I read a very small article in Publishers Weekly today: Ingram and Taylor & Francis Sign E-Textbook Partnership. There was actually no by-line on this announcement to attribute it to a person being the source. Although this was a very small blurb of an article, it foretells monumental changes that will be occurring in the textbook publishing field in the near future.
Thinking Differently, You Don’t Say
The article in a nutshell said this:
“Under the program, students who purchase a Routledge Interactive textbook will receive 12-month complimentary access to the e-textbook through Ingram’s VitalSource Bookshelf platform. Each title includes specially-tailored interactive content, ranging from embedded videos to walkthroughs and quizzes to best suit the needs of each textbook.
Business is always a changing dynamic, and the publishing industry is no different from any other industry in terms of change and renewal. This announcement is a harbinger that some publishing executives are getting the message: Think Differently or GO HOME. If you are unwilling to think in directions that may be unorthodox, you are betting on mediocrity for sustained revenue streams. With the amount of changes that are occurring all over the book world, this is a recipe for demise.
Corporate symbiosis is a way to ensure revenue coffers stay full. Who better to partner with than Ingram? Ingram with CoreSource and Lightning Source as umbrella units that cover electronic format distribution and print-on-demand fulfillment is the perfect partner to make a publisher successful in any format delivery system. Taylor & Francis with a past history of excellence in the textbook publishing field, has staked out territory that other publishers can only view and salivate over.
Lack of Executive Vision Means Out-of-Business
As the old saying goes, if you continue to make buggy whips because you have always made buggy whips and that is what you produce, you will eventually be buggy whipped out of business. Flexibility, innovation and constant analysis for a changing industry landscape will put you in the driver’s seat in the long run and ensure continued viability and profitability as a corporate entity. Deviating from the normal constraints of due diligent business practices in an evolving and volatile economic environment is tantamount to corporate suicide.
Here is another quote from the original article:
“By providing these enhanced e-textbooks, with interactive content embedded within the text, we are empowering students and educators to more easily access our digital content and create their own personalized learning experience, combining the best of print and digital,” said David Cox, head of digital publishing and development, Routledge Books.
Corporate Planning: “It goes to 11.”
A personalized learning system is what most publishers are looking to get out to the Marketplace. Thinking differently, partnering, doing the unexpected are all traits and signs of a company that is forging a successful future off the beaten track. It still remains to be seen if this partnering will be the dominant player in the textbook field, but with the track records of those involved, I think this will be a marriage that will be mutually beneficial to both parties in the short-term and down the road as well. Thinking differently in this case means, “It goes to 11.”