8 Comments

  1. Dr. M. Regnet
    Posted April 19, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Mrs. Goldstein is resuming the challenge and the highest appropriate survival strategy of the publishers in a brilliant manner.
    Publisher should know about the importance of having a modern CSP ensuring the longevity and functionality of their content. Never the less most publisher don’t like the word strategy. Because strategies are rather acadamic at the moment they are developed. It’s a long and often very expensive procedure to convert them into practice. Most publisher need a lot of external help to create a strategy and even more to derive proper processes, technical support and mentioned changes in organisational infrastructure and last but not least in gaining the right attitude and thinking according to the future data management, concepts and neccessities.

    There is no fast revenue, no quick win.
    According this, a lot of the publishers can’t effort the invest needed. They focus on other topic instead not recognizing the fatal mistake occuring by acting in this way.
    There has to be an unmentioned important question answered to give an hand to those publishers hesitating to adopt their CSP and practical implementation.

    Preparing the own already existing content in a media-independent manner by restructuring, tagging, linking and so on can be really expensiv. It is high effort not causing any revenue at the first glance.

    There has to be a sensitive approach to the data preaparation part of the implementation phase of the CSP-introduction project.

    To choose appropriate data guaranteeing quick revenues ist essential. To choose the right amount of content to be adopted first is also crucial.

    Most publisher won’t do anything according to CSP unless the mentioned steps and some quick profits compensating economical efforts on a short time scale are visible.

    To be clear: I agree Mrs. Goldstein’s words. There is no alternative way to change according to the users needs.
    But most of the time it needs tricky arguments to get them convinced about CSP and how to start living this.

    sincerely yours,
    Dr. Markus Regnet

  2. Posted April 19, 2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Oh, if only these gurus could speak and write in English….
    As priests of all fake myths, the first thing they do is inventing another “language” to set themselves far from the People. Now they speak their own “language” so that the 99% cannot understand them nor can be “players”….
    What is funny is that publishers are less and less important in the world of books. Their ‘monopoly’ is going away and freedom seems to be nearer and nearer. The day will come when these gurus will no longer control the market. Then American writers will stop avoiding ‘forbidden’ topics and write about the world as it is, not as the plutocracy wants to see it.

  3. Posted April 19, 2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    What Ms. Goldstein describes as the CSP here is the idealization of a process that many publishers have gone through over the past decade, but in a fumbling, semi-blind, experimental, incremental way. If we had all had this kind of roadmap at the start, we would have avoided a lot of waste of both financial and human resources along the way. But that, of course, is the wisdom of hindsight. Ms. Goldstein does an excellent job of capturing what we have all learned, with some pain and suffering, as the optimal way to conduct our business today.

  4. Posted April 20, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for a great article, Ingrid.

    I totally agree about publishers needing a modern CSP and feel that backlists are an unexplored minefield for them

    However, to operate in the future they need to work with non-publishing visionaries who are not bound by literary tradition. These people will put an entirely differentand crucial skill-set on the table.

  5. Ronald
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Ms. Goldstein, thanks for providing some insight into new trends in publishing. Your article is timely. I welcome knowing more about how a publisher of electronic and print books can use digital products as apps.

  6. Posted April 30, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    The Goldstein article is wonderful and at the same time alarming, especially for small independent publishers who tend to lack the resources and expertise to tackle the challenging and inevitable developments in the publishing sector.

  7. Posted May 7, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    I had to read this twice and still am stumbling over all these terms and trying to figure out exactly what it all means. I’m sure it makes sense and the diagram is one of those really cool ones lots of people in consulting use to impress clients. I’m reminded of Marty Kahn in House of Lies. Throw a lot of terms around and everyone goes “wow” but no one really knows what it means. But pretending to understand what it means makes you seem smarter than the schmuck next to you who, like Tom Hanks in Big, goes: “I don’t get it.”

    Frankly this is a very generic template that can be applied to selling ice to Eskimos. I’m not denigrating it. I’m just saying it’s a lot of the stuff being bandied about in NY while, meanwhile, lots of people in the trenches are actually doing concrete things to change. NY is touting Tor’s decision to drop DRM– like, wow, I’ve never had DRM on my books. I took titles NY tossed on the trash bin and went from zero to over a million dollars earned in 18 months. And I’m just one author. So while NY throws around terms and spends millions to try to figure out what they’re doing, there are people who are already doing it and doing it well. I agree with the comment that publishing is looking at its own navel to try to find solutions that they can’t clearly see because they are so used to doing it the old way.

    Apps? Useful in very limited modes right now. For most, it’s the wrong direction and a waste of resources.

    I have a business approach, from my Special Forces background, one that can also be applied to almost any situation (and I have from the CIA, to SWAT teams to Fortune 500, to start-ups) but I made it very specific to authors and publishing with Write It Forward.

    And I like to say it in very simple and specific terms: For strategic goal= Stated in one sentence, with one action verb, an external visible outcome and a time lock.

    Watch the bloodbath that goes on when you walk into a business and ask everyone to write down what they think their company’s strategic goal is and what their own personal goal inside the business is. In one sentence each.

    It’s a start. But why don’t we just say what we mean, simply and to the point?

  8. Nadia Cornier White
    Posted August 9, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Simply and to the point: Content Strategy is a very-high level approach that publishers should constantly be working towards. At its most basic, I could sum up this article by saying, “The books you publish should fit into your company’s business plan.” …but then it might be foolish to assume that publishers (large and small), authors or collectives *have* a business plan in mind when they choose what books to put out into the world.

    (and “make tons of money” does not apply, in this scenario…)

    I think applying content strategy is such a big leap from where we are now – too much change, too quickly (especially when you consider that this season’s list has been written, acquired, edited months (and sometimes years) ago).

    If you gear your strategic thinking towards the marketing of those books — content strategy (i.e. deciding what to publish and how to publish it to best reach your intended audience) will come naturally afterwards.

  • Get Publishing Perspectives in your inbox each day and stay up-to-date on international publishing.