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    5 CHALLENGES FACING THE PUBLISHING VALUE CHAIN
    January 16, 2023

    Publishing is a tricky business that involves a delicate balance between various processes. Each stage adds a particular value to the cycle, from research, development, distribution, and consumption – all forming the basis of the publishing value chain. However, small changes or disruptions can throw the entire system out of order.

    Here are 5 of those:   

    Distribution’s shift to digital – Legacy publishing comes with various headaches, such as logistical problems, shortage of materials, increased lead time, and higher costs throughout the production cycle. But creation and distribution are shifting towards digital, which brings its hassles. This would require your workflow management to incorporate a structure that can leverage digital content transformation tools and integration a digital ecosystem for each process. The dissemination of your published work would also need to factor in different forms of media and devices. This is especially true for academic book publishers, who need to consider newer forms of consumption within their younger audience.

    Quality in content development – With faster turnaround mandates and shifting content requirements, publishers might see a drop in quality across the value chain. Tacking on more technological features can often lead to a shift of resources away from research and expert engagement. Understanding the user experience becomes a secondary factor when deliveries are focused on timelines. Checking for diversity and flagrant language can also get overlooked, running you afoul of legislation and rules.

    User Experience – We’re moving towards immersive technology that will eventually incorporate digital learning solutions. As a publisher, you’re competing with all forms of content, making it necessary to integrate different types of interactive media into your content. The entire workflow and publishing value chain will need to adapt towards higher engagement levels, which can be achieved through content development services. Accessibility features also need to be considered due to government mandates, which can improve the user experience but might increase the complexity of your workflow.

    Internal capacity – Publishers face stiff competition from new entrants such as digital content companies, software developers, and even online service providers. This can impact small to medium publishers by changing resource allocation for individual processes in the publishing value chain. Should you focus on developing internal capacity or outsourcing to publishing service providers? How do they fit into your workflow? Tools, data, access, technology, and networks can benefit the publishers and increase lead time and costs. This might warrant a relook at which capacity to invest in.

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Automation is already a part of specific publishing processes but is slated to become even more prominent. Publishers are also toying with Gamification in their online learning materials, but AI might disrupt the entire learning paradigm and the publishing value chain. With the advent of OpenAI products like ChatGPT, the interaction method with content could change completely. You might not even need SEO content development but a content library that can give pointed answers to pointed questions. This is a looming challenge for the value chain.

    Publishing service providers are aware of these and are constantly updating their content development services to meet the evolving needs of publishers. This includes:

    • Assess your shortcomings 
    • Learn to adapt accordingly 
    • Find the right expertise and partners 
    • Adopt newer technology and automated mechanisms 
    • Build capacity and training programs 

    These steps can help you overcome all the nagging challenges on the horizon if you move quickly. Here are some services that could help you achieve that goal.  

     

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