After posting last week on our C.E.O’s upcoming speech at Kings College London, it’s with a sense of renewed excitement I can report back on what she said:
She described the linear model of a publisher producing books to be ultimately consumed by a retailer as “becoming circular”. Readers are now playing a greater part in the publishing process, interacting with one another, the authors and producing content themselves. “We need to have two models to deal with that therefore – what we do now, adding value by selecting, nuturing, marketing and finally selling content to the consumer – in whatever form they demand,” she said. “And a second model whereby we create value in the experiences around that content and facilitate the dialogue between writers and readers.”
Vicky’s argument is about how we reach consumers as a publisher, and how we change our operational model as a business underneath it to meet those needs – as a corporate guy, that gets my juices flowing…
Despite this, she said that digitisation offered new openings for publishers. “The new opportunities this throws up are an end to piles of unwanted inventory, no more returns (book publishing remains one of the few remaining sale or return businesses), no more out of print titles and more value attached to the “long tail” of obscure or niche titles,” she said.