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The International Publishers Forum took place in Beijing earlier today ahead of the official opening of the Beijing International Book Fair, with a keynote speech from Ingenta CEO, George Lossius.
Sharing a platform with other leading figures in world publishing such as Stephen Bourne, chief executive of Cambridge University Press, George explained how Chinese publishers could make use of new developments in publishing technology to win greater market share at home and abroad. Meanwhile, Stephen emerged as a powerful advocate for publishers to invest in publishing technology equal to the task of coping with demand for hit content, while opening up opportunities for new sources of revenue.
Selected extracts from George and Stephen's speech are below, with George's full presentation to follow soon.
Stephen Bourne, Chief Executive of Cambridge University Press, said at the International Publishers Forum in Beijing on Tuesday 30 August 2011:
“Check whether your publishing software and hardware can do what you need. It’s great to have clever ideas but you have to ensure publishing software and hardware can cope with demands of a new age. Can you system break a book into chapters or fractions and sell them individually for an attractive price to both reader and to you. And will they permit you to account for these transactions satisfactorily.
And what happens if you have a particularly unusual piece of news or a photo that everyone wants to see with the consequence that the whole world is trying to access your systems at once. Will your system crash or do you have architecture to enable you to cope with the extraordinary demands of the new age. Maybe that’s something you need to look at urgently.”
Speaking at the same conference George Lossius, CEO of Ingenta said:
“Since the times of the invention of printing, few things have disturbed publishing as technology is today. After hundreds of years of tranquillity, the maturity of certain technologies and in particular, communication technologies means that we are now again in an era of tremendous change.
Over the last decade academic, research and education publishing in many countries have grasped this change so that academic & research publishing is now 95% digital as well as print. These publishers are now thinking of going to the next level of sophistication, whilst in other sectors such as trade book publishing they are only just entering a true phase of digital opportunity.
Publishers sometimes hesitate to invest because they are uncertain about what the future holds. And I agree that we do not know exactly what the future holds, but we know enough to realise that investment is not optional if publishers want to sustain or generate increased success, but a requirement.
The Chinese market is an enormous opportunity for foreign publishers, and the international markets an enormous opportunity for Chinese publishers. But it cannot be done alone. Partnerships, joint ventures, combined publishing programmes, and specialist solutions providers like us, all will be key factors in success. We see the opportunity for Chinese publishers for greater success here in China and internationally, but we know that, just as publishers need to think about different ways of doing business, for us to be part of that we need to invest in China, and we also know we need a talented, innovative and ambitious partner in China. I suggest that publishers, whether focussing on China or abroad, will need the same, and we think they will need partners that can bring solutions.”