There’s no question that the publishing industry is evolving rapidly. New technology companies spring up daily providing the latest technologies – tablets, e-readers, smartphones – as well as publishing services like file conversion and optimization. But in the frenzy to ensure their content is as widely available as possible without incurring prohibitive setup and/or conversion costs, publishers may be losing sight of what matters most: control of their unique content.
Traditionally a publisher reaches its customer by way of a distributor, a firm responsible for warehousing the physical books and delivering them to bookstores and libraries. In the digital age this model has endured, but the nature of digital content versus physical print content necessitates subtle contractual differences between the publisher and its digital distributor. These contractual differences result in a shift from passive distribution to active aggregation – and therefore, control – of content. Once content control is in the hands of the distributor – the Amazons, Apples, and Googles of the publishing world – the publisher as we know it becomes obsolete.
After 30 years in the publishing business, OBS is dedicated to keeping control of content where it belongs: in the hands of the publishers. And so we are proud to announce a new publishing pilot, Tiller Books, that does just that. Through a partnership with the Harvard Book Store (HBS) and seasoned technology firms, OBS is offering free high-quality scanning of up to 20 best-selling titles – from the front or the back list – along with distribution for both print books and ebooks through our online storefront, ProtoBooks. The publisher sets the ebook price and selects the business model – ranging from strict Digital Rights Management to institutional subscription – that best suits their readers and their content. For the print component, we can either integrate ProtoBooks product listings with publishers’ existing print catalogs, or offer traditional print fulfillment, paperback print-on-demand (POD) through HBS’s Espresso Book Machine, or custom POD options through our scanning partner. ProtoBooks also provides detailed sales and customer reporting – valuable information that most major e-tailers will not share.
In the age of the aggregator, OBS stands firm in its commitment to publishers. Write to us today to learn more about the pilot Tiller Books program, and how together, we can put publishers back at the helm of the publishing industry.