Cover Story: Publishers' Outlook 2012: The Industry's Next Bold Move
Howard: What do you see as the biggest challenge and/or the biggest opportunity for Hachette?
Young: Well, when all is said and done, my company has to be fit for purpose, if you like. It has to be excellent in all areas of how it operates. But the great opportunity is to publish bestsellers. If you'd asked me [about our biggest challenge] two or three years ago, I would have said [it] was to get fit for purpose around digital, but I believe we have done that now. I do think there are ongoing challenges, especially as there are so many new devices. I think there needs to be more standardization in our business than there is at the moment.
President & CEO • Wolters Kluwer Health (WKH), Professional & Education (P&E)
WKH's P&E division includes prestigious Philadelphia-based medical publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, which produces books and journals in wide use throughout the healthcare industry for education and practice purposes. Driscoll, a WK vet of three and a half years, and CEO of P&E for a bit more than a year, spoke to Book Business from her home in New York.
Brian Howard: I suspect, as a medical publisher, your split between print and digital will be different from trade publishers.
Susan Driscoll: … It is complicated because most of our print … includes a digital component. We have a very big education business, and every one of our textbooks comes with an electronic version of the textbook with additional assets, and it's all bundled together —… just one price. So when you take that into account, over 60 percent of our revenue is electronic.
Howard: Can you tell me more about those additional assets?
Driscoll: Our education books are print and e-books, and … there … is a website with additional digital assets for every [book]. As for the practice titles … one of the big trends we see is the need for quick answers right at the point of care, and a mobile- or web-based solution that's subscription-based and frequently updated is much more useful.