Special Advertising Supplement: Strategic Allies: Global Ebook Outsourcing: A Primer
You can't hide from it: Electronic content consumption is big and only getting bigger. While ebook sales have been steadily on the rise for the last few years, the results of the Pew Internet and American Life study titled The Rise of E-Reading (not to mention the sales numbers for Kindle, Nook, iPad, iPhone and Android products in the last year) suggest that the industry has hit a tipping point.
And it's not just consumers driving the paradigm shift; corporations and institutions like school districts, governments and university systems are pushing the needle from P to E, as well.
While only the most severe of futurists predict print's total demise, most publishers have accepted that digital products need to be a slice of their revenue mix, and a growing slice at that.
Yet it's one thing to recognize that change must happen; it's quite another to enact that change, especially when you can't exactly hit pause on your business while you reconfigure your workflow, to say nothing of tackling that massive backlist.
That's why many publishers are turning to the wide world of service providers who make it their business to help publishers solve digital content and digital transition issues.
The global outsource market for ebook conversion is certainly burgeoning (look no further than India's ambitious Book City—Vision 2017 initiative, essentially a publishing-centric business development zone), and there is a multitude of options—from commodity functions like conversion of print products, to full-service, end-to-end strategic partners—that can help publishers not only make the conversion to digital, but guide them in the steps beyond by keeping up with, and ahead of, the technology curve. That way, when the next disruptive technology arises, you'll be prepared and ready to move early.
How it Works
"One of the things I tell folks when they're deciding whether they should invest in outsourcing is, look really hard at your core competencies then ask yourself, is there a task that could be easily done by someone else with either no loss of quality, faster, cheaper or in some cases even better by another organization?" advises John Wheeler, Vice President of Strategy and Emerging Technologies for global, Philippines-based SPi Global. "If the answer is yes, they should consider outsourcing."