Scenario 3

Last updated 6. May 2015 by Lampros Comments (1)

A well-known publishing company wants to expand its activity to the e-Publishing sector, since it is a relatively new and continuously expanding market. Before the managerial board decide such a move they performed market research and a SWOT analysis of this new for them business area. Despite the attractiveness of the sector, they identified some rather important weaknesses and potential threats to tackle. They decided that in order to move their operations towards the e-Publishing market they have to find effective ways to deal with copyright infringements.

Moreover, they have to consider ways to engage more authors and to provide them with the usability and functionality they seek in a competitive package, since author have access to toolkits and knowledge to publish their creations themselves in the e-Publishing business bypassing the publishers.

The technology they seek is: new forms of hyperlink, like ‘bidirectional links’ to counteract issues of copy and paste, copyright, plagiarism and more sophisticated marketing algorithms.

This scenario proposes the development of powerful pre-emptive rights management software as part of a value-added offer that preserves and maintains the role of publishers in a world where its is increasingly easy for anyone (including professional writers/authors) to self-publish. 

Comments

  • Marion Gropen 8. November 2014

    In the US, publishers thought the same thing. The issue is complex. Most ebooks do not need this kind of technology, and using it actually reduces total sales, as well as increasing total expenses. 

    Think through the peculiarities of your market and your needs, rather than putting DRM on everything. 

    In some market segments, piracy is rampant. An example would be university-level textbooks. The solution is to either use extreme types of DRM or to get the university to buy the ebooks up front, and include the cost in the fees for the course. The latter is far more successful, and far less expensive for all concerned. 

    In some market segments, piracy is actually uncommon, and what piracy there is does not often represent lost sales. An example is mass market fiction. The price point is so low and there is so much free fiction available (through promotional giveaways and from novice authors) that there's very little incentive to pirate. Those titles that get a surge of piracy do not see a simultaneous drop in sales. Some, on the contrary, actually get an increase in sales due to the word of mouth from new readers. 

    Publishers offer authors a number of things that self-publishing authors usually cannot accomplish on their own. These include:

    -- Advice from experienced pros

    -- Editors on several levels, but especially the kind known variously as structural, content or deep editing. 

    -- Print sales. Even in mass market fiction half or more of all sales are still in print, even in the US, which is farther down this path than Europe is. This number is no longer changing as quickly as it did, leading US experts to feel that we are approaching a relatively steady state.  Print sales also increase the number of readers who are likely to be interested in the author's next book, so the effect is compounded throughout the author's career. 

    -- Working capital. Producing a book, even an ebook, that can compete on even terms with similar books from mainstream presses is expensive. Publishers put up the up-front money in return for a portion of the profits. Author retention is increased if the authors are made aware of what is being done, and what that costs, so that they understand why the revenue splits are fair. 

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