The world of publishing has undergone several changes over the last decade. Today, it can become significantly more expensive to publish paper editions of books, journals, periodicals, and textbooks.
eBooks are growing in popularity as consumers across demographics are embracing them. Consumer expectations have also risen, and consumers seek products with a superior finish, interactivity, and aesthetic appeal.
These shifts have made it more difficult for publishers to keep pace with market challenges and consumer expectations and yet, stay profitable.
Businesses are looking for ways to reduce costs while enhancing quality, and one approach to doing this is to take advantage of prepress or e-publishing services. Using tech-enabled prepress services is a core pillar of digital transformation in the publishing industry.
In this blog, we explain the growing relevance of prepress services, how businesses can benefit from them, and the upcoming trends in prepress services.
Top Challenges Faced by Publishers
Before we look at trends in prepress services, let’s first delve deeper into key market shifts that are making it challenging for publishers to stay afloat. Here is a snapshot:
1. Time-Consuming Prepress Processes
Technology has changed the way we work. By automating several prepress processes, publishers can save time, effort, and cost. However, many publishers do not have the technical know-how, savyiness, and access to tech-enabled tools to make internal shifts.
It is also quite expensive to develop such technology and expertise in-house. Hence, the production of content is a time-consuming, high-effort activity, which increases labor costs. Products are also prone to errors, and the production cycles are extended.
2. Changes in Consumer Preferences
More and more consumers are shifting to eBooks because of the interactivity and accessibility aspects. Modern eBooks are not mere PDF representations of paper books. They come embedded with video, audio, and other features like read-aloud.
However, traditional publishers do not have access to the necessary tools to bring out contemporary ebooks. Hence, they are unable to capture a higher market share.
3. Lack of Secure Distribution of Content
The publishing industry has experienced a long phase where plagiarism and duplication of content reached an all-time high. Though they continue to be challenged, publishers seek tech-enabled solutions to change this narrative.
One of the key reasons is that they end up losing revenues from sales and royalties due to unauthorized access to eBooks and duplication of paper books.
4. Shift to Digital Content
The publishing industry comprises a diverse range of businesses, including scientific journals, fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, and K-12 education content.
Traditional publishers are struggling to make the shift to digital content, which cuts across geographical barriers and helps them reach larger demographics. Hence, they need to keep up with consumer behavior concerning digital trends.
Publishers seek cost-effective solutions to these common challenges. This is where the rise of tech-enabled specialists who offer e-publishing services is designed to help publishers transform operations and bring efficiency and cost-effectiveness to their businesses.
Prepress Services Deconstructed
Publishers need to undertake several activities before any content is ready for publishing, either in digital or print format. These activities fall in the prepress cycle of the publication workflow.
The various activities include copyediting, typesetting, proofreading, digital structuring of text, and improving resolution to meet a printer’s requirements.
Today, companies can completely outsource this aspect of the publication cycle to a tech-enabled specialist offering prepress services. Prepress services specialists bring several capabilities to the table:
- Editorial and domain expertise required to enhance projects
- A tech-enabled environment, which paves the way for efficient processes, and high-quality output
- Intelligent conversion services which enable existing content to be repurposed into a contemporary piece of content with speed and compatibility
- Access to valuable data that enables publishers to shape their content focus
- End-to-end project management services
Top 4 Trends in Prepress Services
Today, publishers can outsource the entire prepress editorial operations to a specialist, or at least specific aspects they may be struggling with. Here is a rundown of the top trends in prepress services:
1. Completely Outsourcing Projects
Today, publishers can choose to completely outsource entire projects to prepress service providers. Secondly, though all publishers are companies, not all companies publish. Hence, they can benefit from end-to-end project management services as opposed to setting up in-house capabilities.
2. Quicker Turnaround Time
Today, publishers want to go to market faster than their predecessors because of the 24/7 nature of content. Publishers are looking for quick turnaround time for prepress activities, which is a key deliverable by prepress service providers.
3. High Demand for Interactive eBooks
Contemporary consumers, from K-12 learners to fiction readers, are shifting to eBooks. They are looking for functionality such as interactivity, for a more engaging experience. However, most publishers do not have the capabilities to produce interactive eBooks.
Prepress services in the USA and other countries enable them to embed video and audio, read-aloud functionality, and gamification by using formats like ePUB3 instead of PDFs.
4. Leveraging the Right Tech Stack
E-publishing services include using the latest tools to improve typesetting outcomes and enhanced color and layouts.
Specialists are also leveraging technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence for a more accurate prediction of how much and data processing to reduce and distribute the precise amount of ink.
As we can see, the publishing world is undergoing a paradigm shift. Businesses are looking for tech-enabled solutions to face challenges, deliver on customer expectations and increase market share.
Partnering with prepress services specialists can help businesses transform their everyday operations, deliver relevant products to their consumers, and build a sustainable, profitable business.
If your business is looking to leverage prepress services, Hurix Digital is geared to support you in meeting all your company’s publication needs. Our in-house teams bring extensive knowledge of the full editorial gamut to a tech-enabled environment to offer a fully finished product.
Get in touch with us to start a conversation.