The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every industry vertical and the publishing sector is no exception. It has compelled authors and publishers to modify their behaviors overnight and without a prescriptive road map. Consumers are preferring eBooks and audiobooks over physical books, which is a major paradigm shift, unlike the parallel trend that it was thought to be. Another significant trend is the release of exclusively online versions first, followed by print editions only after a verified demand for the hard copy.
Though the pandemic has disrupted the demand for physical books and magazines, an upward interest to consume information gives a ray of hope. For example, data sourced from Statista shows a significant increase in time spent on reading during the lockdown. It states that 25% of the readers increased their reading time every week, often by more than 15 hours. Other 9% of the readers increased reading by three to four hours per week. Besides, many new audience segments have emerged during the pandemic as the readers rediscovered their taste for consuming books–indicating enormous opportunities for the publishing sector in the new normal.
Moreover, in the foreseeable future, the academic curriculum is expected to be online, and not restricted to physical books. An increasing number of institutions, teaching professionals, and students are exploring the option to offer/receive online education exclusively or in conjunction with the conventional in-the-premise systems. As eBooks and audiobooks emerge as the primary mode of information consumption–traditional publishers must begin to digitize titles and adopt the new business model. It will facilitate faster and safer publishing or distribution, filling for the revenue lull.
The current pandemic has accelerated the trends that publishers expected to play out over several years, rather than months. Yet, the swerve has given rise to a new playground and the time to capitalize on new opportunities is now.
Move To Digital – The Mandate For Covid-19 Recovery
Adjusting to the ‘new normal’ and meeting the growing demands of tech-savvy readers requires publishers to invest in a digital framework. While establishing this capacity in-house may not be time or cost-feasible–outsourcing the requirement to professional eBook conversion services is efficient and faster. Associating with a professional vendor allows to reap various benefits as mentioned below:
- Operational Excellence
Digitizing the titles and delivering an exceptional reader experience requires dedicated time and resources. The outsourcing vendors have multi-dimensional perspectives, streamlined processes, a time-tested blend of workflows, and a pool of competent professionals with hands-on experience in the eBook conversion process. They facilitate publishers to optimize the publishing pipeline and operational expenditure without affecting the quality of outcomes. These professional providers leverage the best-fit tools to help publishers/writers/authors digitize titles, thereby expanding their reach. Using their expertise, they assist the clients to give a world-class look-and-feel to the eBooks while abiding by the best publishing standards.
- Competitive Edge
Associating with an experienced vendor allows publishers, writers, authors, and corporations to release an aesthetic product by creating unique layouts and providing flexible conversion solutions. They know what it takes to ensure the reader’s delight and confidence in a product and strive to deliver captivating eBooks, audiobooks, and digitized titles. A majority of leading outsourcing firms provide typesetting consultation and eBook cover design services, thus enabling the companies to differentiate through their offerings. They also help publishers to diversify business models by syndicate/affiliate distribution or collaborating with different online media, resulting in an expanded outreach.
- Enhanced ROI
Engaging professional eBook conversion services allow the traditional publishers to seamlessly convert titles into the preferred file format, thereby maximizing cross-platform compatibility, interactivity, mobility, and flexibility. They assist the writers, corporations to increase the relevancy of their content for a global audience by providing multilingual conversion and language globalization services, enabling them to expand their horizons. Besides, by targeting non-English speakers in their native language, they help in catering to a wider variety of readers worldwide. Taking care of the entire eBook conversion pipeline, the outsourcing partner enables the corporations to reach enhanced accessibility standards. They ensure that the Deliverables comply with WCAG 2.0 guidelines, ADA Compliance, DDA, PDF/UA, etc., thereby enabling the publishers to tap and meet the requirements of the differently-abled population.
- High-Quality Outcome
The rise of digital formats has also led to the rampant piracy of eBooks and devaluation of copyright content, posing a challenge for publishers. Collaborating with external vendors allows businesses to easily address such issues and offer high-quality media-enriched digital books. Banking upon a team of expert editors and proofreaders, the professional providers conduct rigorous tests on different devices including iPad, Kindle, Nook, etc. to evaluate the features, functionality, mobility and accordingly address concerns as well as incorporate adjustments. They conduct asset research for the procurement of digital media permission and rights. The accredited professionals also define vocabularies, the syntax to express metadata, identifiers, and metadata tagging to ensure zero errors in the final product.
The COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity in disguise for the publishing industry since it brings immense opportunities for businesses to scale new heights. As changing times call for the new norms, engaging professional eBook conversion services to assist the writers, authors, and corporations to seamlessly digitize their titles and consequently reach out to a wider audience. Therefore, it is time for the traditional publishers to make hay while the sunshine and easily cut through the competition.