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E books Future - Technological Transformation of the Reading and Publishing Experience


Published on

While digital content created during the last five to ten
years involved mostly reproducing books in electronic
format, going forward, digital content will be more about
experience and engagement than passive consumption.
The entire experience of what it means to read or publish
a book will dramatically change.

Published in: Business, Technology

E books Future - Technological Transformation of the Reading and Publishing Experience

  1. 1. The E-Book Future:Technological Transformation of the Readingand Publishing Experience Author: Shivaji Sengupta, Vice President of Content Solutions SourceHOV
  2. 2. THE E-BOOK FUTURE:TECHNOLOGICAL TRANSFORMATION OF THE READING AND PUBLISHING EXPERIENCE 1There’s no denying people love books. From immense growth opportunities to redefine the reading and publishing experience.early childhood through adulthood, reading is afundamental part of our existence. A good book While digital content created during the last five to tencan expand horizons, stimulate imagination, years involved mostly reproducing books in electronicbring new ways of thinking and enable us to format, going forward, digital content will be more aboutenter new worlds. Reading has long been a experience and engagement than passive consumption. The entire experience of what it means to read or publishfavored pastime, but technology has altered the a book will dramatically change. What other changes willexperience, changing how content is created, advance the e-book industry?consumed and distributed. The e-Book –including any publication delivered in a digital Enhanced e-books will provide an unparalleled interactive experience. Electronic content has changedform – is heralded as the biggest trend to hit the reading experience, but enhanced e-books are thethe publishing industry since the invention of next wave of this transformation. Prevalent in highermoveable type. education, publishers such as Inkling, Hyperink and Kno are pushing the capabilities of tablets and bringing newThe past two years have seen sales of Kindles, iPads, levels of interactivity. Beyond simple text, enhancedNooks, smartphones and other new digital platforms e-books feature additional content including animations,skyrocket, driving record-breaking e-book sales. A interactive hyperlinks and multimedia features such asFebruary 2011 report from the Association of American the ability to highlight passages and share notes. ThesePublishers notes that e-Book sales were $90.3 million, enhanced features give readers increased enjoyment andgrowing 202.3 percent versus February 2010. greater engagement, changing the scope of an e-bookDownloaded Audiobooks were $6.9 million, an and redefining the user experience.increase of 36.7 percent.1 Amazon said it sells180 e-books for every 100 hardcovers, with the Next-generation devices will deliver a richerratio shifting in e-books’ favor.2 multimedia consumption experience. Media tablets and e-readers have reached mass market saturation, butThe last year has also seen an explosion in devices with newer devices have replaced pure black and white withgreater options for accessing content. According to color, giving new life to the device-driven experience.research firm IDC, worldwide media tablet shipments Color touch screens, 3G connectivity and access to therose by 88.9 percent on a sequential basis and 303.8 Web, movies, music, photography, animation, languagepercent year over year in the second calendar quarter translation and more have redefined the capabilities ofof 2011 to 13.6 million units.3 As devices receive mass tablet and e-reader devices. As the price point comesmarket penetration, publishers will generate a greater down and more users seek a more interactiveproportion of their revenue from e-books and other experience, the line between readers and tablets willvirtual content. And, as technology progresses, digital blur. Smartphone screens are getting bigger and allow forcontent will be delivered in a richer, more interactiveformat, bringing further transformation to the 1publishing industry. American Association of Publishers, February 2011 Sales Report, February 2011 ( are still relatively new – just barely four years 2 USA Today,”Amazon: E-books Will Overtake Paperbacks by theold. Transformational changes in the publishing industry End of 2011”, July 2010 ( only just begun. As e-books, mobile apps and other news/2010-07-29-amazon29_VA_N.htm)internet products increase in popularity, there are 3 IDC, “Media Tablet and eReader Markets Beat Second Quarter Targets, Forecast Increased for 2011,” September 2011 (http:// 1.800.497.9527
  3. 3. THE E-BOOK FUTURE:TECHNOLOGICAL TRANSFORMATION OF THE READING AND PUBLISHING EXPERIENCE 2media capabilities, creating another device platform additional content with friends such as reviews or linkingfor content consumption. These new devices further to associated content or for easier personal reference.enhance the user experience and create new contentopportunities for publishers. E-publishing will take center stage. Most books today are created with the print version leading the strategy.Custom publishing will bring more targeted content The digital version is often part of the brand extension,to relevant audiences. Enhanced e-books will enable introduced to broaden the appeal of a property. However,publishers to take advantage of different formats to with digital platforms becoming ubiquitous and publishersprovide content that meets business and user realizing the benefits of reduced printing and distributionrequirements. For example, a book on art history can costs, this model will shift. Moving forward, publishersinclude interviews with artists or video vignettes on will put a priority on creating content specifically for thedifferent techniques. Digital formats also offer greater e-market and digital platforms. While print versions aren’tflexibility, are searchable and interactive. They also likely to be eliminated in the short term, they willsupport self-publishing, enabling a teacher to provide become specialty items that need to be ordered.class notes or presentations to students. In additionto expanding the experience for consumers, publishers Broadcast media models will increase advertisingcan package specific chapters, learning modules, opportunities. Similar to the model found on television,videos or quizzes as new properties to generate radio and even in some Web-based media such asadditional revenue. YouTube, advertising will be incorporated into content to promote a variety of goods and services and createRich media and contextual up-sell will be significant additional revenue for publishers. As long as it is notrevenue drivers. As users become accustomed to terribly intrusive, people are willing to watch advertisinginteractive content, flat text will lose its appeal. to access free content. This same model is likely to takeEmbedded audio and video links, animations and hold in publishing. By including in-book advertising,interactive question and answer applications will further publishers can augment costs and offer advertisers aengage users and enhance the learning experience by targeted audience to promote their business.providing people with access to the content they need.For instance, students or researchers looking for Self-publishing moves from nascent to mainstream.additional knowledge on a particular topic can access Self-publishing has seen an uptick over the last severallearning modules or tools to help them gain further years. Writers can create books for small populations orinsight directly from content they are currently perusing. use self-publishing to support their hope of launching aPublishers can not only generate additional revenue career as the next great American novelist. Where olderthrough additional content, but these complementary platforms required writers to be technologically savvy,learning modules can be offered at value-added price new platforms such as Hyperink make publishing as easypoints rather than requiring consumers to purchase as clicking a button. New technology has also addedan entire book. significant speed to the process. The traditional self- publishing model can take three to nine months toReading will move from solitary sport to collective produce a manuscript. Companies like Hyperinkconsumption and participation. Until recently, social streamline the experience, making it possible to publishreading consisted of offline book clubs, small and e-books in less than a month. This benefits authors andinformal discussions or email dialogues. Even when readers by increasing the number of titles available anddiscussions happen online, users typically engage on a the number of writers with published works. The recentthird-party platform such as Facebook. Moving forward, launch of Apple iBooks 2 and its corresponding authoringfuture social reading will happen within the book itself. app only strengthens this trend. Apple’s newestUsing e-readers such as the Nook or Kindle, users can technology enables anyone to create beautiful, multi-make comments, highlight text and share it with their touch books, further fueling the growth of self publishingnetwork. As reading becomes increasingly collaborative, by independent authors and small publishers.users will morph from consumers to publishers, 1.800.497.9527
  4. 4. THE E-BOOK FUTURE:TECHNOLOGICAL TRANSFORMATION OF THE READING AND PUBLISHING EXPERIENCE 3Format wars will be settled. There are several formats production, fulfillment and other stakeholders. Anavailable today such as ePub, MOBI, PDF, etc. but tying automated content management and enterprise-widee-books to a specific format come with some risk. These workflow solution streamlines processes, reduces costsinclude losing a percentage of consumers who do not and brings significant scalability to content operations.use a particular platform or requiring them to purchase Working with the right content management partnertwo copies of a specific text for use on competing eliminates channel-specific or department-specificplatforms. A unified format and standardization will silos of content that can add cost and delays toemerge, equating to more automation and greater market opportunities.usability. The introduction of tablets and e-readers has changedMultilingual publishing opportunities will open new both the reading experience for consumers and themarkets. E-books are also creating frenzy in emerging market for publishers. New devices, publishing modelsand high-growth markets such as Brazil, Russia, India and greater social interaction are transforming the mostand China. As these markets join the e-book revolution, fundamental aspect of human learning – how contentpublishers will need to revise strategies to provide is created and consumed. Tomorrow’s successfullocalized versions of books. One of the biggest gaps in publishers will be the ones that adapt to this changingthe market is the lack of local language publications. landscape today.Currently, Amazon’s Kindle only supports six languages –English, Spanish, French, German, Italian andPortuguese. Other devices integrate with third-party About the Author - Shivaji Sengupta is the Vice President of Content Solutions for SourceHOV. Sengupta has more thanapplications to address language support. However, seventeen years experience leading large scale technology-this creates an undersupplied content environment enabled content driven programs and products for multinationaland stimulates new opportunities for publishers. And, corporations in the publishing, manufacturing, food, retail, energy and consumer business industries. He has worked in Northwhile English-language books can be rapidly translated America, Europe and Asia extensively to provide Informationto bring popular titles quickly to a larger audience, Technology and Content Enabled Solutions to Fortune 100offering more local language books can expand customers. SourceHOV is one of the largest end-to-end Business Process Solutions companies, providing healthcare, finance andofferings for non-English readers. accounting, e-content management, document lifecycle, presentment, HR Assist and strategic consulting services acrossAs the digital market evolves, publishers need the right key verticals such as BFSI, healthcare, government, publishing,partners to ensure their e-book strategy supports retail, commercial and industrial manufacturing industries. For more information, email orcollaboration between sales, marketing, editorial, visit 1.800.497.9527