digital-first workflows that come
to life through DigiCore—our smart, cloud-based editorial
and production platform.”
Head over to booth T505 for more information, or go to
Tech Theatre 1 on April 9 at 11:30 a.m. for MPS’s interactive
session on “Reducing Time-to-Market for Publishers.” ■

Helping Publishers to Sell Direct: The Qbend Story
Powering more than 50 e-bookstores for publishers specializing in such subjects as fiction, academic, professional
and romance has given Qbend COO Kaushik Sampath
many unique insights  on  e-retailing. “More publishers
are  selling direct  to their customer base, and  looking at
profiling their customers—what type of books are most
popular with which demographic segment—using analytics derived from their e-bookstore. They are directly interacting with their store customers, and that is helping them
to connect and foster loyalty, something that has thus far
eluded them through other online retail channels,”  says
Sampath. In total, consumers who use e-bookstores powered by Qbend come from more than 75 countries and
access contents offered in about 10 languages. Qbend also
works with many digital-only publishers as well as several
retailers to power their online presence.Wolters Kluwer, for
instance, built an eChapters store on the Qbend platform
to  enhance  its direct sales channel. “They made both
e-books and e-chapters available, and we found that over
96% of the transactions on the e-bookstore occur at the
chapter level. Interestingly, we did not hear of any reduction in their e-book or print book sales. So we deduce that
these chapter-based transactions could not have happened
if eChapters is not made available,” adds Sampath.
For Californa-based Untreed Reads, Qbend’s platform is
used to power its digital sales where thousands of e-books
are made available in ePUB, Kindle and PDF. According to
Sampath, many of Untreed’s titles are priced under 99 cents,
and for  higher-priced books, they also provide a rental
option at a lower price point. All their books are DRM-free,
and Untreed also uses its e-bookstore as its online
sales  hub,  providing links to Amazon and iTunes stores.
“By bringing down the price points and making their own
store competitive to Amazon on pricing, Untreed Reads has
managed to attract and retain information about a lot of
their customers, and this would further help them in providing more relevant, and timely, content,” says Sampath.
With more publishers starting to establish their online

24

www.publishersweekly.com

presence, Qbend has
begun  to offer  digital
marketing services for
those wanting to expand
their digital footprint.
“We provide comprehensive search engine optimization [SEO] and directory submission services to increase visibility of our clients and
their contents on the Internet. Title discoverability does not
happen by itself, and we can do so much more to help our
clients in this respect,” says Sampath, whose team will also
launch MyCollect at the London Book Fair. The new feature allows users to put together their own custom publications, helping publishers generate more income from the
same content.
With digital media, no book needs to go out of print
(OOP), so many of Qbend’s publishers are digitizing OOP
titles and adding them to their stores and using Qbend’s
digital marketing services to reach the right target audience. “For instance,” Sampath notes, “we ran a special
campaign during the first week of December to celebrate
Walt Disney’s birthday, and in the last week of January to
mark Lewis Carroll’s birthday. The level of interest shown
by customers for Alice in Wonderland and many OOP Disney classics was a nice surprise to us and our clients.”
Other features, from self-publishing to  e-lending, are
coming from Qbend in the coming months.  “The core
focus of the eStore platform is to enable content owners to
sell direct and build a community. Our focus is therefore
expanding from traditional publishers to indie authors,
and from retailers to corporations. We are aggressively
expanding in the U.S. and Europe while getting a foothold
in Asia as the market gears up for e-stores,” says Sampath,
who will be talking about “Selling Direct to Customers and
Building Your Community” on April 8 (10:00 a.m. at Tech
Theatre 1) and on April 9 (12:30 p.m. at Tech Theatre 2).
More information and demos can be obtained at Qbend
booth W505.

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