In today’s modern world, the Mida’s touch of digitisation is seen as part of our daily lives. Without technology, our life will remain incomplete right from the way we conduct our business to the way we conduct our personal lives. In such disruptive times, it isn’t surprising to note that the publishing industry has embraced the boon of digital transformation. As Academic Publishers who are invested in delivering customer-centric services and products, then it’s high time you digitally transform your business. However, for you to fully implement the power of digital transformation as part of your business model you need to understand what digital imperative could mean for a publisher.

Diving deep into the Digital realm

When it comes to the publishing industry there are certain never-ending struggles that publishers face. Like, availability of quality content, ensuring the optimal readership rate, navigating through the numerous platforms for content distribution and ensuring a quality experience for the readers. Countless publishers around the world have lost their business because they weren’t able to keep up with the above-mentioned struggles. However, with changing times and evolving technologies, a publisher can outrun these challenges by employing digital-first business models. With digital technology, a publisher can easily cater to changing customer needs. How you might wonder?

These days the reading habits of your customers is not the same as it was a few years before. Your readers prefer digital devices to consume content over print media. They prefer reactive texts over the usual pdfs which we choose for digital content. They prefer interactive elements like videos, quizzes, images etc. Hence when you are catering to their needs you need eBooks and digital magazines rather than the old way of things which you were used to. The bottom line here is the publishing industry should make way for mobile-first and digital-first services.

The Digital-First ePublishing Edge

The digital-first ePublishing module of business has not only changed the way your users consume content but also gives you an edge in predicting

  • how successful your services can be.

  • What kind of content do your readers prefer?

  • Which platforms your readers prefer to consume content

  • How to dynamically provide the latest content

  • Connecting with the customers to establish a loyal readership base

In a nutshell with digital transformation in place, publishers can easily predict the needs of their modern readers, cater to those needs and deliver them on time every time. Technological advancements like reader’s online behaviour, interactive content, quality online sources and other data-driven advantages can enable you to meet their needs in real-time. But the digital wagon doesn’t stop there. There are certain state-of-the-art digital imperative which offers some tactical edge for the publishers.

Opportunities offered by Digital Transformation for Academic Publishers

With digital natives readers, the publishing industry has huge scope in exploiting and enabling digital technology according to their needs and requirements. While in traditional publishing there were certain areas where a publisher was swinging in the dark with the digital imperative and eBooks, publishers can make informed and safe decisions. There are numerous digital imperative features that a publisher can use, however in this article we are going to focus on two major ones.

The Power of Data for Academic Publishers

You can translate the phrase “your readers are online” to “quality readership rate” with the power of data in eBooks publishing. As mentioned earlier with the power of data you can easily figure out

  • Where your readers are

  • Which content they prefer

  • What are their preferred modes for consuming content?

  • What more are they expecting through your content?

But what do these factors mean to you in the publishing business? Let us just assume you are planning to publish a book in clinical psychology. Usually, you would go with a pre-publishing checklist like

  • The author and his/her credibility as a subject matter expert in this area

  • The quality and relevancy of the content

  • The design and deliverance of the content

But now, with the power of data in place, you can figure out

  • The subject areas which your users frequently search, so that you can add that as an additional resource for your book

  • Related videos which your users are searching, so that you can provide an audio/video experience

  • If your author is an established one in the industry, you can also figure out various books which he/she has published and you can give some extra content accordingly like URLs of those books, interviews tapes etc.

  • Based on your user’s search, you can also provide additional resources like questions banks, links for the latest research articles etc.

  • Based on the user’s purchase behaviour you can understand what your users like and you can suggest the same as part of your book

You can curate an all-around reading experience for your readers based on these and other similar inputs.

Data gives you the power to deliver the kind of eBooks which your readers need.

The Power of AI for Academic Publishers

Another gamechanger in the publishing industry is AI. While data gives you the power to cater to your reader’s needs, AI ensures that what you offer connects with the right readers at the right time.

Let us consider the same example, but added to the current book you are planning to publish in clinical psychology, you also have a series of other books from different authors under the clinical psychology vertical. With AI in place

  • You can precisely deliver your latest book on clinical psychology to the users who are searching for the latest resources in the clinical psychology domain

  • You can accurately recommend your book to those readers who are into either the psychology domain or other domains related to clinical psychology

  • You can specifically recommend other books under the clinical psychology and psychology domains to readers who have purchased your current book.

With AI you can connect your eBooks with the user’s needs.

How do Academic Publishers benefit?

Today’s generation of learners is digital natives. They spend more time on digital devices and social media for communication, collaboration, entertainment and even education. In recent years, more particularly after this pandemic situation, the CHOICE for digital learning materials has turned into NEED. This has led to the unprecedented distribution of learning materials in the form of eBooks in the education and publishing sector.

Now, educational institutions are turning to technological systems and services to conduct online classes and continue education. The whole education sector is reinventing itself and is more receptive to technology than they have been before. It is high time for print publishers too to reinvent their business by leveraging innovative technologies and adopting new business models.

The primary asset of any publisher is its content. Now, it is time to repurpose this print format of assets into digital format and build new business models to turn the current challenges into opportunities.

Repurpose your print books into ebooks

Repurpose and convert your books into digital format ebooks. Promote your ebooks to users worldwide and sell your ebooks with strong DRM protection to prevent your content from piracy and illegal distribution.

You as a content owner and publisher can venture into the online and digital business without any big investments. You don’t need to invest in raw materials, logistics and administrative expenses.

We at uLektzBooks can help you with consulting, advisory and all the required technological systems and services.

eBooks Pricing Strategy can hurt your Print Books Business

Pricing has always been a key factor in academic publishing. This is simply because your main audiences are students with small financial strings. For the same reason, customers prefer ebooks over print books as

  • ebooks are cheaper compared to print books

  • ebooks are easy to carry – hundreds of ebooks can be carried in a device

  • ebooks can be accessed anywhere and anytime

  • ebooks can be interactive

Major revenue of the print book sales goes into the expenses such as Raw Materials, Logistics, administration. eBooks are free from such expenses and that makes them cost-effective compared to print books.

If we keep the cost of print books and ebooks the same, then the customers would not prefer buying ebooks. They would prefer buying ebooks that are cost-effective. In many cases, the customers will search for cheaper alternative ebooks or digital content on the Internet and buy them. In the end, the publisher will lose their customers to their competitors. Hence if you can offer your eBooks in a nominal price range you become the publisher whom students prefer.

In the internet era when the availability of quality content is not restricted to certain traditional factors, publishers should embrace digital technology as a means to survive in a competitive world rather than a mere choice to attract their customers. Though it is a frightening reality to consider, it offers numerous opportunities to make it a worthier cause. With digital transformative eBooks, you bring down the gap between your customer’s needs and your offerings. However, publishers should remember that eBooks are volume-based businesses. Most of the time, ebooks help promote and advertise the publishers and their other print books. Understanding and exploring these opportunities can put your business at the forefront of your customer’s choice giving your publishing house the success it needs.