Monday, December 08, 2008

Whats Next in Text?

Despite the talk of publishers battening down the hatches and containing costs the major publishing houses have certainly stepped up a digital gear.

Today HarperCollins announced its adoption of the Nintendo DS ebook application to sell a cartridge of some 100 classics. As we said in our post this offers a new and interesting diversion from the normal platform and one which is both logical and could offer a quick return as it has a ready built audience.

Penguin Group USA today launched Penguin 2.0 which is a platform aimed at connecting readers to Penguin and also group their many digital initiatives. Today Penguin 2.0 offers Penguin Personalized and Penguin Mobile.

Penguin Personalized will enable readers to insert personal dedications directly into select Penguin Group titles and starts with the obviously seasonal Charles Dickens classic, ‘A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings.’ We thought that Dickens’s ‘Hard Times’ may also have been timely today.

Penguin Mobile, is yet another iPhone application which is available for free from the iTunes store. It is good that publishers have started to embrace the mobile platform as it again offers both a readymade audience and the potential of greater return. It appears that Penguin mobile will be marketing focused today enabling readers to access to the Penguin blog, podcast and to browse new titles and exclusive excerpts.

Much of the Penguin site is clearly a ‘work in progress’, but in launching it they are clearly laying down the gauntlet for their competitors. However is this the template for all the new publisher’s marketing web sites, or fall by the wayside and be usurped by others? It is difficult for publishers not to chase the marketing rabbits and experiment but the problem in hard financial times is often always about return and focus.

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