Posts Tagged ‘digital publishing’

Impelsys exhibits at Society for Scholarly Publishing 2014

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

In May this year, Impelsys for the first time, participated in SSP’s 36th Annual Meeting at Boston. Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP), a nonprofit organization that promotes cross-sector communication among the scholarly publication community, represents publishers, printers, e-products developers, technical service providers, librarians, and editors.

Over the years, Impelsys has forged strong partnerships with leading association and society publishers. The SSP Meeting was a great platform for us to meet and interact with these publishers. There is so much knowledge within this community; it is imperative for them to consolidate all their content and put a digital strategy in place so they can offer it to their members and readers from one single point.

Our conversations with many associations and societies became a good source of information, concerns and insights. The three days of insightful seminars, sessions, and networking opportunities were highly enriching. Impelsys showcased its KnowledgePlatform capabilities and received a great amount of interest and response from the publishers. Developed to meet diverse content requirements, this easily customizable, cutting-edge platform solution combines multiple content assets including books, journals, reference works, multimedia and online courses.

This year’s event was a gala affair, as SSP 2014 saw a record-breaking attendance of over 900 people. The event also saw an increased number of vendors exhibiting, some of whom were new (like us) to the meeting.

The Impelsys team had a great time at SSP 2014 and we hope to meet with all the association and society publishers soon again.

We will also be present at Frankfurt Book Fair in October this year. Hope to see you there!

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Impelsys exhibits at the BookExpo America 2014

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Impelsys has been a part of BEA for many years now. What is North America’s largest publishing event is a key networking platform for us where we also showcase our solutions.

BEA’s focus this year was new titles published by major trade publishers such as HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and McGraw-Hill. BEA also launched BookCon, an event for readers and the general public to meet prominent authors and celebrities and have them autograph a copy of their books. BookCon, modeled after the annual ComicCon meeting held in Las Vegas for comic books and graphic novels, will be a permanent part of BEA in the coming years. The event, attended by over 11,000 publishers was a great success.

Impelsys‘ had three busy days filled with demos and meetings. We showcased our platform solutions – iPublishCentral and KnowledgePlatform – to highlight our capabilities to build successful digital strategies for any kind of content. We came across many publishers with digital concerns and queries. While some publishers were looking to understand their end-users’ buying patterns through richer predictive analytics, a few others showed curiosity in leveraging EPUB3 to improve reader/member engagement. On the whole, everyone wanted to find out more about seamless content distribution, multi-platform delivery and content marketing.

The industry has evolved to a huge extent since the advent of eBooks many years ago. The questions now are specific, the challenges are complex and the decision making is very well thought-out. BEA reflected the digital maturity that has occurred in the publishing industry and it was a pleasure to observe that technological advancement is no longer a threat but a strategic part of annual business plans.

All in all, as always, BEA 2014 was an exciting experience and a successful event for us and we hope it was the same for you too!

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Frankfurt Book Fair 2013: Digital is Growing Up!

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

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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App it!

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

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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Freedom to Read - a DRM free world?

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Electronic publishing industry’s rapid advancement is driven by electronic devices / tablets and the high consumption of the internet. There is a constant concern among publishers and authors regarding their eContent availability and and more importantly, its protection.

The ongoing discussion in the publishing ecosphere is whether dropping DRM (Digital Rights Management) would be a good move. Top level executives from the industry are brainstorming on the pros and cons of removing DRM completely from all eContent. Quite a few publishers have announced to waive off DRM completely as it prevents them from using legitimately-purchased eBooks in perfectly legal ways, like moving them from one kind of e-reader to another.

Cost per download, device or platform lock-ins and device fragmentation are some of the reasons which compels publishers to drop DRM. Consumers are also quite technology savvy these days, they read on a variety of devices and find DRM a deterrent to accessing content on a variety of reading devices. One of the announcement by Tor/Forge to go DRM-free by July has made publishing giants to think on whether dropping DRM is a reasonable call. According to Tor/ Forge “They’re a technically sophisticated bunch, and DRM is a constant annoyance for their authors and readers”.

In the past Apple revolutionized the sale of Digital music when they started providing DRM free downloads through their iTunes service. This started the DRM free revolution in online sales of music. If history were to repeat itself, if 2 or 3 top tier publishing houses were to drop DRM on eBooks, most other publishers would follow suit.

Removing DRM allows the small retailers and distributors to compete effectively with the current major players.This in turn will encourage diversity in the retail sector, force the current these players to inter-operate with other supply sources (or face an exodus of consumers), and undermine the tendency towards oligopoly.

The winner here would be the consumers, who are able to use the content they have bought on any of their devices without restriction. If they can find content without any restriction in the format they require easily, the likelihood of them purchasing it is so much higher. If they feel DRM is restricting their consumption, they are forced to look for “alternate” (and often illegal) sources of content. Studies by a prominent digital publisher have shown that dropping DRM in their case has actually more than doubled their sales in a pilot they ran.

Dropping DRM many not have an immediate positive impact on the sales across the board, but rather will have mixed impact. Whereas smaller publishers and retailers will have an upper edge than the big retailers like Amazon. Finally, going DRM free completely can take time and will undergo many more discussions and analyses before the final decision.

The future of DRM is something we will have to wait and watch, and can have mixed results for different publishers. In my opinion, DRM should be completely removed in order to give consumers freedom to consume eBooks when and how they want. After all, keeping a customer happy would only drive up sales of eBooks and not the other way around.

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2011 – A year of acquisitions?

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Hardly a month into 2011 and news of several large acquisitions hit the papers. Now as the first quarter-end closes in, we see this trend more growing. Is more of this likely to be seen in the coming months? We seem to think so. Read on for the most interesting acquisitions so far and feel free to add more to this list.

Samsung buys Liquavista

In January this year, makers of the Galaxy Tab Tablet PC and several e-reader models, Samsung confirmed the news of its acquisition of a Dutch-based digital publishing company, Liquavista. Liquavista’s Electrowetting technology could help Samsung build better displays that offer enhanced outdoors visibility, like e-ink, and also save on power consumption while delivering faster refresh rates. The Samsung Tablets and smartphones too, are likely to be the beneficiary of such innovative display technology.

Pearson increases stake in TutorVista

Pearson, one of the world’s largest publishing groups and owner of The Financial Times, Pearson Education and Penguin, has increased its stake in Indian education firm TutorVista to a controlling level of 76 percent, for approximately $125 million.

The deal, one of the biggest transactions ever in the Indian education sector will expand Pearson’s business in education in India and in global online tutoring. Pearson had previously acquired a minority 17% stake in Bangalore-based TutorVista in June 2009.

TutorVista is primarily engaged in providing online tutorials to students in North America, supplying digital content and technology platforms to schools and providing services like curriculum design, teacher training and school administration services.

Pearson also has another Joint Venture in India with publicly traded learning solutions company Educomp, which develops vocational and professional services for the Indian market.

Google buys eBook Technologies

Early in January 2011, Google acquired eBook Technologies, a company that focuses on hardware and software distribution of e-books and e-book readers. The firm sells technology used to operate digital reading devices as well as publishing software and tools. Speculation is that Google wants to jump into the tablets, e-readers and other portable devices.

The acquisition came weeks after Google opened the eBookstore e-commerce site, where readers can browse and search through more than more than three million free books.

Proquest buys Ebrary

Ebrary, one of the pioneers in aggregating books and other print content online, hosts more than 273,000 digital books, handbooks, reports, maps, journals and other content from about 500 publishers that it offers to libraries and other institutions under a variety of services and platforms.

Ebrary, which has recently been acquired by ProQuest will continue to invest in Ebrary’s products and services for the academic, corporate, and public library markets. ProQuest will also expand Ebrary’s selection of research tools and ability to support new e-book devices as well as broadening language coverage from its current support of major European languages to include Chinese, Arabic and others.

MPS Ltd. and The BookMasters Group Inc. form strategic partnership

MPS Limited, a Macmillan company and The BookMasters Group, Inc. (BMI) announced a strategic partnership that will offer customers the benefits of a combined service across digital publishing, fulfillment, and print and electronic distribution.

The partnership allows BMI to offer its customers cost-effective services for eBooks, enhanced eBooks, and apps. MPS customers will gain from BMI’s Converso service, which distributes eBooks hosted on MPS’ ContentStore to Amazon, Apple, Overdrive, Barnes & Noble, Gardners, and 35 other critical eRetail sites. In addition, the partnership will enable the two companies to jointly offer US clients a complete fulfillment and distribution package.

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Books on the cloud

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Over the years, the Internet has grown into a large repository of data and information that can be accessed from anywhere through multiple devices. Today you no longer need to be seated at your personal computer to read your e-mail or book movie tickets. Instead you could be on the beach, at the playing field, at the airport or in another country.

It has been our vision that books, like all digital products should be accessible and available all the time. We have worked hard to build an infrastructure that ensures that we can provide this to our publishing customers, who in turn can ensure that their books reach their readers anywhere and at all times. We watch with confidence as the market takes shape and as this vision of books being on the cloud turns to reality in the months to come.

There are three main reasons why books on the cloud makes sense and I have outlined them below:

Consumer is King

Consumer expectation is to have services available all the time - from Webmail, to Google docs, to salesforce, to Evernote consumer expectation is that they will have their services accessible from anywhere and from any device. Companies that understand this and create this access entry point are guaranteed success. An example for me is a note taking service. I have used several note taking applications; I put notes on my mac, on my blackberry, my iPad too has a few note apps. And then, a few months back I discovered Evernote. This amazing web application, wins over every other note taking software as I can confidently use it knowing that I access all of my notes at anytime from any of my devices, no matter where I am.

Muti-device accessibility
with the speed at which technology is advancing, it is difficult to judge whether our lives are getting simpler or more complicated. Today, we use multiple, multipurpose devices, to stay connected. I have my laptop, my home desktop, my smartphone, my blackberry, my iPad and I work and live my daily life going between all these devices. For convenience sake I EXPECT my applications and software to work interchangeably between all these devices. While I might be an early adopter of technology, a few years down line, this just like e-mail being available everywhere will be a norm for most people.

Follow the Leader(s)

Amazon recently announced that they are launching the web based kindle. With this version, Amazon is now ensuring that their customer can access their eBooks from anywhere and on any device. I use a kindle and I expect to read my books on my iPad, my kindle or on my iPhone. As the market leader, Amazon is establishing a benchmark in the industry by providing this experience; a benchmark that all customers like me will expect to have when using books in the eWorld.

These norms will push publishers to deliver their content on the cloud, needing sophisticated technology to achieve the same. The good news is that there are companies like ours who can provide this infrastructure. This is just the beginning, once books are on the cloud; the opportunities for the publisher are innumerable. Publishers need to realize that this is the future and start implementing their cloud strategy immediately.

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Team Speak: Frankfurt Book Fair 2010

Friday, October 15th, 2010

This year, The Frankfurt Book Fair seemed quieter than the previous year in terms of footfall, but not so in terms of quality of meetings. We saw a higher level of ‘C Level’ visitors prepared to explore their digital strategies and talk about how a technology partner might be able to assist them in this endeavor.

 Our stand which was strategically placed right opposite the ‘Device Hot-Spot’ gave us the opportunity to study attitudes towards the several reading devices that have hit the market place in the past few months. No doubt the hype about the iPad and the onslaught of these new devices have led to the explosive growth in eBook sales and has generated a lot of discussion, with more publishers now paying a lot of attention to the future of content and content delivery. The tablet phenomenon is proving to be a major catalyst towards driving user demand for interactive and media rich content on the move, and has spurred many industry leaders such as Google, Amazon, Apple and Samsung to position themselves to own the digital book space, in much the same manner that Apple has taken over the music industry.

While a few years ago, the predominance of this digital trend was limited to the United States and parts of Europe, we are now seeing an increasing interest in digital content and eBooks from developing countries in Asia, the Middle East and South America.

The eBook era is enabling publishers to take more control over their content and deliver it directly to their end-users. Delivering eBooks to the market does not have to follow the traditional print supply chain where the distributor and retailer have such a strong presence. Publishers can now have their eBooks hosted on a neutral platform and sell or deliver it through their own branded eBookstore directly to their end users and institutions. This allows the publisher to set their own price and redefines their relationships with resellers, and of course the discounts they offer.

While matters regarding DRM protection for content still remains debatable, this year we experienced more and more enquires from publishers and distributors regarding safeguarding of their digital content. The market is clearly a friendlier place for eBooks and we saw several publishers from different countries shopping for an eBook platform that allows them to deliver and sell their content as an aggregate set of titles via publisher branded portals. It was encouraging to note that most of them had researched the eBook platforms available in the marketplace, a clear indication that they are in the process of embracing this new age with enthusiasm. The internet and the cloud phenomena that powers global access of content through multiple devices continues to shape the publishing world and we are all excited about what the future holds.

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What my 4 year old taught me about the iPad

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

The iPad has been around for more than four months now and after using it extensively for a multitude of purposes, here are some of my observations…

To start with, the iPad is not just a passing fad. Instead it is the birth of an entirely new category of devices; devices that, in the future, are going to be a majority. Steve Jobs has once again wowed us with more than just a beautifully designed product backed by meticulous marketing. He has in fact created a global phenomenon, one that everybody wants to be a part of.

Till date, Apple has sold over three million devices with millions more to soon be sold in countries all over the world. Citing a Forrester Research Report; Tablet PCs are expected to replace netbooks by 2012 to become a strong segment in the global PC market, and nearly one-fourth of personal computers in the US market will be tablets by 2015.

The second distinct feature of the iPad is its ability to instantly appeal and interact with almost anyone. Be it a 4 year old, a teenager, a grad student, a working professional, or a 74-year-old grandmother, the iPad appeals to everyone. The other day, I was at home watching a game on TV while my 4 year old daughter was clambering all over me, wanting to be entertained. Me, too involved in the game and not wanting to be distracted, opened up my iPad and tried to get her busy with one of the word building apps I had downloaded. Soon enough she figured she’d do better without my help and ran with my iPad to the far end of the room, sat herself in a corner and was engrossed in the game for the next 20 – 25 minutes.

This is just one example that further proves how fantastic this device is. Any device that can hold the attention of a 4 year old for more than 20 minutes is truly the future. The device finds its way into the lives of almost every individual and has an app to cater to almost any interest.

Third is the ease in which its intuitive touch based user interface facilitates interaction. The manner of interacting with this particular device takes us back to the basic, the natural dynamics of using our hands and fingers to interact with an object as compared to using mechanical devices such as a mouse or stylus to navigate.

Fourth is that this is a everything device. For me it’s a book, a magazine, a newspaper, a piano, a map, a video game player, a note pad, as an additional screen and much more. With the increasing number of apps, the functionality of the iPad is only going to increase, making it a necessity in our everyday lives. Fifteen years ago, no one imagined that cell phones would be such an important part of our everyday lives. I think this would be the case with tablet computers like the iPad too. Ten years down the line, we probably may never leave home without them.

Moving closer home to gauge the impact that this device has on publishing and the publishing industry brings me to my fifth observation. As technology partners for many leading publishing houses, this could be the device we have all been waiting for. The iPad allows us to do justice to our product offerings, taking learning and reading to a whole new level of engagement and interactivity.  It facilitates convenience for purchase and the ability to make impulse buys. Over the last month, many of the books I have bought have been the result of discussions and conversations with friends who have recommended a particular book or article and me buying the book then and there. An added advantage is that I have all my books and magazines in one place, and knowing that I can access all of my content at anytime, anywhere

This new category of devices is getting us closer than ever to the tipping point. We now have the device in place, information search in place, distribution through apps and eBookstores in place, as well as, the ease of payment through well established payment systems and infrastructure. For those of us in the Publishing industry - I’d say - The future has arrived.

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Crossing the finish line

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

On April 11th, I ran the Paris Marathon. An event that I trained for over the last six months.

As I was running the marathon, my mind went through all the effort that was needed to get ready for the race. Running 42 kilometers is not easy and it takes a toll on your body. The only way to be ready for it, is the preparation that is required months before the race. The preparation and the discipline to maintain your training schedule allows you to compete and potentially complete the race. My race was going well and I was on pace to get to my 4 hour goal when I hit the wall during the 38 km mark. My legs gave in and I was in severe pain. Physically my body was telling me to let up but mentally I knew that I could not stop because the finish line was so close. The last 4 kilometers was a mental vs. physical battle to get to the finish line. At the end I crossed the line achieving my time goal and gaining a personal victory for myself. Crossing the finish line was an incredible feeling of pure and unadulterated joy!

I realized while running the marathon that what we are building at Impelsys is also like a marathon.  We, at Impelsys have a clear goal in becoming the leader in supporting the global book publishing market to deliver and market their electronic content.  We are passionate and determined to get to the goal and win, not only for ourselves but for our publishing customers.  Our training in the “marathon of business” has been the effort that we have put over the last several years to study the transition of the publishing industry, to understand what traditional publishing was all about and to use this understanding to help them adapt and succeed in the electronic world.  In turn, helping them add revenues through new and previously unexplored business models and building the content delivery infrastructure for the online world.  Just as my marathon training required extreme discipline, achieving this vision too requires discipline, determination and an ever thirsty passion to succeed.

Our industry is a dynamic, ever-changing, ever-evolving one, where almost every day there is something new out there, something more that customers want and something better that someone else is doing.   In today’s competitive business world the secret ingredient to success is in having your consumers win. We have built our capabilities and dedicated our vision towards helping our clients’ win, by ensuring that their customers in turn win. We are determined and confident in getting to our finish line.

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