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Friday, November 7, 2014, 11:13

Digital revolution in reading habits


Serving customers’ needs

Adrian Mellor, managing director of Asia Education at Oxford University Press, says the plan should be to deliver the content in the best way that serves the needs of the customers.

"Publishers need to make their content available in the format that customers want it. While we continue to innovate, our mission means that we must also ensure the enduring quality of our content,” he says.

However, many new writers believe that the digital drive and self-publishing have broken publishers’ monopoly on the book industry.

"Publishers used to ask tough questions, especially to new writers. Now, they are asking what they can do for authors,” says Vani Kaushal, whose first novel, The Recession Groom, is set for release in December.

Publishers have also effectively responded to the changing environment and fast-growing acceptance of new devices among consumers by constantly redefining and expanding new concepts for books.

Reading and writing platforms, bundled with e-book distribution to large user communities, have been introduced by several local publishers in the Asia market.

Also, a growing number of leading publishing houses have launched readers’ portals and community websites — either within the company brand or along genre lines — aimed at getting closer to readers and potential readers.

The idea of combining a community of readers with a subscription service for books opened an entirely new dimension. It creates an ecosystem of author, books and reading from the reader’s angle — and not from that of the author or the distributor.

Largely, e-publishers are positioning themselves as content providers, and not just the suppliers of books.

"Publishing houses have to reinvent themselves all the time. That is the best way in the age of digital content explosion,” sums up Mehra at SAGE Publications India.


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