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Comparison of supply chains of booksTraditional Publisher Wholesaler Bookstore Reader• Many essential functions performed by publisherDigital Publisher ebookseller Reader• Is the publisher really required now?• Why doesn’t iBookstore or Kindle directly develop digital book with author
Role of publishers• No longer perform developmental editing• Not marketing (since Apple, Amazon & Google are great marketers themselves)• Can’t stand against these companies for author advances and royalties. Amazon, Apple etc. have deep pockets• The only thing in their favor is selective favoring of one author over other. Thus, they find favor with big authors in such typical aspect where big giants can’t compete with them. For e.g., “If you liked Michael Lewis’s The Big Short you might also like Andrew Ross’ Too Big to Fail”
Supply chain characteristicsTraditional• Physical copies to be printed, publisher pays for storage cost, organize logistics to retail outletsDigital• No need for printing, storing and transporting (15% of traditional costs removed)• Availability of digital store like Amazon’s Kindle store, Apple’s iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Safari Books etc.
New requirements in supply chain• Effective book production facility catering to unique requirements of digital content• A fully equipped royalty, rights and permissions facility• Complete product master data facility (for workflow processes around collection and distribution of the metadata)• Effective web enablement mechanisms• Integrated e-commerce engine for online trading• Managing the new digital distribution process• Financial processes
Challenges due to digital books’ supply chain• Using ISBN No. is difficult in ebooks as computers not equipped to handle ambiguity and uncertainty• Many mandatory costs of traditional remain, while unique costs like electronic platforms, special software for selling and security etc. come up• Affect on sales of physical books