Saturday, October 31, 2009

Understanding Reader Experience crucial for future of book industry

After many requests I have added the text of my speech at FBF09 to the ppt slides for easier viewing on slideshare. Have a look at the ppt about Reader Experience.

Friday, October 23, 2009

How to survive the digital revolution in book publishing and distribution: understanding the Reader Experience

Have a look at my Frankfurt Book Fair presentation regarding e-reading and impact on book industry. Advances in digital technology and changes in the Reader Experience will drive changes in the book industry. For the full text of the presentation please download the ppt and look at the notes pages of the ppt file. Looking forward to your comments

Monday, October 19, 2009

EU publishers digging their own graves? FBF09 feedback

I was disappointed after my visit to the Frankfurt Book Fair last Friday. No, my e-reading presentation at the pecha kucha went well (it will be posted very soon here, need to translate to english) and yes I had some good meetings. The thing was I had somewhat high expectations about witnessing the impact of the digital revolution (e-books, e-readers etc.etc.) at the largest book fair in the world. These expectations were fed by the fair's organisation making so much fuzz about events and activities related to the same digital revolution.

Unfortunately that is where the disappointment came in. The Innovation Area was as small as last year and I did not see or hear any evidence of digital initiatives by publishers (at least not from the consumer trade publishers). Complains were plenty about the limited number of e-book titles available in non-english languages and the lack of speeding up the conversion process. Most illustrative of the gap still existing between the early movers and traditional publishers was a short article in the Bookseller Daily. It mentioned criticism from book publishers on the Tools Of Change pre-event. Publishers found it a missed opportunity and more geared towards programmers then publishers...

[a bit more silence and thinking]

What makes a digital revolution happen: sw, internet, services, digital content = programmers and other wizkids /entrepreneurs. Which are the companies most likely to threaten the existing publishers: Amazon, Google and other digital companies that never published a paper book.

So wake up publishers before it is too late. Re-look at your activities and re-think where you can still excel in the digital era. Then work together with the digital experts and "programmers" to start trying out. In my opinion publishers (at least the EU consumer trade publishers) are digging their own graves by their lethargic attitude and failure to start experiments with digital initiatives and new business models.

In Europe we are at the beginning of the hockey stick curve with interest and revenues in e-reading increasing. But all new books need to be published as e-book to bring e-reading to the mass market. And when paper book publishers do not move faster then other companies will take up their role in the digital era.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Frankfurt Book Fair or e-book Fair?

I am looking forward to my trip tomorrow to the Frankfurt Book Fair. Finally "digitisation" is a key subject at the Fair with presence of TOC, for digital publishing, e-reader vendors, e-book publishers and e-book side events. During the day I will have a couple of meetings with companies leading the waves of digital innovations in the book domain.

At the end of the day I will participate in a pecha-kucha event (new experience for me): Buch die Zukunft! (Book the future, impact of the digital revolution on the book industry, Friday 16 Oktober, 17.00 - 18.00 in the tent in front of Hall 4). Yes indeed in german so that is going to be a bit of a challenge for me. I will present the changes in the book industrie from a consumer angle. My key point in order to survive is that people/companies should first of all focus on the future "Lesererfahrung" (Reader experience) rather then to be only concerned about their current business interests and how to translate their paper books into e-books.
So go to Frankfurt to join the pech-kucha tomorrow and else I will update you with the presentation (mostly images since it is a pecha kucha) and text of the story on my blog.
Auf Wiedersehen! 

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The future of navigation

Yesterday the annual European Navigation Event took place in the Netherlands under the inspiring title: the future of navigation. I visited the seminar with presentations from both well established brands like TomTom and Navigon and lesser known innovative companies with exciting initiatives like Layar and Routeyou. 

My take aways from a day of navigation:
- Exciting value added services and information are in the pipeline with real life traffic updates, 'eco' route suggestions, advise on car parks etc.

- Although still young as a product category Personal Navigation devices (PND's) have been very successful in conquering the market showing above 30% attach rates to cars in key EU markets.
- Despite this success the market is being threatened by severe price erosion and the rise of smartphones with gps inside.
- Navigon seems more confident than TomTom in approaching the smartphone segment as an opportunity rather than a threat. They have a platform agnostic approach for their software offering it for all major mobile platforms where they leave TomTom behind them.
- Layar and Routeyou explained the exciting open platforms they have created upon which companies and individuals can built further. Have a look at their websites to get an impression of augmented reality on your mobile (Layar) and outdoor personalised routes (Routeyou). In my opinion these kind of companies offering their platform to others have more growth potential than the 'older' (if I may say so in such a young market) companies with closed systems.

It was interesting to notice that there are a lot of parallels between the navigation market and the e-reading market, despite being completely different markets. In both cases content goes digital and companies from different backgrounds are forced to work together to create the best commercial proposition (content, hardware, wireless connectivity). The open versus closed platform approach can also be applied to e-reading. Some cross-overs can certainly be imagined where players involved in e-reading learn from the navigation market. I am looking forward to a Dan Brown Bernini tour through Rome based on Layar...!