Diversification: prime key to success


Editor – S K Khurana More recently, the news of ceasing publishing operations at Hachette New Zealand, the local arm of the global publisher Hachette, set me fresh thinking. This publishing house was facing increased competition from overseas titles and preference of ebooks over printed books.

Infact, the book publishing industry worldwide seems to be going through a rough patch – lot of publishing companies and bookstores are shutting down and those who are still running are facing the problems of huge piled up stocks.

But, there are also a few publishers who have not only managed to survive these odds but are doing brilliantly. They have either opted for product diversification or for international geographic diversification. While there are many options for product diversification, licensing is one such key to reach a wider audience geographically.

Many publishers are catering to niche segments – cookbooks, lifestyle, business, coffee table books, picture books – to name a few, and they are doing exceedingly well in their segment. There are so many genres and so many languages still waiting to be tapped. For example, Harlequin Enterprises, the publishers of popular Mills & Boon series of English romantic novels, has diversified into regional publishing by translating two of its best-selling titles in Hindi and Tamil to reach a wider audience.

Similarly, publishers who have already diversified into the ebooks segment are also enjoying the increased sales due to their ebooks available at leading portals, across the globe. Competition is fierce but the opportunities are endless. With ebooks come the apps which the publishers can definitely look into.

While, children publishers can use the concept of edutainment to grab the eyeballs of young readers. But, there’s also a word of caution as children have disruptive mind and publishers need to take it into account that they do not deviate from their prime motive to impart education.

This sets us to reiterate the fact that publishers have the content. It is upto them to optimize it. Use it on various platforms – give it a variation, twist it to suit the needs of the target audience…let your content be the winner every time.

There are also a few publishers who have diversified into the stationery segment – offering world-class high-quality stationery for children and corporates. And let me tell you, the demand for stationery does not seem to come down in the immediate future. A lot of innovation can be done in this segment as well.

The idea is to be ahead of the competitors to cash on the latest developments happening in the industry. Be the first one to tap it and make it your USP. Remember, diversification is the key – the print runs may be shrinking but not the potential of content.

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