How digital transformation has changed the book publishing scene

Techsense team I 2:27 pm, 24th November

The publishing industry, over the last decade, has undergone a sea change. Digital technologies have been the real game-changer for the book publishing world.  The explosion of digital devices including cell phones, tablets, and Kindle, along with print-on-demand production techniques and social media marketing have combined to bring about the profound transformation.


Digital transformation has increased the accessibility of books to the masses by increasing the flexibility of consumption. In 2007, Amazon Kindle was launched that popularized the eBook concept, making all types of literary content accessible to anyone with access to the internet at the click of a button.


Ebook sales were up by 15.2 percent in the U.S. according to data from the Association of American Publishers generating USD $1.0 billion in 2020. In the U.K. as well, the pandemic served to boost interest in ebooks. Both domestic and international ebook sales increased by 17 percent in the first half of 2020, yielding a revenue of £144 million. Sales of audiobooks also went up by 42 percent in 2020 with experts predicting that audiobooks may well overtake ebooks in the coming years. Digital readers are increasingly favoring dynamic audiobook formats, a trend that correlates with the rise of podcasts and mobile usage.


For authors and publishers, digitalization offers marketing freedom and creative opportunities. Online eBook sellers such as Apple Books, Smashwords and Amazon as well as digital touchpoints provide the benefits of cost savings and convenience. Radical digital transformation makes it possible for aspiring authors across the world to self-publish through eBook distribution platforms such as Kindle Direct Publishing.


Within book publishing companies, digital transformation enables automated collaboration where authors and publishers work together - for instance, live-editing the master document. Content development becomes faster, streamlined, and easier while editorial managers get superior oversight right from manuscript to the final proof copy.  Content storage on unified platforms such as cloud-based platforms removes patched-together siloes of multiple drives, desktop folders, and files. 


Digital technology in publishing: Boon or bane?

While digital transformation has changed the way books are read, written, published, and sold, concerns remain on how technology affects conventional book-reading habits. The greatest benefit of digital technology to the book publishing world lies in a streamlined workflow, improved decision-making with data and analytics, and the ability to grasp changing reading trends. For readers, improved accessibility to titles and reduced costs are alluring. 



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