| Editors are being pressured to do somethingin
electronic publishing. They are told that other companies are using the
Internet to store information, make it readily retrievable, and share
it throughout the world. The fact is that publishing companies are just
starting to enter this strange world and need to know the current status
of the Internet.
The Internet as a whole is doubling in size every year. It is not
homogenous:some parts are less dynamic and tend to be forgotten, while
one part (the World Wide Web [www]) is among the largest growth areas
in all of today’s society. And that high rate of growth creates market
instability, which must be a critical factor in your plans.
Marketing versus distribution
The distinction between marketing and distribution is important. You
can visit the Amazon home page and browse catalogs and even read a few
sample pages from books. You then place your order and the book will
arrive from UPS. In this case, the book is being marketedon the
Internet and is distributedby UPS
At other sites, you can read a book and download its files
for printing at home. Or you can browse for specific information, as
you would browse the shelves of a library.
Marketing via the Internet
www exceeds even the hype of its most vocal supporters as a marketing
channel, and Neilsen (famous for television ratings) is now evaluating
home pages. People currently spend more time with www than all of the
time spent watching video rentals in the United States, and web time
is expected to approach domestic television time this year.
All market profiles stress the upscale nature of the Internet markethigh
income, high education, high intelligence, North American and European,
etc. And yet it takes surprisingly little money to reach this market:user-friendly
programs are available to help you create a home page, and page maintenance
can be less than $600 per year. On the other side, home pages like Hitachi’s
are reported to cost $250,000 to produce and $42,000 a month to maintain.
The difference lies with the anticipated and proven competence of the
agents responsible for developing home pages and the rates they command.
Distribution via the Internet
There currently is no commercialdistribution of product on the
Internetyou can download portions of books, but a secure payment
mechanism is still in the future.
Marketers currently let you download chapters of a book. You can print
out this material and read it at home: if you like it, you can call
an 800 number to purchase a licensing number that opens the file for
the final chapters. Publishers are finding that people may read a chapter
on the net, but prefer to purchase the final, hard copy rather than
spend the time and money downloading and printing the total file.
The bottom line: Books can be easily placed on the Web, but for what
purpose if there is no payment to the author/publisher?
Technology of the net
High growth rates are inversely proportional to market stability. Strategic
planners have long recognized that high growth rates of a market signal
both great opportunities and great risk.
We recognize the potential of the Web, but also must realize that
it is difficult to predict what technology will emerge, or what company
will become dominant. A year ago, an informed observer might have predicted
that the future of books on the Web would be in the form of hypertext
markup language (HTML). Now, that same observer might predict that Web
books will be in Adobe’s printer device format (pdf).
Publishers like HarperCollins have home pages and claim that these
are successful in reaching their market. Bookstores like Amazon and
Barnes and Noble vie for ascendency on the Webbut neither of these
electronic operations are profitable. High traffic sites like Yahoo
and Netscape will promote books from their sitesfor a hefty feebut
there is no guarantee that these ads generate actual sales.
No one can predict how the e-market will evolve or when it will solidify
into an opportunity for publishers. The best you can do is to keep options
open and be prepared to move quickly when (not if) opportunities occur.
When this market coalesces, opportunity willknock for your books.
We have archived every project that we have ever set. We started this
process 12 years ago to make future revisions easier. Little did we
realize then that we were keeping the option open to place alternative
editions on the World Wide Web! Because of our archives, we can immediatelydownload
these books so that you can take advantage of the opportunity when it
For further information, please email us, including your name, affiliation, and areas of interest,
and we will get back to you quickly.
152 Starheim Road
Stamford, NY 12167
607 652-BOOK (2665)
815 346-5272 (fax)
Copyright © 2001 Generic Compositors, a Division
of Stonecrest Industries, Inc.
1/27/12 12:56 PM
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