How Digital Reading and Adaptive Learning Are Revolutionizing Education

March 5th, 2014 by Sameer Shariff

A study conducted across the United States revealed that higher education institutions faced instructional and learning challenges—almost 25% of freshmen dropout of college in the first semester.

Full-time students today reportedly studied for an average of 14 hours per week, when compared to students in 1971, who studied for 24 hours per week.

The industry is observing a shift from just books to education. Publishers are looking at ways to offer content that enables highly adaptive learning experiences. The proportion of Americans reading ebooks in 2013 has shot up to 28% from 23% in 2012, paving way for the popularity of e-reading and e-learning.

Now, almost 50% of Americans have either a tablet or e-reader, up from 43% in 2013, and even more significantly from 2012.

With the rise in e-reader and tablet ownership, most users aged 18 and above use handheld devices for e-reading. This has proven to be beneficial for adaptive learning, with students carrying their iPads, tablets, and smartphones to classrooms.

Modern technology is transforming digital education beyond just online learning to a more personalized learning experience. It is expected that over the period 2013-2018, the global eLearning market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.23%.

Adaptive learning is the latest trend to gain momentum in 2013. The concept is moderated and delivered based on the student’s knowledge consumption capability. It includes specifically designed targeted study paths that help enhance students’ understanding of subjects.

This is an expanding area of research and development, which uses sophisticated algorithm technology to continually assess students’ confidence levels, knowledge, and skills. It works in the similar way as that of the traditional form of teaching. Adaptive learning technology offers smart study tools to engage and assist students in their learning outside of the classroom. Moreover, it helps them in understanding the areas where improvement is required. Easily downloadable, it empowers students to drive their learning by this intelligently advanced technology. The system also keeps a track of individual student progress and, based on their performance, periodic progress reports are generated. It also supports instructors’ teaching goals. Many institutions are incorporating this modern method of learning.

Having collaborated with a number of big names in the publishing industry, we at Impelsys have gained insights about various reading and buying behaviors of readers across the world. By putting our wealth of experience and knowledge to work, we have developed our breakthrough platforms – iPublishCentral and KnowledgePlatform. With our platform solutions, we are anticipating a convergence in learning. We will soon be at a stage where through our range of flexible solutions, we will be able to empower publishers and educational institutions to not just deliver books but also deliver an online learning experience.

iPublishCentral offers enriched eBooks with a robust Learning Plan Integration (LPI). Our latest innovation of the LPI with eBooks takes digital learning to the next level. These eBooks empower publishers to offer a great interactive learning experience to readers. This helps readers access content from eBooks to create their own learning plan.

With learners and instructors consuming content online, adaptive learning is emerging as an efficient, flexible, and modern alternative for enhanced learning.

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Get Empowered Digitally

January 9th, 2014 by Sameer Shariff

Now in its fifth year, the Digital Book World Conference and Expo is a renowned conference on digital publishing and its strategies. Organized by the F+W Media Inc., this conference will take place from 13 to 15 January 2014 at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers in New York, USA. Analyzing Amazon with a new view, change management for today’s book publisher, data driven decision making solutions, and investing in startups will be covered in the conference. Many affluent publishers and technology solution providers will be a part of this event. Participants can learn about practical, relevant and actionable programming on everything from eBook publishing and internet marketing to digital solutions for selling and marketing their books.

Impelsys, a leader in providing electronic content delivery solutions to the global publishing market will also be participating in the conference. Founder and CEO Sameer Shariff, who is a member of the panel discussion, will be delivering a note on “Building Direct Sales Relationships: Suppliers Helping Publishers Get There” on Jan 15, 2014 1:45pm. To gain insights on how Impelsys Inc. partnered with innovative start-up company Brain Hive to bring a new digital eBook solution to the K-12 education market, attend the case study session on Jan 14, 2014 at 12:00pm.

Be a part of the BISG session to gain insights into the transforming higher ed publishing using digital technology. There are also several other interesting sessions scheduled on Jan 13, 2014 where you can discover different ways to monetize on your publishing strategies.

We will be showcasing iPublishCentral 5.1, an enhanced version of our flagship product “iPublishCentral” in the event. This eBook delivery infrastructure solution has added features such as Library Model Functionality, Anytime, Anywhere Accessibility, Rich Data Analytics, to name a few. Meet our digital publishing experts at DBW Booth #7, to learn about different digital strategies and explore different ways to manage your content and eLearning solutions.

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Impelsys recognized as a Top 100 Company in Digital Content by eContent Magazine

December 5th, 2013 by Kiran

The past months of 2013 have been quite rewarding, with Impelsys being recognized for its exemplary services. A market leader in electronic content delivery solutions, the company featured in Inc. Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in the US. Further, we also featured in eContent Magazine’s List of the Best Digital Companies in 2013. Endorsed for our flagship product, iPublishCentral serves as a cloud-based platform for eBook delivery to allow publishers warehouse, deliver, distribute, market, and sell their eBooks to readers. This platform, publishers can deliver content online, in a quick and cost-effective manner, thereby adding to their revenue streams. Having an experience of more than a decade, we aspire to develop a vision and strategy to build tangible, long-term digital success and assist publishers and educational institutions around the world to leverage technology in eBooks and online content.

As a publishing technology firm, we help publishers take their business to the next level digitally. Our products iPublishCentral and KnowledgePlatform have been well accepted by the industry and the network of publishers we work with, stand testimony to that fact. Working with publishers from all walks of the industry, we provide them with flexible platform solutions to meet specific content demands. While iPublishCentral is a SaaS-based eBook delivery infrastructure solution, through its KnowledgePlatform solutions, Impelsys has been building customized content portals for more journals, reference work, multimedia, online courses, and so on.

Impelsys is known for thought leadership, technical excellence, and high standards of customer service. A number of the biggest content brands and education institutes have collaborated with Impelsys to help them spread knowledge. Driven by our dedication to offer superior digital solutions to publishers across the world, this ranking endorses our capabilities and fires our zest for continuous innovation.

We are looking forward to the New Year where we can devote ourselves more, exclusively to delivering the most innovative, cost-effective, and flexible learning technologies and services to the global market.

Here is the full list of companies in the eContent Top 100 Content Companies list:

http://www.econtentmag.com/Articles/Editorial/Feature/The-Top-100-Companies-in-the-Digital-Content-Industry-The-2013-2014-EContent-100-92637.htm

http://www.econtentmag.com/Articles/Editorial/View-From-The-Top/View-from-the-Top-Impelsys-Inc.-93322.htm

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Frankfurt Book Fair 2013: Digital is Growing Up!

October 22nd, 2013 by Sameer Shariff

I have been attending the Frankfurt Book Fair for many years now. Many of you might agree with me when I say that there was a definite decline in the hustle-bustle during the first few days of the “Messe.” Although despite the calm, one could easily spot the influence of digital publishing everywhere. I believe, we are witnessing a maturity in the industry today – a growth in eBook revenues, widespread acceptance of digital business models and maturity in digital publishing processes. It’s now safe to say that digital is growing up!

PWC’s 2013 reports state that the size of the U.S. eBook market is at a $4.6 billion and the print market has stumbled down to $10.7 billion from last year’s $11.8 billion. This data reflect that there has been a rise in digital consumption and also that more publishers are investing in eBooks confidently. While print is still a large chunk of their business, publishers have implanted strong digital pursuits to meet the growing demands of the industry. The fact that the Fair was calmer than the previous years shows us that publishers are a lot more in control of their digital plans. Everyone has their own initiatives going.

The calm also reflects that the sharp rise in digital that took the industry by storm over the last four-to-five years, has reached a stage of maturity. Digital won’t stop growing but the growth will be a lot more paced now. The slowdown in the manic growth in eBooks along with visible revenue results from their digital initiatives has comforted publishers as they now understand the medium better and are a lot more prepared to tackle digital challenges. What was once a 1%-to-2% share of their total book business revenues has now elevated to 20%-to-30% and in a couple of years from now is expected to be a 50% revenue generator for publishers around the world. This reflects the widespread acceptance of digital as a “must have” business model complementing their book business.

There is a maturity in digital processes as well. What publishers are looking at right now is how to bridge the gap and draw a perfect balance of both – print and digital business models. It’s important for to find solutions that can marry the two in a beneficial, complimenting manner. Within the digital business itself, publishers can open up multiple avenues to best suit their specific requirements. We have been working with some of the biggest publishers in the world and have witnessed the sequential change in their wish-list; starting from doing something ‘digital’ to catering to specific target audiences (retail/institutional) to working with us on innovative ways of promoting their online content and to making their content rich, reachable and remarkable (enhanced eBooks for devices).

All in all, the Impelsys team had a great time at the Fair and we noticed a reduction in digital anxiousness and an evident rise in digital acceptance. We were happy to be recognized as thought leaders and we — along with our customers — are very excited to push forward in connecting with our consumers through content digitally.

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The Return of the Book Club

July 1st, 2013 by Sameer Shariff

There was a time in our industry when many of the major book publishers built direct relationships with their readers by creating “book clubs” in which they would send one book per month to their subscribers. This was an effective business practice that helped publishers increase sales, build awareness of their brand and cultivate loyalty among a base of readers.

Those were the days before retail chains and the readers depended on the big city stores. Publishers took it as an opportunity for promoting their brand and increasing sales. They recommended and promoted the most famous and noteworthy books in any category. The most important advantage that the book clubs could offer to their members was convenience.

With the rise of large book retail chains, such as Barnes & Noble and Borders, those readers suddenly had easy access to a large inventory of books within short driving distances. They discovered they could buy books any time they wanted, often for a discounted price, and publisher book clubs went on the decline.

There is good news for publishers: Thanks to the internet, with the rise in ebook consumption every year, publishers now have the opportunity to restore the old-fashioned book clubs.

Some forward-thinking publishers are leveraging the power of email marketing and social media to build interest among their readers in joining an “ebook club” in which customers gain access to a collection of ebooks for a monthly subscription. At Impelsys, we work with some consumer-facing publishers who charge as little as $3.99 per month for subscriptions to their ebook clubs and with some professional-facing publishers who charge as much as $19.99 per month.

Ebook clubs are gaining in popularity for three simple reasons:

• They deliver great value to the end user, by having simple online access to a library of books for a low monthly price
• They protect publishers from online retail competition, especially from the large sites that are able to extend deep discounts, by providing ongoing sales revenues and by creating a different online product in the form of a subscription.
• They help publishers build direct reader relationships so they can engage on a deeper level with their customers and strengthen their brand loyalty.

We’ve observed that the key to a successful ebook club depends on a range of factors including:

• Captured market: Having a captured market targeting a genre of readers. For example book clubs within specific content like romance, cooking, pediatrics, medicine etc. A publisher having content and loyal customers in a targeted market could create a successful ebook club. For example one of our customers, F+W Media (parent to Digital Book World) successfully built seven ebook clubs based on its strengths in categories like romance, arts and crafts, guns, writing and design, markets where it has a significant position.

An example of an F+W ebook club, Crimson Romance:

impelsys crimson romance

• Brand value: A publisher with a strong and loyal brand can build ebook clubs. For example, we’ve partnered with Sesame Workshop to build a successful ebook club for its globally renowned Sesame Street brand, which is a powerhouse in children’s publishing.

Sesame Street ebook club:

impelsys sesame

• Unique Content: Publishers that have unique or must have content in targeted areas of reader interest can turn this value proposition into a subscription based ebook club.

We have observed that the ebook clubs have enabled publishers to create direct relationships with their readers and generate revenues with monthly auto-renewals on their subscriptions.

The data below shows how one of our ebook clubs retained its customers over a six-month period:

Customer Retention Chart

Book clubs are a smart business strategy for publishers today, just as they were in their heyday. The rise of ebooks offers an excellent opportunity to put this strategy to work once again, driving book sales, enhancing brand awareness and building direct relationships with their readers.

This blog was featured in Digital Book World. http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/the-return-of-the-book-club/

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App it!

May 23rd, 2013 by Vipin

The modern era of mobile Apps is just a few years old but their usage continues to grow at a phenomenal pace. With the boom in eBook technology and increase in the number of mobile devices sold worldwide, more and more readers are consuming content online.  The craze for new age devices like tablets, eBook Readers and hand-held devices has shot up. It has become important for publishers to constantly track the reader behavior and hunt the best ways to reach the target audience for their eBooks. Amidst the various options available in the Mobile market today, publishers have to make a wise choice for making their assets mobile.

eBooks industry is steadily embracing the digital growth and has become one of the dominating categories in the App store market. As more readers are accessing content online, it is becoming increasingly important for publishers to offer their content on variety of platforms. It should not be of surprise, that the publishers are turning to Apps as a possible product option for books moving a step forward. This has led to another movement towards enhanced books, particularly as Apps for hand-held devices including smartphones, iOS & Android devices and other tablets.

Creating and delivering books for devices is an enormous challenge, and different publishers handle aspects differently. Along with the possibility of making the content easily accessible online, the Apps are also being used to make the content rich and engaging. Not only this, the interactivity included in the Apps moves the narrative along in a meaningful manner.

An eBookStore as an App gives publishers the power to make titles available to their readers as an individual App available on the App stores (iTunes, Google Play etc.). With the eBookStore App, publishers can host a branded bookstore on hand-held devices. These branded Apps will be listed by publishers for free download from the App stores. Through the App solution, readers can now download and read their favorite titles on the hand-held devices. The Apps also empower publishers to offer much more enhanced and interactive eBook content to the end users.

Perhaps some the interesting features that make eBookStore as an App actually exciting are:

·It supports an entire catalog of eBooks made available by the publisher

·It helps the publisher to establish direct relationships with the readers

·Enables customization, where the publisher can display their logo and branding colors and choose the functionality that is required in an App

iPublishCentral contributes actively to the iOS and Android based smartphones through cutting-edge Apps for mobile devices. Through our continuous efforts to provide the best-in-class services to our customers, we strive to keep our offerings updated and at par with the changing market dynamics. iPublishCentral offers mobile Apps to publishers to have a fully-fledged mobile strategy, and choose to either offer stand-alone Apps for Android devices, for single titles or an entire collection/catalog of eBooks. We have developed more than hundreds of customized and unique App solutions for many of the leading publishers across the globe. Some of the renowned retail sites that we support are – AAP eBooks, HIMSS eBooks, Thieme Bookshelf, Sesame Street, AAOS eBooks, Artiste Network etc.

Along with facilitating eBookstore as an App, we also offer individual books as an App for Android devices. Having an eBook as an App can help you feature the titles/bestsellers as individual branded Apps and gain the advantage of using a customizable framework to quickly create individual title Apps. It also helps you understand your customers better through opt-in programs that help you establish direct relationships with your readers and enable you to collect anonymous usage statistics. It also helps you get customization, where you can display your logo and branding colors and choose the functionality that you require in your App. The access to administration back-end also helps to manage your App better.

Publishers all over the world are seeing the future of Apps and the value of having an App for their eBookstore, increasing their brand visibility as well as their reach to the end users.  We understand the growing concern among publishers to gear up quickly to meet the mobile content demands of customers. We can easily help you setup your branded App and help you connect with your readers directly. If you haven’t started with your Apps yet, do connect with us at marketing at ipublishcentral dot com. We would like to learn about your business and explore with you how a custom mobile App can help you stay ahead of the curve, and serve your readers better.

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ePub3 - Software masquerading as books

April 1st, 2013 by Uday Majithia

The world of publishing is evolving at a rapid pace. Traditional forms are combining with the latest innovative forms to create multi-channel content in order to meet the ever-changing demands of the readers. There has been a phenomenal growth in digital publishing in the last two years. The digital revolution has made the availability of content to much more number of readers as compared to the print books.

Amidst of the eBook revolution, ePub came across as one of the most popular and promising web standard for the publishing sector. ePub3, which is the latest format, has created exciting new opportunities for publishers to offer rich, enhanced and interactive content to the readers. The ePub3 specification includes multiple new features that enable publishers to produce and distribute content with much enhanced accessibility and usability. Thus, with the help of this format, publishers can now reach a wider audience.

The ePub3 with HTML5 support provides rich media experience & interactivity, layout enhancements, global language support and accessibility improvements.  So with the help of ePub3, we will now get to see many interactive and enhanced features like video & audio embedding, metadata, linking, navigation, multimedia, font, scripting, text to speech, dynamic layouts, etc., in an eBook. ePub3 will enable a wider range in publishing creativity for - seamless delivery of content across multiple devices, improved flexibility for specialized content and complex layouts and a richer, enhanced reading experience at an affordable price.

There has been a lot of buzz about ePub3 for the last one year. But how to go about including ePub3 features in eBooks is the key question for many of the publishers. We at iPublishCentral have always been attentive to the growing needs of publishers. iPublishCentral is all ready to help publishers deliver rich, interactive learning experiences with the exciting new format – ePub3. There has been much progress in the adoption of eBooks landscape in the last few months. We hope that the upcoming months will see a widespread adoption of the ePub3 format by the publishing industry.

For more details on how we can help you deliver enhanced and interactive eBooks in ePub3, please write to us at marketing at ipublishcentral dot com.

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Digital Learning Paths

March 5th, 2013 by Anil Gopinath

Over the years, technology has played a key role in the education scenario and has changed the way students learn. From computers to eBooks, education has drastically advanced over the years. With the integration of current technologies into the curriculum, classrooms are becoming more technologically involved than ever before. The adoption of eBooks over traditional print books is growing consistently. Perhaps the greatest impact of eBooks is the change in perspective. And for some time now, eBooks have been presumed as the future of education. The reasons have always been pretty apparent - they are a lot easier to carry around and can be obtained immediately.

However, the introduction of enhanced eBooks has made the process of learning and knowledge sharing a more interactive and delightful experience. There has been a shift in the consumption patterns of the students and learning has taken a more personalized form. Learning Plans are the latest innovation in the field of personalized learning to provide both instructors and students with an engaging and adaptable digital platform for learning. It is intended to increase learning efficiency and teaching effectiveness.
Since inception, iPublishCentral has undergone frequent, scheduled upgrades and enhancements. As part of our continuous innovation we have introduced iPublishCentral 4.2 that has the ability to deliver the next generation of enhanced eBooks on the iPad. The enhanced eBooks will be integrated with robust Learning Paths to offer an enriched learning experience.


The enhanced eBooks will empower publishers to offer a great interactive learning experience to its readers as they can now access content from the eBooks and create their own Learning Paths at the same time using their iPad. Learning Paths (LP) refer to an effective learning methodology that is intended to equip students with an easy and convenient way to organize content from different sources and create a content sequence that makes learning while reading easy for them. For instance if a student is preparing for exams, it enables them to select the important topics from the eBook, take notes from a lecture and add it as part of the study material for next exam, it also enables students to ask the teacher to mark important topics and paragraphs for a specific exam/certification, they can also share such study material with their classmates and friends.
In a nutshell, Learning Paths provide highly interactive learning experience to the students. Being equipped with detailed features, it enables student to:

  • add a selection (of text) from a textbook, a topic, or a chapter itself to a LP
  • add media and ancillary from the book to a LP
  • add custom notes, images, video, web link to a LP
  • edit the order of contents inside a LP
  • add a Table of Content for a LP
  • share a LP with anyone


Well, the scope of Learning Paths is significant for publishers, authors as well as end users and it will be interesting to watch how it is adopted. The team at iPublishCentral is excited and geared up to help publishers incorporate this interesting emerging trend. We look forward to the changes this will unravel over the next few months.


Please email your thoughts and suggestions to info@ipublishcentral.com

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Big Data Analytics for Publishers

August 27th, 2012 by Anil Gopinath

Electronic publishing industry is waking up to the possibilities of Big Data Analytics. By definition, Big Data Analytics means mining and analysis of data sources and massive volumes of data to discover user patterns, correlations, emerging trends, and resultant revenue impact. Businesses worldwide have begun to employ such valuable pieces of information to better understand market dynamics and user preferences in order to make informed decisions that have a direct impact on the bottom line.

As the popularity and usage of eBooks soar, Big Data Analytics offers a huge opportunity for eBook publishers to analyze end user consumption patterns and maximize sales.

Here are a few examples of user data that eBook publishers can gather from exploring their content repositories:

  • Understand sales patterns
  • Gather information about the users’ geographical location and demographics such as gender, age, profession
  • Find out how time/ month/ holidays/ seasons effect the sales of certain eBooks
  • Understand the buying patterns and correlations
  • Discover particulars such as what pages of a book is read most/least, who is the favorite/ least favorite author in an anthology, where in the book does users spend the most amount of time, do people re-read the books
  • Understand the sales trends in an author’s collection such as has a buyer purchased multiple books by the same author and so on and so forth.

Obviously, unstructured data as such is not useful. What matters is how you interpret the data intelligently and use the analysis to gain a comprehensive perception and competitive edge.

Inferences derived by analyzing data can be used to:

  • Decide on marketing strategies
  • Provide recommendations to readers/buyers
  • Help you give suggestions and guidance to authors in order to improve the quality of the book
  • Provide titles that are more relevant and in demand with your target audience
  • Vary pricing and determine discount programs
  • Choose the best time/season and location to launch eBooks
  • Help you decide what languages the content be made available
  • Plan book tours and other promotional activities.

Consider a scenario where a children’s eBook publisher wants to launch a three-day marketing campaign for promoting a new eBook. Would it be better to let the campaign run from Monday through Wednesday or should the campaign run over the weekend? Analysis of buying patterns from the online store could indicate that most parents buy books for children on Saturdays and Sundays. This information would help make a better choice on when to run the campaign.

In the world of online content, time seems to travel faster and data tends to get outdated quicker. Therefore, gathering feedback about your eBook and reacting swiftly to fast-emerging trends is crucial.

Challenges of Data Analytics

Gathering adequate amount of reliable data for analytics systems is vital in providing statistically accurate predictions. Predictions made based on small data sets can cause more damage than benefits.

The other important aspect to consider is the buyers’/users’ confidentiality. It is not appropriate to gather information about users without their permission. A number of legislations have been passed to protect individual privacy on the internet and regulate the kind of information that can be collected from internet users.

Data Analytics at iPublishCentral

Publishers that use iPublishCentral as their eBook delivery platform have already begun to benefit in manifold ways from data analytics. For example, data about buying and reading patterns was used to provide suggestions in grouping books into collections. These collections have been well received and have contributed to increased retail revenue.

Conclusion

Well, we haven’t gotten to providing accurate alternative endings to eBooks based on personality types or modify the content of eBooks centered on learning habits of individuals. However, Big Data Analytics can provide powerful and advantageous business insights that can be used to improve quality, ease usage, and increase popularity of eBooks and revenue.

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Pinteresting, that!

July 15th, 2012 by ipublishcentral

Social media is the global local market. It is a revolution that has directly (and positively) affected individuals, brands and causes across the world. Who could foresee a decade ago that social platforms will one day be a critical part of marketing plans? And clearly, the publishing industry is not far behind with the concept of ‘communities’ now becoming digital.

The Publisher Marketing team at Impelsys works with publishers to promote (aggregate sales) of their eBooks. The team is always on its toes when it comes to adopting social technology to promote content of our publisher partners. This design has evolved over the years and now we are leading the eBook retail space.

The team has been working with publishers to understand their business, readers and sales cycles better, to identify lucrative marketing opportunities. The idea is to enable the Trade, K-12, Societies and Associations, Scientific, Technical and Medical publishers promote and deliver their content through viral marketing.

The most recent social platform that is witness early adoption is, Pinterest. Retailers are using their pinboards to drive traffic, others are using it to drive higher revenues per click, marketers are using it to create buzz for their new launches and lastly publishers are seeing it drive eyeballs. The Publisher Marketing team at Impelsys has engaged themselves in promoting publisher eBooks on Pinterest. You “pin” images of a particular title and share them with fellow Pinterest members. They in turn can “repin” those images and share them based on tier interest. Based on the fundamental human pattern of like and share, Pinterest provides discoverability on particular interests that you are looking for.

The team has been successfully leveraged Pinterest and have helped some of our publisher partners increase their eBook sales exponentially. These eBooks are hosted on eBookstores that are built on the iPublishCentral platform.

Large societies like Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, American Academy of Pediatrics have been able to capture the attention of masses on Pinterest which has boosted their eBook sales and increased traction to their respective portals.

What is the reason for the traction? The whole effort of searching content or a title drills down to finding them on your space of interest at Pinterest rather than just forming social connections from other traditional social site channels.

This article was featured in the iPublishCentral Newsletter. To subscribe to our newsletters, write to us at marketing@impelsys.com

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