EXTRA! Q&A: An interview with Brian Napack, president of Holtzbrinck Publishers, on publishing’s digital future.
With a resume filled with shining examples of how to successfully combine traditional media with digital savvy-- from helping to launch Disney Interactive (now Buena Vista Games) to most recently serving as a media and entertainment expert for L.E.K. Consulting--Brian Napack seemed like a natural fit to help steer Holtzbrinck Publishers into the digital era.
After month in his new role as president of the company, Napack, 44, spoke with Book Business to discuss what he has in store for the publishing giant during his tenure.
Book Business: You have a long history working with both digital and traditional formats. How do you see those two coexisting with each other?
Brian Napack: Books are not obsolete, nor are magazines, nor textbooks. What’s obsolete is content delivered by media that’s bound by the formats they’re put out in. All the media companies are managers of brands, creators of content, and above all they’re managers of consumer relationships. It’s about how to provide content to consumer. Those relations become something of value. We’re in the business of delivering to that consumer whatever services that consumer needs--entertainment, educational, informational. We produce content. That content is useful, and we’ll try to deliver it to them in as many texts, colors, shapes and smells as possible. It’s all about finding more ways to sell more things to more people in more places.
BB: What’s an example?
BN: We’re putting out a book now that is based on a blog--a legal thriller based on a blog. We’re putting out the thriller in both book and blog format simultaneously. How do they coexist? They coexist wonderfully if you’re forward thinking.
BB: You delved into providing content on cellular phones in the past. Do you still believe this is a viable new field of delivering content and is this something you would like to see Holtzbrinck’s divisions take a closer look at?