Taking traditional publishing into the digital future
Category: Publishing
Date: 07/07/2019
Writer: Danie

Flame Design’s relationship with publishing began over 20 years ago. When the company was established in 1999, Flame Design’s core offering was magazine and book publishing services. Over the year, the company’s offerings widened into other design disciplines.

Flame Design has successfully managed to incorporate other marketing and digital disciplines into our publishing offerings. We have kept our finger on the pulse of new developments in the industry, offering clients professional services and expertise.

We specialise in a number of publishing fields – both traditional and online. Our publishing services include magazine, educational, fiction, non-fiction, art books, epublishing, online journals and reading applications for Apple and Android, to name a few.

When publishing any material, Flame Design takes all aspects into consideration; from cover design and layout to production, packaging and delivery. We’ve worked with various publishers over the years, bothy local and European.

In addition, Flame Design has worked closely with publishing bodies such as the Publishers’ Association of South Africa and the South African Book Fair. We have also helped local publishers and authors to exhibit at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Publishing is not a dying industry

There is a general perception that publishing is a diminishing industry with sluggish development. This is simply not the case. There will always be a market for hard copy books as people love to touch, hold and smell printed pages.

Over the past two decades, many exciting changes have taken place in the publishing industry. The major external influence has been the internet and the rise of computer technology. These paved the way for the possibility of self-publishing and other technology-driven innovations.

The internet has also encouraged better peer-review processes and open access to publishing. It has presented both a threat and an opportunity to the publishing industry. Working in conjunction with traditional publishing methods, digital publishing is pushing the industry forward and taking it into the future.

The future of the publishing industry

There is no doubt that digital technology will define a large portion of the future of publishing. The internet and mobile technology are already being used to create, sort and deliver content to publishers.

As new devices enter the market with better networking capabilities and faster internet access, consumers will be able to access more books online. The rise of e-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle is a testament to the capability of online publishing and access to information. Readers can access millions of books from anywhere in the world and pay to download them to their personal e-readers.

These devices not only remove the physical distribution costs and time associated with traditional book publishing, but they also increase convenience for the reader. They also allow small publishers and authors to market their books to a wide audience. E-readers seem to solve the problem of bulk supply and revenue for publishers by opening the market to the entire internet.

Industry experts predict that telecommunication providers will soon rival publishers with the provision of digital content for their customers. Growing network bandwidths and increased revenue from consumers are factors contributing to the possibility of telecom companies offering publishing services in the future, such as e-magazines, electronic news articles and online books.

Many websites are starting to use subscription models for distributing their content – even certain news sites. This model of publishing will probably grow in popularity as the publishers do not have to bear the cost of physical transport and distribution of books. It also cust out the markup that retailers put on books, making it slightly cheaper for consumers to access content on a monthly basis.

Steps to take for modern publishers

Publishers should not ignore mobile platforms, specifically mobile applications. Apps and mobile are separate but related entities, and publishers should develop them individually to achieve the best results. People use their phones to access a plethora of information, so it would be a severe oversight to ignore the importance of mobile going forwards.

Advertising revenue from mobile platforms can become a large source of income for publishers who embrace the technology. By embracing the needs of their consumers and delivering quality content, publishers can really thrive in the years to come. They will be able to take more risks and branch out into niche publishing markets – reaching a wider audience whilst not having to pay for the logistics.

Technological change is influencing the demand of consumers. As the demands shift, so too should modern publishers in order to meet their consumers needs. Advancements in technology are directly affecting the publishing industry and its consumers. People are changing how they read, when they read and the ways in which they access books and content.

Digital and traditional publishing working together

Traditional and digital publishing go hand-in-hand. Hard copy books often come with QR codes that take the reader to an e-commerce website where they can download a digital copy. Likewise, some online articles offer print packages of similar content that can be delivered within a couple of days. The two industries can work together to ensure that they both develop in the future.

Embracing digital technology is an important commitment for publishers to make, but the nostalgia and tactile nature of traditional publishing still lends the industry relevance today. The ultimate benefit of working together is given to the end consumer; ease of access to more information and lower costs of supplying content will be greatly appreciated by readers.

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Flame Design is multifaceted design studio based in Cape Town, South Africa. We specialise in a variety of services, including production, design, photography, publishing, digital media and art.

CONTACT INFO: Phone:+27 (0)21 462 3660, Email: danie@flamedesign.co.za, fanus@flamedesign.co.za

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