Sourcebooks CEO Says It's "Not Business as Usual"
In addition to illustrating the potential for multimedia content sales, this shows the potential for developing a “deep vertical,” she said. Publishers should think about what the next step is in the line of content products serving a market niche, she suggested. For Sourcebooks, that could be creating a baby-name consultancy. “I'm not sure we want to be in that,” laughed Raccah, but that would be another possibility.
Another opportunity for publishers, she noted, is in enhanced digital books. Sourcebooks, for example, is publishing the title “My Hippo Has the Hiccups” with audio of the author reading (or “performing,” as Raccah said) the book. Another example is Sourcebooks' publication of “Country Music: The Masters,” a photographic tribute to country music legends, which features audio narration by the book's author Marty Stuart, explaining the context and circumstances behind the photos.
Raccah also touched on challenges facing the industry as it develops new approaches to content—such as digital rights management and pricing—and general issues the industry needs to improve, such as inventory management. “Can we create a zero-inventory model, and if not, how low [in quantity] can we go?” she asked.
Overall, to best adapt to a transforming book publishing landscape, she said, “Build a more flexible organization. Create a real DNA for change.”
Editor's note: Check out the June issue of Book Business for more coverage from Making Information Pay. For more information on the event, visit http://www.BISG.org.