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Publishing Industry Pressurised

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The publishing industry is a place fascinating to be now. It is a place of extremes when it comes to digital technology. It appears that there are two types of publishers now.

They are either ‘digitally advanced‘ or ‘digitally delayed’, with not much in between.

Publishers can be further divided into those with ‘plain text’ books (trade publishers) and those with ‘complex text’ books (STM & educational publishers). I am sure publishers would be horrified by this description, but it illustrates neatly how they approach digital technology.

‘Plain text’ book publishers are more interested in digital marketing to help sell their books. ‘Complex text’ book publishers are more interested in digital systems to sell their books.

For the unlucky majority, keeping up to speed with all of the technology advancements is an achievement in itself. How to develop a digital strategy and implement it can seem utterly bewildering.

A handful of publishers appear to be so far ahead with embracing digital technology that one fears for those left behind bobbing around in the digital doldrums.

For those that are successful, there appear to be common themes to them. The successful publishers, those that are ‘digitally advanced’, are happy to take an approach of ‘build and burn’ to marketing their books if they are ‘plain text’ publishers. And they ‘mash together’ the best ideas to make better systems if they publish ‘complex text’ books.

Furthermore, the ‘digitally advanced’ publishers have hired technical people into their marketing departments who can sift through the hype.

For the ‘digitally delayed’, simply building a new web site is not enough. They need to catch up but they must use basic principles first to plan their digital strategy.

Research your market, set your sales and marketing objectives, plan your strategy, and work out your tactics. It is too easy to go straight to tactics.

Also, hire in some specialists in digital in your market if you are ‘digitally delayed.’ Not just digital marketing specialists. Digital specialists in the publishing industry.

This is will help relieve the pressure to ‘go digital’ that many publishers are feeling.


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