There is an old saying – ‘The Pen is mightier than the sword’. The power of the written word has gone beyond paper with the advent of new technologies and the ‘3 screen revolution. The ‘Sword’ has transformed into a ‘Swiss Knife’, where content is more fluid than ever. It is leaping off hard bound books and is getting customised to suit the increasing number of eye balls on tablets, smart-phones, PC’s and e-readers.
As per a research conducted by CyberMedia, 158,000 tablets were sold between Oct 2010 and June 2011 in India. Add to this 12 million smartphones and 40 million mobile internet users in India and we have an enormo, and applications to ensure interoperability of content across these devices.
Led by Rajesh Lalwani, team Blogworks conducted a social media workshop for leading publishers of India at the GLOBALOCAL conference. The workshop focused on the opportunities and challenges that this new wave of digitisation brings and how publishers are engaging with Screenagers.
The Publishing industry is gearing up to harness interesting platforms on the digital medium. So while Random House plans to produce games, Penguin Books is restoring its catalogue of e-books to e-book library lending services, such as the one offered via Amazon’s Kindle e-reader and tablet devices. This is a cue for marketers to engage differently across multiple touch-points as consumer behaviour across these touch points differs.
This is also leading to cross-industry collaborations; old world publishers are joining hands with game developers, designers, application developers to create new standards of creativity. On one hand this collaboration is creating content that is engaging, it is also helping them arrest the attention of the consumers who are spoilt for choice.
The biggest shift however is the end of ‘passive reading’. Where earlier, people would read a book and share their experience on a one-on-one basis, conversation are now happening many to many. Welcome to the world of Social media, where everyone is an ‘author’! Micro-publishing and on-demand publishing sites like Lulu are enabling new age writers to manage all aspects of book publishing with minimum intervention.
Frank Rose, author, The Art of Immersion sums up this phenomenon, “Everywhere we look, stories are breaking the limits imposed by print and film and video. Boundaries that once seemed clear—between author and audience, content and marketing, illusion and reality—are starting to blur.”
The only word of caution for the enthusiastic content developer and marketer is to not lose sight of content that is ‘relevant for the consumer’. Technology is a mere enabler and the aim should be to build compelling, engaging stories for consumers. By virtue of the quality of your content and its associated relevance, the consumer will be your most credible ‘marketer’.
P.S. Mr. Publisher while you adapt books to online platforms, don’t stop printing the hardbound book. I can never savour curling up with a Kindle under the winter sun:)
Disclaimer: Views of authors are personal and do not represent the views of Blogworks, or any of its clients.