In publishing, the old is giving way to the new. With a combination of print-on-demand and related digital services, there’s potential today to reach customers globally in both print and electronic formats.
At PubWest 2013, the annual conference of the Publishers Association of the West, leading providers of outsourcing services for publishers noted how the choice to outsource – including distribution, but also book manufacturing, back office, collection, and customer service – leaves publishers free to focus on development of content.
“One of the big things to change in the last 10 years is the barriers to entry to creating content and delivering content throughout the supply chain have fallen away, and fallen away quite spectacularly,” noted Phil Ollila, chief content officer of Ingram Content Group. “In the past, the route to distribution was on a bookshelf in a bookstore or a specialty retailer. The question was how could I make my book interesting to those buyers, to make sure they end up on that shelf? So when I create demand in terms of marketing or publicity, I’m in a position to have that inventory out there in the field, prepared to sell it through the bookstore when the customer is ready.”
“Because of changes in Internet commerce, making it necessary for a title to be on a bookstore shelf, while appealing from a marketing perspective, isn’t necessarily driving most of the demand,” he told moderator Chris Kenneally. “So one question publishers should ask is, ‘Is the marketing I’m creating driving global demand for the title?’ Global demand can happen in any number of ways. It can express itself through the Internet. It can express itself through media. I’m not suggesting that all marketing is global, but it is likely that your marketing will be global and you won’t even know it.”