The publisher’s dilemma

Friday, 22 June 2012, 15:09.

When asked what I did job-wise it used to be enough to say that I worked in publishing. The concept of commissioning, editing and publishing text in a book is easy to grasp. Once the business plan was agreed and the author contracted, the major decisions boiled down to choosing the format, title and cover design. Industry guru Dave Worlockopens in new window speaks of ‘Old Pub’ and ‘New Pub’. That’s Old Pub.

Nowadays us publishers face a bewildering array of decisions: do we publish in print? And/or digitally? If digitally, how? Does the text suit a ‘vanilla’ eBook or does the market need a few more bells and whistles: an enhanced eBook, maybe? What enhancements would be useful to these particular readers? Do they need a ‘book’ at all: maybe the content is best delivered via a website or an app. But what should they do, how, which devices does the market want them on? When it comes to routes for delivering content to our readers, we are quite literally spoiled for choice!

I still describe myself as working in publishing but explaining what I do is now a lot harder. I have boiled it down to a very simple formula: My job is to work out the best way of getting content to its readers.

Emma Harris - TSO New Product Development Manager