British publishing is highly creative, digitally developed and relentlessly and restlessly innovative.
On this page – through the links in the left hand column - we showcase some of the latest examples of digital publishing from across our membership.
The PA has also created an ebook Innovation with Impact which features some of the best examples of innovation in publishing and shows the impact it is having on our society and economy. It draws upon examples of developing products, services and business models from across The Publishers Association membership.
It is available from the iBook Store here or as a pdf here.
In creating this document The PA has had countless conversations with senior executives, digital innovators from a range of publishers. These have enabled us to answer the key questions we set out to address.
What does innovation look like?
Whether the content is a novel, a text book, an academic journal or a children’s story, there is a spectrum of ways in which it can be presented. On the one end there is the familiar – and still important – printed word on the physical page. On the other, there is an endless realm of possibility. We are clear that a pdf version of a book is not innovation; at least not any more. Nor are the now ubiquitous “books behind glass” examples of it. As this ebook demonstrates, innovation can take the form of being able to take text and manipulate it, fly through it, mash it up, annotate it, visualise it, play with it, play through it, and many other things besides.
Innovation means breaking free of the constraints associated with the physical book: so either the material considerations such as numbers of pages; or conceptual factors, such as linear narrative need no longer apply.
Innovation means taking a learning platform and moving away from it being a set of questions, with a set of marked answers to come later; but bundling in learning, testing and assessment in the same place.
Innovation means developing tools for research which allow links, connections and analysis to be done at scales and speeds unimaginable to the human reader.
Why do publishers innovate?
Partly because they can. The digital revolution has given publishers an exhilarating suite of tools with which to make their content more accessible, more informative, more fun and easier to access. These techniques are constantly being developed and perfected so that there is no centre of gravity to innovation, just a constantly evolving landscape of opportunity.
But publishing innovation it is not simply an exercise in development for its own sake. Ultimately, publishers exist to serve as their link between their authors and readers, and so innovation comes as a result of addressing the needs of both those communities.
What does it mean for the reader?
If there is no positive benefit for anyone other than the publisher then innovation is a vain and probably expensive exercise. In each chapter of this ebook we look at the “Impact of Innovation” on Knowledge & Research, Education, Reading and Libraries. In each case, publishing innovation is transforming the way in which people get the things they read and how they read them.
I hope you find this ebook stimulating. We will be updating it on a regular basis as publishers’ incessant development of new innovation continues.