In the last one decade digital publishing has gone through multiple stages of progress, we have seen technology shaping the way content is created, delivered and consumed. As technology is on path of continuous evolution it keeps on changing aspects of life and business. Every year we hear buzzwords, some of them disappear and some become mainstay of the business. In 2017 we might hear new phrases and see the existing ones consolidating their roles. In this article we will have a brief insight on what trends will emerge or grow further in the coming year.
Mobility is the Key
We are living in the age of comfort and mobile devices are our heroic robots whom we expect to do a plethora of tasks. We want a pocket gadget that can do many things for us wherever we are and we don’t want the bulk of a laptop or a paper book to be with us all the time, the comfort is amazing! Publishers should focus on mobility, provide their readers with a simplified interface that is also highly functional. A responsive and intelligent UI that understands the behavior of the reader will attract users and keep them glued with the content. Continuous scroll is more pleasant than flipping right or left, scroll is the primary UX experience with social media platforms and it’s here to stay. Ebooks apps enhance the reading experience in many ways.
Big data is not a new buzzword but it has a mighty buzz. There is an overwhelming amount of high quality content in the digital sphere now and there is a niche audience for niche content but the task is to identify that niche audience or what niche content to market to your existing audience. A lot of data is available to retailers and publishers that gives insights into reader behavior and choice, by making best use of available data we can find the right target for our products or create favorite products for our audience.
Social Media Presence is Essential
For about half of the people of the world the first thing we do in our phones is open Facebook. Social media is the easiest available channel to showcase our products and interact with the audience. In 2017 and for many years to come social media will be a vital tool for digital publishers to promote business. Key points to keep in mind to maintain an effective social media presence are: a) Be a good listener – know what people are interested in, at the intersection of your products and the interest of your audience lies the sweet spot of audience engagement. b) Know what types of posts drive engagement for your products – text with images, posts that drive engagement in form of comments, and posts with links to your products.
In-house Digital Expertise
Rope in some talent with digital expertise to your manpower. In-house expertise is essential now as digital is overtaking the traditional way of publishing, people dedicated to your digital efforts will bring around long term positive changes.
Audiobooks are gaining popularity, in case of bestsellers almost all of them have an audio format of the book. It costs effort and money to make an audiobook, professional help can be sought, there are platforms that offer audiobook creation services.
For Indie Authors
Indies are a DIY people, they are the writer, the editor, the designer, the marketer, the sales team and the list goes on and on. Keeping the creative work to themselves indies can now seek help to get their books to the market, companies are there which provide the deserved support. Sales baffles authors, there are ways to be artful in selling your books, you can make a bundle with other indies or sell your own bundles, have a good presence in social media, besides Facebook and Twitter, now Instagram also is a worthy platform for authors, gorgeously styled images of your books can help you get attention.
In last one or two years we have seen the growth of digital content publishing plateauing, industry statistics pointing to flattening sales of ebooks and emagazines, ad revenues falling. Despite the slump there are sections like STM publishing where readership of ebooks is growing, and publishers finding new ways of revenue growth.
Adapting some of the above trends or creating new strategies could help maintain growth or provide a new impetus to publishers and retailers.