The digital revolution has transformed the way the world transacts today. Be it communication, shopping, or watching movies, handy devices like the mobile phone or the computer enable users to access it all at the touch of a button.
Reading is no different. Though for the connoisseur, the traditional physical book is still an essential part of daily life, accessing books on the digital platform opens the world even wider! Yes, digital publishing platforms have transformed book publishing and reading in many ways.
A digital publishing platform allows content of any length to be published in a digital format for consumption by readers on their mobile, tablet, Kindle, smartphone, or laptop, and turn pages without having to. Digital publishing is different from the digitizing of books. When you digitize a book, it means scanning an existing physical book and creating a PDF of the scanned pages. It retains the look and feel of the book and readers can scroll to read.
But this has many limitations. It cannot be bookmarked or turned, and it may not provide a very satisfying reading experience.
Digital publishing, on the other hand, provides a whole new experience to the reader, empowering publishers to experiment with the format at a much lower cost. The pandemic further accelerated the shift to digital books due to closures and lockdowns. The global book publishing industry’s market size experienced an annual decline of 1.1% CAGR between 2016 and 2021. However, the CAGR for the global digital publishing market was 9%, with the industry growing from $51.06 billion in 2020 to $56.09 billion in 2021.
With the world opening up after the Covid-19 pandemic, the book publishing market is slowly picking up, but digital publishing has also gained a strong foothold. Some of the reasons for its growing popularity even among publishers include:
1. Greater Interactivity: Book reading has been a one-way affair in the traditional world. But today, viewers can comment and interact with each other and even the author on the digital platform. This increases reader engagement and also helps publishers and authors understand their readers better. 2. Shorter Time-to-Market: Digital tools shorten the book publishing lifecycle. They help to automate the manuscript submission, review, editing, and publishing processes to a large extent by aiding editors to be on top of the project with updates, alerts, collaboration, and communication tools.
3. Wider Reach: With high mobile phone penetration, it is easier to reach out to prospective readers without boundaries. Digital distribution allows publishers to make the books available online for anyone to access from anywhere.
4. Lower Costs: Reaching out to a wider audience earlier meant huge costs and time delays. Today, with digital publishing platforms, there are no cost or time barriers.
5. Insights-Driven Publishing: Book publishing has always been a matter of hit or miss. Publishers would use their gut feel to assess reader interest in topics and genres. But with digital publishing platforms, they can base their decisions on data such as sales, revenues, and even reviews and chatter. These can provide insights and reveal patterns hitherto hidden, helping with decisions on what to publish and where to distribute.
6. Targeted Campaigns: Book reading is a matter of taste in the case of novels and self-help books or a matter of necessity in the case of textbooks or academic publications. While the market for niche publications may be fairly obvious, for the more generic works, a targeted marketing campaign can improve sales and expand reach.
Reduced physical storage space and enabling ecological conservation by reducing paper consumption are some of the other benefits of digital publishing. But for the digital publication to become popular, it should still not compromise on content, quality of design, ease of navigation, attractive cover, attractive pricing, and interactivity.
PageMajik is a digital publishing solution provider that enables publishers and authors to collaborate more intuitively and closely to marry expertise with technology. It helps publishers produce high-quality books that are designed aesthetically while shortening the production cycle and minimizing iteration by automating mechanical tasks. This frees up editors to focus on their core areas and transcend barriers to innovation.