Friday, April 18, 2008

A Story that should be Heard

'In the world of the blind the one eyed monster is king'. The quote from H G Wells sums up what many believe about today’s digital arena. Understandably, there many confused and blinded by the ‘elights’ today. Every week some new experiment happens and in the confusion of deciphering what is news and what is noise is hard and many find themselves merely caught transfixed in the digital headlights. Some may also recognise the odd potential monster.

It is therefore refreshing to hear the digital experiences from someone who has real experience and results to tell the world of publishing and who importantly views the glass as half full.

At LBF on Wednesday afternoon Mark Majurey, Digital Development Director , Taylor and Francis Group delivered a presentation ‘From Books to Bytes’. Unfortunately the many who attended the morning session on the state of American digitisation will have missed this. It appears the press also missed it, but I urge you to read it. Yes I have a vested interest in that Value Chain works very closely with Taylor and Francis and supports much of their programme but this presentation provides real experience. When many talk about 1% of sales, Mark brings home the reality of their significant achievements which today is 10% of total global revenue.

Interestingly Mark widens the digital debate and talks about the work they are doing in Editorial, Marketing, Production, Distribution and Sales. How it has changed their processes and how they are now able to switch on not a few hundred or thousand widgets but close to twenty thousand. How they are starting take control of their digital assets and use drop ship models to distribute them. The impact in their editorial processes and that their digital programme is clearly from the author to the reader.

Finally, many predict the future but fail to deal with today but when Taylor and Francis talk about the futures and their thinking they are doing so from a position of experience and knowledge that is worth listening too.