This past Friday saw another of our regular Twitter debates on the state of publishing, in advance of this coming weekend’s Publishing Now conference
. The topic this time was how innovation is adding value to publishing. What follows is a selection of highlights; all contributions are available on Twitter through the hashtag #pubnow
(which, incidentally, was also the first two words out of my mouth when I finished trawling through all the tweets).
: Innovation – is it just about digital though?
: I think it is more than digital, it is about understanding your customers needs and wants.
: true – if your customer is online, then that’s what they need. Full stop.
: digital has made this wider – the understanding of customers needs/wants, & more immediate
: Is anyone worried that the cost of innovation isn’t being re-cooperated by sales?
: A vital point. So often tech development costs get ‘lost’ or ignored and aren’t really put cold hard revenue
: monetising digital content, where most format innovation happens, is the elephant in the room. And it’s got a bomb.
: isn’t anything innovative hard to monetise at first?
: maybe so, but is there much innovation in this area? Dynamic pricing, BBC model etc?
: has to be a degree of free on the net like music industry
: sure, but that’s really only a discovery tool for artists, isn’t it?
: it’s a hub, building those direct links – or what are pubrs for?
: all about communication allied to creativity – much more options now
: Is innovation leading people to expect more at a lower cost now though?
: Often, ppl are ready to pay more for an advancement in technology. And if innovation brings dat, den y not pay more?
: I think it depends on what “more” includes… Access to educational initiatives like the app on elements? I think it’s fair
: Innovation drives appetite for innovation. Ppl expect it. High expectations can be good & lead to higher standards
: What about the availability of free ebooks..Project Gutenberg etc. Damaging the whole value chain?
: does innovation cause change for change’s sake?
: Possibly?:) Wonder if content’s going same way as fast fashion, i.e. ppl who can access ‘new’ more easily keep wanting more
: the definitions of innovation include ‘making stuff happen’/applying ideas/problem-solving – doesn’t just happen…
: Innovation encourages constant improvement, thereby inspiring educationally & creatively. Evolution!
: Most publishers still making ePub books as digital replicas of printed books, albeit with more typos. Need to up the visual ante.
: I agree – short lines/type probs a big turnoff! Kindle’s software is rubbish, we’re told, ePub3 v soon…
: no doubt!! What do u think bout pricing?! Still find it hard to swallow.
: Right now prices for poor-quality and better-quality ebooks are about the same. Need to price quality appropriately.
: Do all readers really want innovation?
: Not all readers want innovation, but you don’t have to sacrifice exisiting products if they’re working. Baby/bathwater,…
: good content is key ‘just give me a good book’ whatever the format
: isn’t it great that students still prefer textbooks! Books are such great technology…
: do they have a choice? Ereaders are so prominent it’s almost hard to avoid innovation! But should there be a choice?
: there will always be a choice & whilst ereaders are great there will always be a place for books