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Making The Digital Transiton Smoother

Digital publishing is a hotly debated topic. Most agree that new technologies can help publishers a lot, but there’s a feeling of skepticism around fully embracing new ideas in publishing. The digital world offers ample opportunities for streamlining the publishing process and saving time on content delivery, but new changes aren’t being implemented fast enough.

At times, it feels that the industry is struggling to catch up. As the CEO of MPS, Rahul Arora, points out, “even though more journals and periodicals are being published as e-only and with open access, there is still a high dependency on PDF-based deliverables”. But he also sees a number of progressive trends. “Smart innovation in enriching and harmonizing content to improve discoverability is one of them, the movement from document-based to asset-based workflows is another. Then there are digital-first workflows backed by sub processes such as online authoring and peer reviewing facilitated by cloud-based workflow management systems.”

Monetizing the digital format in publishing is still an elusive goal, however, as Ed Marino, CEO of CodeMantra, claims. “Accessibility, interactivity, and the ability to incorporate games, for instance, are all possible, and yet we have not found the killer app that drives demand and, in turn, revenue… we have to focus on the content and how to make content come to life. This is especially true in the world of academic, professional, and educational content”.

According to the founder and CEO of Vearsa, Gareth Cuddy, publishers face three key challenges in doing so. “Discoverability, which is very important is one of them. Growing the relatively flat digital sales is another, and then there is the challenge of finding actionable insights. Each of these challenges can be met-not solved-by using the data in the publisher’s own sales history and the information available in the industry.”

Source: “Smoothing Out the Bumps in the Digital Road”, Teri Tan, London Show Daily, P.14

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