Publishers' Outlook 2011
According to West Academic's Justin Hummel, the company's digital tools, such as The West Education Network (TWEN) "are changing how people are using [and] accessing content."
BB: How many titles will Scholastic publish in 2011? How does this compare to 2010?
Mathews: Scholastic publishes approximately 600 original titles annually, and that remains our plan for 2011.
Justin Hummel, Director, New Product Development, West Academic
➜ West Academic, the academic and law publishing division of Thomson Reuters that includes Foundation Press, Gilbert and West, has made significant changes to its product mix in response to consumer demand for digital delivery. The changes have not been across the board, however, as West Academic has hewed closely to the workflow demands of its specialized market, while keeping a careful eye on future trends.
BB: How are changing audience habits and expectations affecting your product mix?
Hummel: … Speaking from the authors' perspective, if they see peers creating different materials—whether powered by Westlaw, Nexus, [etc.]—they are seeing what is possible and are coming to us with requests. They want us to provide more mechanisms for content delivery, such as quizzes … and audio-video accompanying websites.
In years past, it was all about what fits between the two covers of the book, and the book is still critically important for us, but ... [authors] want more from publishers, and we're having to respond.
BB: Do authors want their products marketed and distributed differently?
Hummel: Absolutely. In years past, there was not an appreciation of how the Internet can drive adoptions and expose people to what is contained in your material. The historical model of casebook adoption was [that] publishers send the book to potential adopters [who] peruse the book and make an adoption decision. Now you can do a search on Google to get exposed to any number of books in that subject area and, oftentimes, are directed to accompanying websites [that] provide sample materials and give you more perspective from the authors about why they've taken the approach they have.