Many TOC 2011 speakers speculated on the future of the publishing industry. Sameer Sharif, CEO, iPublishCentral, devoted his entire presentation to that subject. His firm is a self-service digital content publishing and distribution platform that allows publishers to easily create products and make them available in the cloud.
Sharif said that boundaries in publishing are disappearing, and new opportunities are being created. A global digital publishing infrastructure and network is being created. For example:
- A distributor in Brazil is creating his own infrastructure to support his publisher and retail customers,
- A consortium of universities in the Middle East is building a locally hosted content and delivery infrastructure so that they no longer need to subscribe to content offerings,
- Low cost smart phones and tables are penetrating the market in India and creating networks for people, and
- Local governments in Africa are funding e-reader devices for school children.
Digital strategies cannot just consist of delivering files to Amazon, Google, etc. A system to store digital files is also necessary. In addition, new network points must be leverage . We must understand what customers are doing and what kind of content they want. One solution is to make books available in the cloud to serve customers who want books in any format, any time, anywhere. Publishers must find the right partners to help them with this opportunity. They must start building an infrastructure and make the global market a local one.
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor