Marcus Leaver, President, Sterling Publishing:
Will be three different businesses in the future: immersive text, illustrated text for children, illustrated text for adults.
Future not half as scary as people make it out to be.
Beautiful objects: quality will be the most important predictor of success. With all the entertainement options out there qulaity will lead to success. A lot of frtee content on the web and if consumers are going to pay for content quality will be a deciding factor.
World does not need another book: those who do less will succeed more. , Are publishing far too many books. Need to create fewer and better books. Publishing companies should not be sausace machines. World does want the “best content”.
Niche is good, general is toast: market for books, and all entertainment, will continue to segment. Books need have a clear purpose, not a broad “general” appeal. A books needs to have a reason for a consumer to buy it. Consumers will continue to gravitate to niche content and publishers must recognize this and attack each segment with a unique marketing and sales strategy
Discoverability is the greatest challenge: need to focus on marketing to the end book buyer, not to each other. BEA is an example. Publishers are very good at marketing books to each other, but not so good at marketing to the consumer. Mobile search efforts have gotten tremendous converstion rate.
Must be multi-platform: marketing must be promoted across all platforms. Marketing must stop relying on tactics of ages gone by. This should be the golden age of marketing.
Best salesman is the author: authors are key in marketing. When engage authors in a sales and marketing strategy have shown great success. Authors need to use social media along with the publisher. Authors know their audience really, really well and need to listen to the author when designing a marketing campaign.
Brands and books: no longer just sell books. Need to get away from book by book marketing. Books have a long tail – the backlist. Need to recognize that a publisher can market a brand, especially in the backlist. Instant best seller should not be goal, but need a strategy of continous promotion.
Product innovation is in the hands of everyone: world changing so fast that can’t keep up with all that is happening. Look to youngest and newest employees to get ideas for product innovation. Look outside the industry, and outside New York, for innovations. Need to stop formulaic approach to book publishing.
Customer should decide how they want to consume their content: bundling will become more and more important. Need to work harder to figure out how to do it. Gives the consumers choice and they will expect all entertainment, including books, to give it. Bundling will be hard for the industry, but they need to figure it out.
Biggest challenge: is not ebooks. Is in trying to figure out how to make books “necessary” for the consumer. Need to build real brands and not just print books. Media has always had convulsion moments and this is just another one of them.