Digital Minds debates publishing innovation
Publicat originalment a The Bookseller, 08.04.14 | Sarah Shaffi
Sam Burridge from Palgrave Macmillan said that a lot of the big publishers were keen to innovate, and that she herself would not have stayed within the industry had it not begun the process. But she said: “We have got to innovate in a useful way. I think publishers need to get much better at fully understanding their customers, it’s [looking at] what a customer does every day. Are we doing enough? I think some of us are.”
Stephen Page, c.e.o. of Faber (pictured), said it was “interesting that publishing has left it to others to innovate”.
“It’s very hard to siphon off a black ops team and stick them in a cupboard and say ‘lose money’, and come out with a great idea,” he said.
But while Page said there was “a long way to go” he did think publishers were more open to innovation.
Author Nick Harkaway said he got the sense that “publishing likes to reach a plateau where it can stop thinking about technological change for a while”.
“We innovate up to a given point and stop and say it’s good enough for now,” he said. “Then someone else comes along with a magic box. Let’s build our own magic box.”
Page said he thought publishers should look more at fandoms, while Harkaway said imprints and publishing houses needed to work on building their own brands. “The idea that I have more Twitter followers than the publishing house I work with is disturbing,” he added.