Lunchtime Digital Publishing Seminar with Liz Marchant from Pearson

2/14/2015 10:02:00 am

I'm a bit late in posting this write-up but I've been buried under a ton of research for a very, very exciting Major Project idea but on Wednesdays the publishing department at Oxford Brookes is hosting Lunchtime Digital Publishing Seminars with speakers from several different publishing houses. (Everyone is welcome, btw.)

The speaker this week was Liz Marchant from Pearson who presented a presentation on Digital Publishing from and Educational Publisher which was fascinating.

The main point she tried to make was the differences between print and digital publishing. While there are many similarities, it's really important to note the differences before embarking on a plan to pitch a new digital publication or product.

What are some differences? There are quite a few so I'll just mention a few:

  • There are many ways to experience a product. It's not just a page anymore!
  • The access format varies. From Kindle to iPad, the experiences range a lot!
  • Publications can "do" things now! You're not just stuck with text and images. You can do all kinds of stuff!
Because of these differences, you relationship to the customer is automatically different. You must think of how easy the product is to use. What kind of problems could arise because of the format of the program? You have to provide technical support for them. It's more than just printing books now; it's a whole experience. 

You also have to understand the needs of your customer better. What can you product do to help a teacher? To help a student? You can design a really cool new app or platform but if it doesn't solve a problem, why would a school buy it? 

However, of all the things Ms. Marchant said during her talk, perhaps the most poignant was that "your role as a publisher is to hold onto the Vision." You can't just get distracted and lose the point of your product. And, in addition to keeping the vision of the product in perspective, you have to deliver that product on time and on budget as well as provide a high quality experience for the customer. This is probably the most important and universal publishing advice out there: Be on time. Be on budget. Make it good quality. Boom. Now you're a publisher. 

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