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Presentation to the Society of Authors


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Presentation to the Society of Authors

  1. 1. Presentation to the Society of Authors 25 April 2007 Medical publishing in the future Alison Langton Books Publishing Director, Medicine Wiley –Blackwell
  2. 2. What am I going to talk about? <ul><li>Background - about my career, and medical publishing up to now </li></ul><ul><li>Are publishers’ terms deteriorating? </li></ul><ul><li>What is happening to sales of medical books? </li></ul><ul><li>Books online </li></ul><ul><li>How will sales of printed books be affected? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it still good use of authors’ time to write books in ‘the internet age’? </li></ul><ul><li>Publishing in the internet age – multi-purpose content </li></ul><ul><li>The future </li></ul>
  3. 3. Who am I to talk? <ul><li>Worked at OUP </li></ul><ul><li>Published Oxford Textbook of Medicine, Oxford Handbook of Medicine etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Moved to Blackwell in 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Now work for Wiley –Blackwell with global team of 9 commissioning editors </li></ul>
  4. 4. The history of medical book publishing ─ from ‘gentlemen’s agreements’ to business reality <ul><li>The halcyon days of medical publishing 20 years ago </li></ul><ul><li>Since then. . . </li></ul><ul><li>Sales (number of copies) have generally reduced </li></ul><ul><li>More books; ↑competition </li></ul><ul><li>Publishing has become more commercial </li></ul><ul><li>Profits are watched closely </li></ul><ul><li>Acquisitions have become more focused </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer shorter lunches! </li></ul><ul><li>Royalties have been reduced </li></ul><ul><li>Production values ↑ for textbooks; + colour </li></ul><ul><li>More market research </li></ul><ul><li>More professional marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Development of books online </li></ul>
  5. 5. Are publishers’ terms deteriorating? <ul><li>10% of net receipts is standard author royalty </li></ul><ul><li>Editors may receive lower royalty </li></ul><ul><li>Higher royalties or rising royalty on established successful books </li></ul><ul><li>Lower royalties on ‘trade’ books </li></ul>
  6. 6. What has happened to book sales? <ul><li>Sales of most classic clinical reference titles have declined from one edition to the next </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yamada: Gastroenterology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oxford Textbooks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dewhurst’s Textbook of OB/GYN </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some books steady </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bain: Blood Cells ; Bone Marrow Pathology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Medicine At A Glance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some books have continued to flourish and grow sales </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Oxford Handbooks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Practical books for clinicians </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Postgraduate texts e.g. health economics; CBT </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. What sort of books’ sales have declined and why? <ul><li>‘Medical reference works’ and specialised monographs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Users perceive online info available and more current </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Journal review articles ↑ (IF) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only a small part of the book is consulted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Library budgets cut </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More competition, e.g. to British ‘classics’ from US competitors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consequences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>harder to make these books financially successful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Print runs cut </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Revenue lower, so costs inc royalties must be managed </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. What sort of books have survived and thrived? <ul><li>Where print and not online is the best format </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘How To. . . ‘ books (e.g. Greenhalgh: How to read a paper) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student textbooks & other books for study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distillates of clinical wisdom </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Course manuals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Books for pharma industry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Libraries’ ‘core collections’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Practical clinical manuals and pocket books (material not covered in journals) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When information must be portable </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Advent of books online <ul><li>Academic e-books commercially available since 1990s </li></ul><ul><li>15% of ebook content is now medical/health care </li></ul><ul><li>Key STM publishers expanding ebook offering </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing ebook adoption by libraries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital collections predicted to grow to 35% of book collections in 2007 </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. What would your book look like online? <ul><li>PDF pages – exact replicas of printed book pages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May be searchable; otherwise limited functionality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Print-friendly </li></ul></ul><ul><li>‘ HTML’ pages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Content redesigned for online use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More investment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loses appearance of book; page numbers etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More sophisticated searching; book marking; linking (e.g. to PubMed, or journal content) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Format of printed-out pages may be inferior </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Our ESC textbook has an accompanying e-version in both PDF and HTML formats
  12. 12. If you go to the contents list, you can click on ‘View PDF’ to see a PDF version
  13. 13. Here is a chapter in the PDF version – it looks the same as the printed book
  14. 14. The HTML version <ul><li>In the HTML version allows quick navigation through the text by clicking on headings in the right-hand margin </li></ul><ul><li>HTML also makes it possible to do advanced text searching </li></ul>
  15. 16. Blackwell Reference Online. The HTML format allows the user to search across the text of all the books at once – and also present the books in a single format
  16. 17. The market for books online <ul><li>Very small - but increasing </li></ul><ul><li>Global medical print book market estimated at $585m </li></ul><ul><li>Medical and health care e-book revenue estimated to be ca $5m – i.e. less than 1% of total book market </li></ul><ul><li>6% of library budgets spent on e-books – but ↑ </li></ul><ul><li>More medical reference content online is databases: </li></ul><ul><li>Market size of non-journal STM e-databases (including medical reference) = $1.7bn </li></ul><ul><li>Source : Electronic Publishing Services Ltd </li></ul><ul><li>Market still in early stages </li></ul><ul><li>Many unknowns </li></ul><ul><li>High potential </li></ul>
  17. 18. What’s available now? <ul><li>Publishers’ own collections </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wiley InterScience (3000 titles) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Elsevier - Science Direct (4000 titles of which 200 med/neurosci) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Taylor & Francis (16,500 titles) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Springer - e-Reference (15,000 titles) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Aggregator platforms (licensed content) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ovid </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NetLibrary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E-brary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google, Amazon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DoctorsNet </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Books for PDAs/mobile devices </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. SkyScape </li></ul></ul>
  18. 19. Publishing online vs e-licensing <ul><li>Publishing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Invest in development, online transactions etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Control of ‘look and feel’; branding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Royalty usually same % as book </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Licensing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Publisher has less control, but no financial risk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content from many publishers, may be linked </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increases exposure; new markets (e.g. consortia) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Same author royalty % (but publisher’s receipts lower) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Publishers may publish and license </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maximises exposure of book and return to publisher and author </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Test the market; learn about the market </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Like print books available from publishers’ web sites, book stores, Amazon </li></ul></ul>
  19. 20. How much & why are medical e-books used? <ul><li>Blackwell market research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>significant proportion of libraries worldwide stock some e-books </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mixture of publisher and aggregator providers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>CIBER ‘SuperBook’ market research (UCL, 2007) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>showed ‘significant level of interest in and use of e-books’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>44% of the community used e-books (all subjects) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Textbooks, research monographs, and reference books most popular </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Perceived advantages of e-books </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They ‘add value’ (i.e. search and manipulate content) (74% of respondents in Outsell research 2007) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>50% say e-books ‘valuable’ or ‘very valuable’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ease of making copies/printing out selection of pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perceived as more ‘up-to-date’ than printed edition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Round-the-clock availability; remote availability </li></ul></ul>
  20. 21. How will sales of our printed books be affected? <ul><li>Intuition says that print sales will be reduced </li></ul><ul><li>E-books are not seen as mere substitutes for print </li></ul><ul><li>Addition to print book collection </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer than one-third buy e-books only as replacements </li></ul><ul><li>Source: O utsell Inc 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Potential ‘tipping point’ for some categories of books </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Print runs reduce further until </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>print becomes uneconomic  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>complete migration to print-to-order and/or online? </li></ul></ul>
  21. 22. Is this in fact bad news for authors? <ul><li>New lease of life for content </li></ul><ul><li>Potential for additional sales/royalties </li></ul><ul><li>New markets (e.g. hospital libraries; new geographical areas) </li></ul><ul><li>Usage stats will give completely new information </li></ul><ul><li>Number of readings ↑ (as with journals) </li></ul>
  22. 23. Is writing books still a good use of your time / expertise? <ul><li>Why do medics write books? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Profile/reputation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ hidden’ benefits </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To summarise life’s work or clinical experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Course textbooks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Royalties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Working with editor/publishing company </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These reasons still valid </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Always write with the market in mind </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider which books will be useful as e-content or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hard to substitute with e-books/e-sources of information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Author and publisher share ‘vision’ to ensure maximum exposure of content </li></ul></ul>
  23. 24. Concept of content management, or multi-purpose content <ul><li>Commission/write ‘content’ rather than books </li></ul><ul><li>New production processes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>from print only to digital first </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>from bound tome to database of content </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Single workflow to generate multiple formats </li></ul><ul><li>Publish online early cf journal articles </li></ul><ul><li>Chapters can be (r)e-used, e.g. ‘spin-offs’, image bank </li></ul><ul><li>Add abstracts and key words – content ‘found’ more easily </li></ul><ul><li>Book chapters and journal articles merge </li></ul>
  24. 25. Online medical content in the future <ul><li>Part of online resource alongside journal content and databases </li></ul><ul><li>Easy searching; content linked </li></ul><ul><li>New sales models </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Buy chapters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rent content for a short time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subscribe to books inc. new editions and updates </li></ul></ul>
  25. 26. Web 2.0 <ul><li>Content can be created by community, e.g. wikipedia </li></ul><ul><li>Could use to create a medical textbook </li></ul><ul><li>Get comments, contributions and feedback pre-publication </li></ul>
  26. 27. In summary <ul><li>The world of medical-book publishing is changing fast </li></ul><ul><li>Many benefits of publishing in the internet age </li></ul><ul><li>And many unknowns </li></ul><ul><li>Print books will still play an important part </li></ul>