Like many industries, the emergence of new technology is changing the publishing world as we know it. From front to back, both the publishing process and the method with which people are consuming information is shifting. Whether you’re a writer or a publisher, it’s important to understand how this technology affects publishing, and what you can do to leverage it. Here are a few ways tech is making a difference in the publishing world:
By the end of 2018, half the world is predicted to own a smartphone. Armed with these statistics, publishers are taking new routes to engage consumers. One company, Visual Editions, has partnered with Google to create a interactive digital fiction company called “Editions At Play.” Co-founder Anna Gerber says these interactive stories aren’t necessarily apps or games, but rather, a new level of publishing and content engagement entirely.
One book featured on Editions At Play is called Entrances & Exits. The story follows a plot where the narrator discovers a key in an abandoned bookshop, taking the reader on a journey through Google Street View. The company hopes to continue making stories that allow readers to become more immersed on their phone in the same way they would be immersed in social media.
“You wouldn’t really sit and read a novel while at your desktop would you?” the team told the Guardian. “You’re more likely to curl up on your sofa or armchair and read a book – and you can do that on your phone just as easily as you can with a paperback.”
Long ago, to get your book published, writers needed to go through a traditional publisher like Penguin or HarperCollins. This is very difficult to do, and the odds are against wannabe writers. Because literary agents have historically acted as the middleman between writer and publisher, it’s almost impossible to work with a publisher without one. And some agents receive up to 10,000 queries per year, while just 25% of all agents in the country are actively selling books.
Today, the technology that drives self-publishing makes it easier than ever for writers to get help with book publishing. Advanced printing systems and design software are accessible to anyone who wants to start a printing press or publishing companies, and those companies are accessible to anyone who wants to print.
Here’s a short version of how self-publishing works: the author writes the book, compares a variety of different self-publishing houses, chooses one that best benefits them, maintains full creative control of how the book looks, and controls marketing and selling.
Advanced printing presses and electronic reading make self-publishing easier than ever. And for many authors, this is a much more cost-effective, seamless way get books in the hands of readers and retain 100% of royalties in the process.
Digital Publishing: The Rise of The Ebook
Today’s publishers aren’t just selling physical copies of books, but digital copies as well. Electronic publishing is becoming increasingly popular, and the technology that houses them is becoming more advanced. Smartphones, tablets, and reading devices are all paving the way for the introduction of new reading apps.
Now, you can carry an entire library in your pocket, complete with all the bells and whistles. On Amazon’s Kindle, for example, users can annotate, highlight, bookmark, and magnify text. They can “loan” books to their friends and download samples to read, creating an experience similar to browsing at your local library or bookstore.
This digital revolution is changing the nature of the publishing business. Within the publishing sphere, people have skepticized for years that print publishing was dead. But statistics prove otherwise. Paperback sales in the United States went up 8% last year, and physical children’s books sales went up 16%.
New technology has allowed publishing houses to marry electronic reading with physical books. A quick look on Amazon and you’ll see exactly what we mean; whenever you purchase a physical book, you’re given the option to purchase its electronic version at a discounted price. This bundling is ideal for many consumers. Buyers can begin reading their books on multiple devices while waiting for their books. Students can use electronic versions of heavy textbooks without having to lug them around. Reading aficionados can expand their physical libraries while still consuming content on-the-go.
CRM For Publishers & Writers
Technology aiding the publishing process means managing promotion isn’t what it used to be, either. Both publishers and self-published authors face new challenges in promoting their work. For authors to spread the word, they need a thorough marketing plan and new CRM solutions help publishers and authors better perform on the business end.
Platforms like Maximizer CRM for Publishing or Ribbonfish provide comprehensive software solutions to the problems many people face in the publishing industry. These solutions cover everything from production to Rights & Permissions to sales & marketing, and are ideal for writers with multiple books and publishing houses with managing multiple authors.