Unless you just emerged from a Rip Van Winkle-type slumber, you know the publishing industry simply isn’t the same as it was two decades ago. Who would have thought devices such as Amazon’s “Kindle” eReader would not only change the reading habits of millions of people around the world but also become a household name? Heck, when I grew up the Amazon was just a river. Now more people probably associate the name with a $100+ billion dollar company whose eBook sales are worth multi-billions of dollars, and were reportedly up 70% in 2012.
Where once the only real choice for books was hard cover or paperback, customers today expect to be able to receive their content in a variety of formats on different devices. They want to listen to audio online, or download and build their own personal digital libraries.
Unfortunately, all this change has been very tough on the mid-tier publishers. Through mergers and consolidation, large publishers have gained a stranglehold on the publishing industry. And digital content sellers such as Amazon are taking as much as 30 cents out of every dollar of profit for the opportunity to be listed in their online offerings.
Another challenge is that publishers have found converting their hard copy books into digital content for many different devices bring with it a whole new set of issues. With traditional books, managing rights and royalties is fairly straightforward. You generally have a single content creator (the author) to deal with. With digital content, however, there can be so many ancillary pieces surrounding the book – digital photos, video, outside contributions, etc. – that the waters get a lot murkier. And, unlike hard copy books where a single edition can remain static for many years, digital content is often updated frequently, creating even more of a nightmare when it comes to managing rights, royalties and payments.
Fortunately, International Business Systems (IBS) has combined its deep understanding of the publishing industry with leading technologies to provide mid-tier publishers with a digital supply chain solution that answers those needs.
The IBS Bookmaster system is a digital supply chain model that works with ERP and commercial systems to manage digital distribution from book production right through consumer engagement. It also optimizes existing systems for growth and business value. The system automates the management of content creation, royalties and rights, distribution and financial processes. Here are three areas where Bookmaster can help mid-tier companies compete in the digital market more effectively:
Producing Content in Various Forms
The Bookmaster system helps publishers manage all of their book content, including digital content, in cost-efficient ways. You can use one piece of software to manage the creation of traditional print books, digital content across the various formats required for different devices, and print on demand (POD) books.
Royalties, Rights & Permissions
Many mid-tier publishers don’t realize how difficult this part of the business can be until they get mired in the middle of it. If royalties, rights and permissions are miscalculated, there can be serious consequences – including the loss of revenue and the loss of authors from the publishing stable. Bookmaster provides contract controls, removes risk and guarantees entitlements and permissions are managed in a complete and integrated way. This component also allows publishers to exploit the potential of the web by bringing in additional content around the core book, encouraging potential purchasers to return to the website and spend more time looking around it. More time browsing on the site translates into additional exposure to the publisher’s catalog, and ultimately more sales.
Bookmaster helps handle the reporting, collection, and sharing of revenue. Also handled are the financial agreements between publishers and content aggregators such as Amazon.com. This system uses several business models for the financial processes, but they are simplified for the publisher.
IBS’ Bookmaster has given mid-tier publishers a proven solution that always keeps pace with digital developments. It simplifies the often-complex digital supply chain, while continuing to deliver the market-leading solution for traditional publishing and book distribution.
Now it’s your turn. What challenges would you like to see IBS’ Bookmaster solve?