Digital publishing - What's it all about? - Is there a market for it and should we be interested in it. - What will it mean to publishers? This morning I will go through - What is happening in the market and whats the potential for digital product - Does the advent of digital products such as ebooks change what a publisher should be doing? - Review of the technologies and opportunities - How can we sell digital products? Don't be afraid to ask questions, we will try our best to answer them!
We will go into more detail about what are enhanced ebooks and apps later on and show some samples We are mostly talking about re-using book content This could be something you do yourselves or it could be licensing your content for someone else to create digital products from – in a similar way to you selling or licensing the rights of a book in different languages
I am going to give you a bit of background to what I think the digital market is worth to publishers … so you can take a view on whether you think it is important.
First of all as we know the market for printed books is going through a tough time. This is a mixture of problems on the high street and reading behaviour I haven’t seen any projections to suggest book sales will bounce back
General outlook and predictions seem to be fairly consistent … shows a significant rise in the last couple of years … forecasting around 25% of publishing revenue to come from digital by 2015
Seems to be a similar story from the larger publishers … around 5-10% now … increasing to 20-50% by 2015
Pressure from authors to make titles available digitally Seems to be some growing pressure from authors who are frustrated by the lack of progress on getting their titles into digital formats. Amazon and other e-book publishers including Rosetta Books are approaching UK agents and authors to buy backlist e-book rights, with Rosetta favouring an exclusive Amazon deal as part of the package. Random House took Rosetta Books to court and the Court has concluded that Random House is not the beneficial owner of the right to publish the eight works at issue as ebooks based on their existing contracts.
Growing Self publishing market … encouraged by people like Amazon! &quot; The Authors Guild &quot; ;- July 26, 2010. quote [[ We don't know the details of the Odyssey-Amazon agreement, but we can make some informed guesses. The agreement is most likely under the agency model, with Amazon paying Odyssey 70% of the retail price of the books. Wylie and Odyssey are together taking a typical agent's commission as compensation: 10 or 15% of the 70% received from Amazon. In round figures, this means that the author receives 60 to 63% of the retail price of the book. For comparison, a typical contract with a traditional publisher pays e-book royalties of 25% of net proceeds. If the e-book is sold under the agency model, the author's share is 25% of 70%, or 17.5% of the retail price of the book. After the agent's commission, the author receives roughly 15 to 16% of the retail price of the book. ]] end quote . Current contracts assign e-book rights to the (printed version ) publisher - and surely that's for the author and his agent to decide..
Interesting research by Nielsen in the USA Ipads and e-readers appear surprisingly high in the list
41% of people prefer paper … there isn't much that will convert these people to buying ebooks unless there is a real usp or advantage offered over the printed page The other percentages will come down in time … as the price of technology falls … devices improve … functionality improves As we can see the price of e-readers has steadily fallen over the last couple of years.
Hopefully, you can see that there is a growing customer base out there for digital product. Now I will look at what this means to publishers Firstly what are the pressures on publisher to head off into the digital world Secondly what does this actually mean to the role of a publisher
Being a publisher isn't about printing its about the creation of the product and selling it to the reader.
Some of these can be products that we sell or as we will cover later some of these can be marketing tools or introductions to full or printed products. … hand over to Liz now who will take you through some examples of digital products
Unfortunately, today, most commercial eBooks are no more than exact replicas of the print version. Rather than simply outsourcing the conversion of finished book pdf files to eBooks, publishers should be revising the design of the book to work better as a digital product. This means they need to get their editorial and design teams to really grasp the issues and opportunities for eBooks and what new technology can offer, for example, standard contents pages and page numbers can probably be dropped and new navigation systems and cross book links could be added. An interesting question is “How can publishers develop the eBook to offer an enhanced book reading experience?” This then raises the questions “Would offering enhanced features mean publishers could charge more for the product in the same way as the film industry now offer special edition DVD’s with extra features at a premium price?”, and “Would readers realistically pay more for these enhanced features?”
Digital Strategy for Publishers David Stephens, Managing Director Liz Murray, Sales and Marketing Manager www.ljinteractive.com [email_address]
Publishers Weekly , quoting US Census Bureau figures, 16/11
How much should we be interested?
What is the market saying about digital? Goldman Sachs report (April 2010) … eBook sales will increase fourfold in 2015 to $3.19 billion and print book sales will fall 4.9 percent to $21.7 billion. The International Digital Publishing Forum collects quarterly US trade retail eBook sales in conjunction with the Association of American Publishers (AAP). Bain & Company, Patrick Béhar and Laurent Colombani. (Nov 2010) Between 15% and 20% of the book reading public will own electronic devices and up to 25% of books will be sold in digital form by 2015. Steve Haber, president of Sony’s digital reading business division “ e-books sales will overtake print sales within five years” Forrester Research, Inc. (Nov 2010) “ US spending on e-books was expected to total $966m this year, up from 301 million dollars last year and to triple, reaching $2.81 billion, in 2015.”
Cambridge University Press CEO, Stephen Bourne “ The quality of publishing has improved markedly—some has been in print and some has been digital. The latter is making quite an impact.” According to the publisher’s annual report, 20% of sales for its past financial year are for digital products… this figure could rise above two-thirds by 2020.” What are publishers saying about digital? Random House Chief Executive, Markus Dohle “ We’re at 8 percent in the US currently, I could well imagine that we get beyond 10 percent next year,” ... he did not expect e-books to generally overtake printed books in the next five years but expected eBooks to account for 25 to 50% of total sales by 2015. Pearson “ Soaring demand for digital books has led Pearson, the owner of Penguin and the Financial Times, to lift its profit forecast for the second time this year.” Hachette UK appoints first digital director to drive sales of e-books, Sept 10 Hachette UK (owners of Little Brown, Hodder Headline and Orion) says that electronic sales now account for eight per cent of their turnover. HarperCollins UK chief executive and publisher Victoria Barnsley "In a tough trading year when the market dropped and home sales were down, HarperCollins UK managed to deliver significant operating profit growth on the back of a strong export market, exceptional rights income, higher digital revenues and cost savings related to prior year restructuring.
What are authors saying about digital? Ian McEwan, winner of the Booker prize, signed an agreement with Rosetta Books, a specialised eBook publishing house.
eBooks/enhanced books/iphone apps etc – What do they cost to produce? £50-£500 £2000-£4000 £3000-£20k Standard eBook as an exact copy of the printed book (pdf, epub) Book content reformatted into an application Links to forums and social networking weblinks Ability to add or update information Video content Audio content Search and indexing facilities annotation facilities Interactive graphics such as maps, charts, 3D drawings Ability to interact with or take part in the book
In one form or another and whether we like it or not, digital is on its way!
Digital is currently only a very small part of the market but 10-20% within 5 years
Digital doesn’t change the core functions of a publisher but could change how we do things, from concept and production through to marketing and selling.
We will require an open minded and innovative approach to look for opportunities.
There is a risks that lack of action will mean authors/readers will circumvent publishers.
Marketing, niche digital and social marketing.
Digital is an opportunity we can’t afford to miss … but we need to be looking for opportunities and don't be afraid to try things.
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