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Content still king, children’s publishers told

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A major gathering of children’s publishers has been urged to stay focused on content despite the increasing familiarity children have with new technological advances. 

I totally agree with the view that in order to take print content to a digital platform, the wiz bang effects need to add value and enjoyment on the part of the reader, namely children interacting with books on a digital platform. I think the winners in this arena will add interactivity, animation and content in a way that results in a high quality experience.

But if you agree with the concept that “content is still king” , then I think content+interactivity is “master of the universe” 🙂

There are other lessons and thoughts for folks looking to publish or re-publish children’s books in this bookseller.com post by Graeme Neill, and an interesting thought from Matt Locke I do not quite agree with, namely that “Facebook may not mean anything in another five years”… Having just seen “the Social Network” I believe Facebook will manage and adjust to stay relevant.

AUTO BILD für iPad !

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Is it just me, or does it seem that European magazines are way more active in developing iPad and tablet digital publications?

Recently there have been a slew of digital magazines released in Europe, and Axel Springer Verlag is just the latest examples of this. It would also appear to me that the pricing and subscription models are more consumer friendly in the EU compared to the US, where publishers seem determined to set an example and train tablet users to expect high pricing models for Magazine Content.

So which is the better strategy? Attracting loyal readership with low pricing and making money through sales volume is one way, or hold out for higher pricing and risk fewer readers of the digital editions?

While I think the production costs for digital content may seem high to publishers initially, I feel the exponential growth of the tablet market on multiple platforms is being ignored in the US approach. Production costs may be high, but ultimately the distribution costs are not when scaling to potentially millions of readers. To me the scalability of the digital platforms are the real differentiation to print, where each additional copy costs extra ink, paper, packaging, transportation, distribution, warehousing, inventory and waste copies.

So I guess personally I come down on the side of lower pricing and future volume, even if this initially means subsidizing the effort slightly. Plus, establishing and automating digital publishing work flows is an experience best had in the beginning of the upcoming rush to tablet publishing.

What do you think?