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Print Plus: How digital publishing is moving beyond eBooks and into the enterprise

by Ivan Dwyer

April 9 2012

Ivan Dwyer is the head of digital publishing at Access Systems Americas. 


With the explosive growth of tablet devices worldwide, the necessity for packaging content in a standard book format, along with the limitations in doing so, have effectively been eliminated.

The capabilities of the devices themselves and the software platforms that power them allow anyone with a catalog of content to provide a “print plus” experience that truly engages users and warrants the transition beyond the physical world of printed books.

After all, contents of a physical product are simply individual assets that can often stand alone on their own merit. With the addition of rich multimedia content and interactive features, content providers can build a wide range of solutions that simply can’t be achieved in print. What makes this opportunity especially unique is that with apps on tablet devices, you have complete control of the organization, security, delivery and consumption of these assets to your users in your own branded environment.

Another important component to creating a “print plus” experience is that publishers won’t cannibalize their established lines, but instead can create entirely new lines for their audience. For instance, in the paperback edition of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller Decoded, hip-hop legend Jay-Z includes lyrics for 36 songs, each annotated with notes written by Jay-Z. In the enhanced eBook version of Decoded, there’s more than 30 minutes of “never-before-seen” video interviews with Jay-Z where he discusses the back story and inspiration for his songs and two bonus videos.  

How will your business take advantage of this trend? 

A key trend for tablet strategy development in 2012 will be business managers rethinking how they deliver content and services for a comprehensive and differentiated user experience. Instead of merely packaging content into standard books, smart businesses will begin delivering digital content that is loaded with multimedia features such as animation, audio, and video, and interactive features such as annotation and sharing.

This “print plus” experience will also expand the possibilities for business-to-business solutions in the enterprise landscape as interactive features fit the internal workings of any business. Companies will transform their operations by producing custom apps for delivering training materials, internal communication tools, and customer relationship management services among others.  

By adding an interview video to an enterprise app, for example, companies can offer shareholders the key points of why the board of directors is advocating a new direction, or add a step-by-step instructional video clip to demonstrate the benefits of new products.

Since enterprise businesses aren’t strictly book publishers, they will be looking for customized end-to-end solutions to help them manage and deliver content and services internally and to their customers through mobile and tablet devices.
 
As publishers and businesses alike start to integrate compelling interactive content and services into their own tablet apps, both the consumer and enterprise markets will evolve significantly in 2012 to full service offerings that keep readers and users engaged and loyal.

Ivan Dwyer is the head of digital publishing at Access Systems Americas. 

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