Ricardo Redisch kindly gave up some time to talk to me before the first BookMachine Toronto. Working as Executive Publisher at Grupo Editorial Nacional, one of the biggest 3 Academic and Educational Publishers in Brazil, Ricardo is based in Toronto and has some really interesting insights into why publishers should be listening to their readers through social media…
1. Do you feel that the role of the Educational and Academic Publisher is changing?
Publishers have become more content focused and in turn the editorial focus has gone from publishing textbooks to being curators of this content. Now that content can be disseminated in so many more diverse places and ways it has become more about information organising than textbook publishing. The content is much more dynamic!
2. Have your authors had to change how they write for this dynamic content?
Yes, the authors write it very differently. They have had to reinvent themselves not only in how they write the information but also how this information is now organised. They then also have to decide how this information flows on and for different platforms.
3. How do you think Publishing to more dynamic platforms is impacting on the quality and pedagogy of these materials?
Classroom testing has always been the touchstone of what educational publishers do – it sounds a cliché but it’s true. Students should have a meaningful response to the content. And by having higher quality ‘information curation’ you will elicit a better outcome and response for the learner.
4. How are you using the opportunities that digital publishing present (ie social media) to interact with learners?
It’s really at a strategic phase at the moment but it’s something we are seriously exploring. We really need to pay attention to this and have our ears to the ground. There are lots of things happening at the moment and everything is moving so fast. We really have to pay close attention to what young readers and learners are doing and saying on social media sites like Facebook. I like to follow the mantra of listening to your client.
5. Do you think it has become easier to do this with social media or harder in that there is so much of it now and trusting what is the right way?
It has definitely become easier to hear what your users are saying but it requires us to be open to listening to what they have to say.
Unfortunately Ricardo can’t make it to the first BookMachine Toronto as he is currently visiting Grupo Editorial Nacional head offices in Brazil. But if you are going to be in Toronto on the 14th March there is still time to get your free ticket.