Seema Sindhu / New Delhi
Story from Business Standard
When Brian Murray, group president of HarperCollins, said, “The younger generations are consuming information in a different way. They may not necessarily be going into bookshops. They are spending time on Google, MySpace, Facebook, author websites, Yahoo and MSN,” he meant the augment of the age of digitisation of book publishing.
As high-speed internet access invades the average household, an odd 320 million households with broadband access in 2007 worldwide, digital publishing (e-books, e-papers, online research papers, etc) is evolving into big business. Publishers are taking their content online to reach out to a wider audience across geographies.
Most universities and libraries are digitising books (fiction, research, white papers, etc); advantages being that people can read samples online and then buy books online or buy a part of the book that they want as opposed to buying the whole book.
Globally, digital publishing is a $430 billion industry. In the west, digitisation has witnessed a revolutionary growth. Microsoft and the British Library announced a partnership to digitise 25 million pages from 100,000 out-of-copyright books in the British Library’s collection in 2006.
New gizmos (iPods, PDAs, e-readers, etc) fecilitating ‘anywhere reading’ have provided with much impetus. Sony Reader, Sony’s pint-sized e-book reader broke open the e-book market.
In China, lately, the government decided to supply 165 million students with an e-reader in order to avoid all the physical costs associated with textbooks.
India has been a big beneficiary of digitisation in terms of outsourcing. The Indian publishing industry grew by over 15 per cent this fiscal year.
Major international book and journal publishers such as Oxford, Cambridge University Press, Prentice Hall, Macmillan, Elsevier and Springer have been outsourcing a lot of business to India in content transformation (which has a price advantage of 40 per cent). And the work goes beyond the printed word to CDs and other electronic formats.
There is much more ahead. The Rs 80 billion publishing industry in India is riding a wave of success, thanks to innovative marketing strategies like blog discussions, e-mail to readers and preview booklets to promote new titles.