Special Report: Publishing Business Conference and Expo 2012: Hachette Book Group: Publishing Innovator of the Year, 2012
"Unlike a traditional book where you print once and forget," explains Munsen in a follow-up phone call, "these apps are really an opportunity for you to have a relationship with a consumer.
"You can take some of this content and make a piece of entertainment, you can make interactive games out of it," he continues. "Some of this content has great opportunity for social media and interaction. You could have a discussion around a recipe in a cookbook. Some content lends itself to being a website—we're doing a lot, for example, around Bartlett's quotations."
The company's embrace of mobile provides it with valuable insights into consumer behavior.
"One of the things we learned from the metrics is, there used to be some discussion internally with ebooks as to whether you needed the introductory pages of a book—the title, the ISBN, the copyright—or can you just jump right to the first chapter," explains Munsen. "We learned that you do need that stuff, but you can put it at the end because sometimes readers don't get past it [otherwise]."
What's key in all of this is, as Munsen puts it, "this consumer data helped us make the consumer experience better."
Another key in recognizing Hachette was the company's willingness to share what it had learned. It's made its digital platform available as a service and, according to Munsen, is in the process of deciding how it might make its Moiré-elimination technology available to other publishers, either for a fee or free of charge.
At the same VIP reception, Flipboard was named Publishing Innovator of the year for magazine publishers. BB
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