About Facebook, when considered as today’s leading mass medium. Calling for a political debate.
March 12, 2018 by ruediger
Why not a public parliamentary hearing on the new role of tech giants Facebook, Twitter and Google, as they have developed into today’s leading mass media? In the view of hate mails, fake accounts and bought campaigns, a new approach is necessary, by bringing the tech firms into a direct discussion with governments, about their political responsibility – instead of simply turning them into technical censors.
You may also be interested in thoughts about regulating the tech ecosystems by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.
“The ebook is a stupid product”, says Arnaud Nourry of Hachette. I agree.
February 20, 2018 by ruediger
Of course he is right. And our dear colleagues of the French publishing trade news site of ActualittĂ© are plain wrong by interpreting the statement as a “missile” against e-books.
As we have already emphasized earlier, no great ideas have been added over the past 10 years, since the introduction of the first Kindle. It is also fairly shortsighted to argue that books are not supposed to have any features aside from profiding a clean page layout and typography, and eventually a nice cover. Oddly, only these simple books, offering a quick read of suspence, or romance, or fantasy, have been turned successfully into electronic reading stuff.Â For everything else, again in the words of Nourry, “we as publishers,Â have not done a great job going digital.”
Indeed. Take the example of travel literature for a growing global tourism industry, as was noted by Philip Jones in The Bookseller. The sector is expanding. But it was not the publishers who brought in the harvest from the extended demand for information, from sightseeing guide, to hotel and restaurant suggestions, and all the many related services. Instead the extra revenue was gobbled up by platforms like TripAdvisor or Google.
The same is true for learning. Several hundreds of million people across many countries on all continents have risen to an at least modest middle class life, which includes higher aspirations for their children’s education. Yet, educational publishing has not re-invented itself to be fit for the new opportunities.
Theoretically, e-books would offer amazing opportunities for any kind of niche publishing, as an e-book can be effectively created on any laptop computer, then distributed over the Internet, and promoted to specialized target audiences via social media all over the planet.
The same applies for small markets, like small linguistic communities or countries. Or the big populations in regions with little purchasing power. E-books can be cheap, as is demonstrated by astounding organizations such as Worldreader.
But honestly, outside of romance fiction, how many such innovative approaches from publishers would you be able to name? Aside from the Canadian author and reading community WattpadÂ – which, incidentally partners with Hachette.
Countless innovative opportunities are lost by publishers in these, and many similar cases.
I realize that I may be a little unfair to those publishers. Because the technical format, the platforms for creation and distribution, and the technical offerings to read anytime, anywhere, conveniently, on a screen, have not been created by publishers, but by tech companies, from Amazon all the way down to programmers doing a little open source application for organizing e-books, likeÂ Calibre.Â How poor do their improvements over one decade compare to, say, smartphones! And hardly anyone, aside from readers, has cared.
Perhaps this is the core challenge to the publishers today: How can this slide be reversed, so that, once again, book people and innovative minds care again about each other! A big challenge it is.
Publishersâ€™ Forum 2018: Preliminary Agenda Now Online! Early Bird rate until February 15, 2018
February 13, 2018 by ruediger
“Beyond Publishing” is the motto at the Publishers’ Forum on April 26 and 27, 2018 in Berlin. Thinking beyond the traditional tailor-made publishing business stands at the core of the debate. As todayâ€™s consumers organize their entertainment and information needs from their smartphones, traditional publishers are facing a whole gamut of interdependent challenges.
The preliminary agenda for Publishersâ€™ Forum is now available online at http://publishersforum.de/agenda-2018/
Here are the 5 most important starting points for the event:
- Personalization is the key! From this, Klaus Driever derives his strategic thinking, today as a digital thought leader in the Allianz insurance group, and formerly in a similar position in the book trade at Weltbild, and in the media group ProSieben;
- As the market is fundamentally turning, and the book trade is losing book buyers massively in the direction of social media and other digital offerings, it is time to brazenly analyze this congestion – looking at the big picture, as Felim McGrawth of the Global Web Index does , with comparisons of different markets, such as Germany, the Netherlands, or the UK, and with new looks on print versus digital sales, and on the direct competition with self-published titles.
- New market conditions call for new business models. The large consumer platforms increasingly rely on direct authoring, subscriptions and premium offers. In detail, this will be explained by Plamen Petrov of Amazon and Hermann Eckel of the Tolino Alliance. But there are also completely different approaches, with cross-media storytelling as in Kaiken Entertainment, or bestsellers based on crowdfunding, as with Unbound.
- Any publisher going direct-to-consumers, and thereby installing new data-driven processes in the enterprise, is inevitably facing the next wave of technological innovation – artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning.
- But where exactly are the starting points for the implementation of such digital innovation in the publishing house? How can a strategy be developed and implemented in an existing company organization? This will be discussed by decision makers from all publishing sectors, such as independent C.H. Beck, or corporate houses such as Holtzbrinck or Bonnier, as well as educational publishers like Cornelsen, and leading specialist publishers.
Five relevant “Take Aways“, each of which is already worthwhile participating in the Publishers Forum on April 26 and 27, 2018 in Berlin. A good working atmosphere with the best opportunities for networking and even sharing experiences with colleagues will complete a rich experience at this event.
Registration is open at www.publishers-forum.com , with the attractive early bird rate still available until Friday, February 15, 2018.