Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Opportunity Knocks

The world’s banks are crashing all around us, shares are in freefall, pensions and savings are in the air, financial figures quoted appear to be fantasy to us all and we appear to be walking blindfold into a black hole.

It’s just another day, you can forget the TV News and curl up with a good book.
Last week it was ‘Super Thursday’ and 800 new books hit the streets for Christmas. The list contained the usual celebrity big hitters, a cookbook for ever taste and of course Christmas predictions from every pundit. This week is the lull before the storm that is Frankfurt the travel plans are made, appointment diarised, clothes ironed and shoes polished.

Publishing is a mid to long term investment cycle with this years advances materialising next year and therefore shifting gears quickly is often difficult.
The question is what the impact of tighter money and credit is going to have on investment programmes such as digitisation? Let’s be real, the market is still in its infancy and therefore when it’s at most vulnerable. Books are where the money is today and therefore where everyone’s focus will be. Why focus on the digital product today, when the return is questionable and the devices are still not a ‘must have?’

The logical switch is for publishers to now start to address their publishing processes. It is about increasing publishing productivity, taking control of assets, removing waste and cost. Digitising the process and in doing make the output format neutral. It’s about building a platform from which publishers can output both physical and digital, without today’s duplication and inefficiencies. Publishers have started to move this way.

Perhaps now is the time to sort the house out and get ready and prepared for the future whilst doing today’s business cheaper.

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