Publishers in 2012: Doomed or blessed?

Are publishers doomed?

One of the main reasons that users love Amazon's Kindle is that they can take notes on what they are reading and search with a couple of clicks for a specific excerpt across all their e-books. Apple caught the drift and took a step further by introducing iBooks 2 and the interactive textbooks during their education event last week. Although the average tablet users skew toward 18 to 34-year-old males right now, this is expected to change in the near future as tablets will become even more mainstream. According to a recent study, US tablet users will rise to 54 million by early 2012.

Adobe also conducted a study throughout 2011 in more than 150 US retailers who generated more than 16.2 billion visits. Back in January, 96% of visits were made via a "traditional" PC (i.e. laptop, desktop, netbook), 3% via smartphones and tablets accounted for only 1%. 11 months later, in December, the statistics were different; 4% of all visits were made via tablets, 6% via smartphones and the remaining 90% percent via PCs. However, this was something that you may have already predicted as iPad 2 was introduced in February and smartphone market kept growing with double digits. The key finding of the study though is that tablet users are three times more likely to make a purchase than smartphone users and two times more likely to make a purchase compared to PC users. [download "The Impact of Tablet Visitors on Retail Websites"]

By combining the facts mentioned above, you can easily see that the tablet-oriented products will multiply in 2012; tablet users are willing to buy products and definitely companies will deliver. Print media is probably the first industry to be hit by the "tablet revolution". However, this is a great opportunity for that industry. If they take advantage of the new tools, they will be able to cut down their costs, increase their reach and provide better content to their users. If they don't do so immediately, it will be only a matter of time before becoming obsolete.

Cutting down a publisher's costs is piece of cake right now. Actually printing a newspaper/magazine/e-book nowadays is not necessary. Yes, many people prefer the old-fashioned printed item but, as it has been proved, more people buy e-books than printed books. Wouldn't be easier for publishers to let their customers to decide what they really want? Let's see an example: If the publishers offers an e-book in a high quality PDF file, the user will be able to transfer the e-book easily across all their devices and also to print it on their home printer in case they prefer reading in a paper. Given the lower price of the PDF, compared to the printed book, the e-book will attract more customers whilst the publisher will have reduced their initial cost. Looks like a win/win situation to me..

Social networks have conquered the Internet. Social networking is the number one web activity; it has even surpassed porn! The easiest and more effective way to be a social media king is to produce high quality content. Users love sharing and discussing about content that blew their mind. Now that every single Facebook user has in average 130 users, creating awareness via word of mouth is easier than ever. A single status update, or a tweet, can generate more buzz than an advertising campaign. For free. All you need is high quality content. People are willing to pay even for content that is distributed without cost. You must always keep in mind that people are fundamentally good and they value the high-quality products..

So far, publishers treated digital media no differently than printed media. They delivered the same content without taking advantage of the additional features that digital landscape can provide. It is like buying a Ferrari and driving the same way that you were driving your old Toyota. Of course you can do that but don't you think that it is wiser to fully exploit the potential of your brand new and shiny car? Exactly. The same rules apply in the digital media world; exploit the multimedia aspect of digital platforms, create content online (i.e. in YouTube) and drive your readers there. Some years ago, publishers' only revenue source was static images. Now, they can easily test the water in the video and audio advertising business without having to do anything that costs money..

To sum it up, now it is the time if you want to publish an e-book, an e-newspaper or an e-magazine. Selling online your goodie is easier than ever; Instabuck takes care of all the boring and fuzzy processes, the only thing you have to do is create an amazing product. What's your excuse for not doing it?

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