By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
‘Time-Limited Marketing’This morning (January 9), Exact Editions is announcing that it has an agreement with the United Kingdom’s Independent Publishers Guild (IPG) to produce a digital showcase of books for publishers on the guild’s collective stands at London Book Fair (April 18 to 20).
Publishing Perspectives readers will recall the “Ukraine Digital Book Collection” that Exact Editions mounted in early March 2022, offering a group of primarily university presses a chance to provide, free to read, some of their most astute nonfiction on Ukraine, Russia, and their past relationship for contextual understanding of the savage attack Vladimir Putin had unleashed on Ukraine on February 24.
Publishing Perspectives understands that the IPG showcase for London Book Fair will use the same streaming-database approach, this time to allow a publisher to display up to four books on its own “digital shelf” in each book’s original print format.
Each book displayed is to be fully searchable and able to drive traffic to an e-commerce link chosen by the publisher.
During the run of the book fair, books in the showcase will be open-access, with previews available for a period before and after the trade show.
We’re told that the showcase is to open around two weeks prior to London Book Fair’s start.
Each of the digital shelves assigned to a publisher is a sub-collection of a more comprehensive collection of that publisher’s output. Exact Editions brands this service its “Reading Rooms for Books” offering. Its sub-collections are meant to support users’ navigation through a publisher’s titles.
Obviously, the showcase is also a showcase for the showcase—a chance for Exact Editions to display its format as trade visitors use it to review various offerings.
Shine: ‘Collective Discoverability’
In making today’s announcement, Bridget Shine, the guild’s CEO, is quoted, saying that the digital showcase is “a great way to improve the visibility of IPG members’ output and help their superb books reach new audiences.
“With the help of Exact Editions’ technology, independent publishers will get the professional display and collective discoverability they deserve.”
Daryl Rayner, Exact Editions’ managing director, says that publishers have integrated the company’s online display offering “into their own marketing strategies.
“Book fairs are key dates in the calendar for book promotion and negotiations,” she says, “and IPG members will benefit from the fact that ‘Reading Rooms for Books’ is expressly designed for time-limited marketing.”
Exact Editions reports that during the latter part of 2022, the “Reading Rooms for Books” and an associated product called “Reading Rooms Pro” were being tested by publishers including Manchester University Press, Edinburgh University Press, Granta, Hackett Publishing, and Lund Humphries.
In addition, the company last year opened a free “smart ISBN self-service” tool for publishers that produces book-preview links.
The company is probably best known for its digitization of the archival editions of magazines. A prototype of its forthcoming showcase for the Independent Publishers’ Guild’s can be seen here.