Futurdialog: Helping Publishers Succeed in the New Normal

Futurdialog: Helping Publishers Succeed in the New Normal


The publishing industry is in the middle of a revolution of sorts, with major publishers adopting advanced technologies in a bid to go “digital”. Every person with an Internet connection has become a publisher today, which has increased the competition at an alarming rate. So besides competing with traditional players, publishers also have to contend with the rapidly growing self-publishing/indie publishing industry.

According to the 2014 Author Earnings report, self-published authors are “dominating traditionally published authors” in sci-fi/fantasy, mystery/thriller, and romance genres. In fact, they are also taking “significant market share in all genres”.

Moreover, the content that is being published today no longer refers to just books, magazines or journals. Every day, millions of user-generated content are posted online through websites, blogs and social media channels. As per this infographic by digitalbuzz, a whopping 2 million blog posts are written every day, which is enough content to fill Time Magazine for 770 years!

The Internet Age has created a vast ocean of content, and now publishers have to find to stay afloat and be seen by their readers. To succeed in the new normal, publishers are now looking at social media, mobile solutions and different modes of content delivery.

To find effective solutions that help publishers grow in the digital age, they need to collaborate and brainstorm. Lumina Datamatics launched Futurdialog, a platform that enables publishing giants to discuss industry trends, challenges, and ways to succeed against all odds. Futurdialog is a forum that appears in many forms, one of them being an annual panel discussion with major publishers.

The third edition of Futurdialog was held on April 14, 2015 at London Book Fair. The panelists included Lisa Milton, MD, Orion Publishing, Judith Curr, President and Publisher, Atria Publishing Group, Ralf Biesemeier, Founder and CEO, Readbox Publishing GmbH, and Dan Franklin, Digital Publisher, Penguin Random House. Matthew Cashmore, a renowned Digital Media and Publishing Consultant moderated the event.

The panelists began the discussion with the impact of digital on publishing so far and then moved on to future trends. The panel agreed that publishers have been instinctual so far. They need to now adopt more sophisticated means of succeeding rather than depend on accidental success. To predict what will work and won’t, consumer insights and data are key.

Another prediction by the panelists was that content creation in the near future is going to be even more personalized, wherein publishers build communities of readers, work with them to drive pre-orders, and sell directly.

Futurdialog ended on a positive note, as the panelists feel that publishers, who have been rocked by changes since the past 5-10 years, will finally find their feet again this year.

Keys to Succeeding in the New Normal:

  • Consumer insights
  • Leverage big data to make informed decisions
  • Personalization of content
  • Driving pre-orders and direct selling