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Digital Publishing in Africa: Lessons from the PALM project

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A presentation delivered at Information for Change 2010 by Charles Batambuze, Executive Secretary, National Book Trust of Uganda (NABOTU), Nairobi, Kenya, 21st September 2010.

A presentation delivered at Information for Change 2010 by Charles Batambuze, Executive Secretary, National Book Trust of Uganda (NABOTU), Nairobi, Kenya, 21st September 2010.

Published in: Technology, Business, Education
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  • 1. How can these tools be used in the business of publishing (production, distribution, licensing, marketing, etc.) - Charles Batambuze , Executive Secretary, National Book Trust of Uganda (NABOTU)
  • 2. Introduction
    • African publishing occupies a marginalized position
    • Trade in books within and across borders hampered by poor distribution, costly licensing, etc
    • High-income countries dominate book exports accounting for 86.7% in a US$11.5 billion world market,
    • According to UNESCO Africa registered insignificant levels of trade with a share of all book exports at $35.2 million, accounting 0.3%, its imports, at $269 million, were 2.3% of world trade (UNESCO 2005; 64;66).
  • 3. Worldmapper maps – Books Published 1999
  • 4. Introduction
    • Territorial licensing arrangements partly account for high pricing and entrench publisher monopolies
    • Parallel importation prohibited by most copyright legislation
    • The arrival of the Internet likely to change the face of publishing
    • Likely to transform current scarcity models and create abundance
  • 5. PALM Africa
    • A study carried out in Uganda and South Africa to try to understand how publishing on the internet would eliminate shortage of learning content, facilitate trade and generate new business models that would best serve the commercial interests of publishers.
    • Initially it was understood that local publishers would utilize the licensing mechanisms to adapt foreign materials but as we learnt later, they were instead interested in exposure of culturally relevant literature
    • And gaining a market presence in different regions
  • 6. Licensing
    • Flexible licenses increase international reach, expand readership and increase impact of African publishing
    • Reduce costs of license transfers
    • Now used for nearly 300 million works world wide, offer the opportunity to allow for a variety of free uses.
    • Creative commons licenses grant certain permissions to users in advance.
  • 7. Creative Commons BY SA NC ND You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work – and derivative works based upon it – but only if they give credit the way you request. You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work. You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work – and derivative works based upon it – but for noncommercial purposes only. You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.
  • 8. CC+ Protocol
    • Provide a means of providing additional information for content users irrespective of geographical location to contact right holders to negotiate variations in license terms and pay if necessary
    • Would be good for facilitating the development of e-book formats, negotiating POD, territorial licenses for printing in other countries and translation rights
  • 9. ACAP
    • Automated Content Acess Protocol (ACAP) developed by WAN and IPA as a standard for managing open and commercial rights transactions.
  • 10. Alternative business models Type Free to consumer Paid for by Consumer Other revenue Freemium Downloads of samples or full text Supplementary material Printed books, multimedia DVD/CD Advertising Affiliate sales
  • 11. Alternative business models Type Free to consumer Paid for by Consumer Other revenue Author pays Downloads of full text POD (print texts only) Author pays costs
  • 12. Alternative business models Type Free to consumer Paid for by Consumer Other revenue Open Educational Resources (OERs) Course materials Registration fees Institutional funding
  • 13. Alternative business models Type Free to consumer Paid for by Consumer Other revenue Open Access Downloads of full texts, can grant rights to customize Consumer POD (zero margin to author or publisher) May involve sale of printed books Institutional funding Sponsorship, ads, affiliate sales
  • 14. Business models
    • Publishing experiments under PALM combined free online access to drive sales for hard copies, and setting up hard-copy sales systems to generate income.
  • 15. Marketing
    • African publishers need to develop skills and expertise in online marketing and distribution to attract readers to their sites, offer effective search ability; undertake value-addition and service
    • The importance of community in social media marketing and crowd sourcing as a way of publication development in an interactive Web 2.0 world;
    • The need for realigning strategic thinking in a very rapidly-changing world and the difficulties experienced by the larger publishers in achieving strategic flexibility.
  • 16. Distribution
    • E-books and reading devices offer new hope for book distribution to most remote parts of Africa because they operate on cell phone and wireless networks.
    • Only limitation is the need to clear territorial licensing for book distributions to take place in different markets
  • 17. Distribution
    • Publishing to cell phones is an alternative currently being explored. Platforms to enable book distributions over cell phones are being developed
    • POD solutions would probably work best for African publishers given the small print runs.

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