We hear of the latest salvo in the battle of the omnivores versus publishers in today’s Telegraph. The report states that publishers are converting thousands of titles in order that they mitigate the threat of the likes of Google stealing them or capturing the ebook market when it finally takes off.
If we step back and remove the emotion of digitisation, we can clearly see it's not about ebooks. Neither is it about which ebook technology will prevail. It is also not about the consolidation of digital content onto the mobile phone and MP3. It's about the wake up call to publishers.
Digital publishing is publishing – its not just delivering digital stuff but developing it, producing it, marketing it and selling it.
Digital Content is lost without digital context and digital rights – so it's about using digital content to market, sell and enrich marketing and publicity of both physical and digital product.
Digital distribution needs to live alongside physical distribution – the vast majority of books will be stay in the printed form and the existing channels will dominate for many years.
Publishers need to forget the hype, stop looking at the green eyed monster onmnivores and the large publishers who claim to be digital today. The driver is not fear, nor the elusive digital sales and consumer demand, but getting the product into digital form, the context digitally rich and being in a position, unlike the music industry, to react at take off.