Digitization and Publishing in Australia: A Recent Snapshot

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Abstract

In a government-funded research project into the implications of digitization for book publishing in Australia, the researchers tested for the presence of global issues and trends. With a focus specifically upon book publishing to the exclusion of newspaper and journal publishing these included: revenue trends; competition; outsourcing; potential benefits of digital publishing; critical success factors for digital publishing; supply chain issues; value chain issues, business models and expectations for the future. An online survey and follow-up interviews found that technologies such the Internet and the World Wide Web, along with those for production and rights management were playing a significant role in book publishing. However, the major focus among book publishers was on business and organizational issues. There was widespread realization of the need to respond to competition from inside and outside the industry, including competition for the leisure time of users, with direct implications for value chains and business models. Key organizational changes identified included changes in structures and strategies, in human resource practices, and in cultures. The main benefits anticipated from digital technologies were in the areas of new niche markets, repackaging and repurposing of existing content, consumer-generated content and the enhancement of value chains. It is therefore, imprudent to only consider the impact of emerging technology as the fundamental in the ongoing development of digitization in book publishing, as other considerations such as demographics, social and economic factors are also essential ingredients.

Digitization and Publishing in Australia: A Recent Snapshot

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