The countdown has begun for the Frankfurt Book Fair, which will be held from October 19-23, 2016 at the Frankfurt Trade Fair grounds in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Touted as the industry’s biggest trade fair, the show has a lot in store for you. With 7,100 exhibitors from more than 100 countries, around 275,000 visitors, over 4,000 events and approximately 10,000 accredited journalists – Frankfurt Book Fair is a must-attend event. With its Business Club, the fair offers essential services and an ideal setting for the activities of publishers, entrepreneurs, pioneers, experts and visionaries.
Opening press conference with David Hockney
The painter, photographer and multimedia artist David Hockney will appear as a key note speaker at the opening press conference. As part of The Arts+ programme, Hockney will present A Bigger Book, the new 500-page, large-format SUMO book, published by Taschen. The Arts+ is a new trade fair for content and digital business models in the cultural and creative sector. Taschen is one of the founding partners of The Arts+.
“David Hockney is one of the most multifaceted artists of the present day,” says Juergen Boos, director of the Frankfurt Book Fair.
The Arts+ (19 October 2016) offers an ideal place to discuss digitisation as an opportunity and to get new business models in the culture and creative industry off the ground. Using artificial intelligence for content development, 3D printing in the fields of architecture and fashion, virtual reality environments in museums and for urban planning, and digital marketplaces for creative products are just a few examples of how new technologies can be integrated into the cultural sector. But how can stakeholders benefit from this? These questions will be debated at THE ARTS+.
Political discussions and artistic positions
Brexit, the attempted coup in Turkey, armed conflict in Syria, the refugee crisis and populist tendencies in Europe, the election campaign in the USA: This year, the political events of the day are sure to dominate conversations at the Frankfurt Book Fair – and will be taken up in numerous events and panel discussions. After all, “Europe!” is this year’s slogan for the Weltempfang, the Book Fair’s cultural-political platform in Hall 3.1. “Since a purely economic approach to the European project clearly doesn’t have the necessary integrative power, we’d like to launch new discussions about substantive issues”, said Juergen Boos.
Guest of honour country: The Netherlands
The Frankfurt Book Fair’s Guest of Honour this year provides an excellent example of how we can overcome borders and, together, focus on similarities in 2016. For, this year, the Guest of Honour in Frankfurt isn’t a nation but a linguistic and cultural region. Flanders and the Netherlands’ exceptionally high number of new releases attests to how actively and successfully they have worked together: 422 titles in a wide range of genres, including literary fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s and young adult literature, comics and graphic novels.
Though the number of exhibitors will be roughly the same as last year, it is expected that there will be a slightly higher number of trade visitors. The Frankfurt Book Fair shows strong growth in the field of children’s and young adult books, one of the best-performing segments in the industry worldwide. A new area for international children’s and young adult publishers in Halls 5.1 and 6.1 will bring together 300 publishers – including many first-time exhibitors. Yet children’s and young adult books aren’t the only booming area for rights and licensing – 460 tables have been sold in the Literary Agents & Scouts Centre (LitAg), and 692 agents from 31 countries will represent their authors here.
A new collaboration with the Man Booker Prize, one of the most important literary prizes in the English-speaking world, highlights outstanding literary voices – a number of which are expected in Frankfurt. The prize will be awarded in London on October 25, 2016.
For fans and supporters of the Frankfurt Book Fair, “Friends of the Frankfurt Book Fair” has been established this year. Founding members include not just representatives of the city of Frankfurt am Main, but also businesses such as the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Fraport AG, Messe Frankfurt and Tourismus+Congress GmbH Frankfurt am Main, as well as associations such as DEHOGA Hessen and the Frankfurt Hotel Alliance. “Friends of the Frankfurt Book Fair” offers businesses and institutions a place to network with new international target groups from the economic and cultural sector. In addition, the idea of “Friends” is also aimed at visitors to the Book Fair and will allow, for the first time, 1,000 of them (along with their plus-ones) to attend the trade-visitor days from October 19-21, 2016.
Where food is a global language
An entire culinary atlas on 1,000 square metres: approximately 80 exhibitors from more than 20 countries will gather this year in the Gourmet Gallery of the Frankfurter Buchmesse (Hall 3.1, K 90 to L 135), where they will present around 1,000 titles. For the first time, exhibitors will also be present from Jamaica, Kurdistan, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Japan and Sweden.
“Content is still king and is created to support device-agnostic delivery”
says Samir Kakar, president, Aptara in conversation with AABP.
Aptara provides end-to-end digital learning and content-development services to market-leading publishing companies. “At the core of Aptara’s success is its depth of experience in every stage of the digital development life cycle for new products, along with the proven ability to convert any type of content from print into a full-range of digital output deliverables for omni-channel distribution,” shares Samir Kakar, president, Aptara.
Handling shift of content to mobile/LMS (Learning Management system)
Due to Aptara’s vast experience enabling delivery through an LMS/LCMS, (including hands-on experience with top LMS providers and our own open-sourced LMS), it provides LMS setup and administration, technology support, content migration, authoring services, legacy conversion services, and automation support. “Based on the LMS/LCMS capabilities and project requirements, Aptara helps its client partners develop adaptive courseware, learning interactivities, and digital assets. These products are device-agnostic, responsive in design, and are enabled for delivery over leading mobile devices,” adds Samir.
“Based on the increased use of educational technology in schools and universities, there is a shift from a print-first to a digital-first workflow. Therefore, publishers across the globe are seeking digital-first products. Technology-centric design has to be adopted and implemented to align with the digital-first methodology. Content is still king and is created to support device-agnostic delivery, specifically designed for mobile devices. Content-delivery platforms will continue to enable personalized and adaptive learning pathways while supporting collaboration. Technology will evolve to provide robust analytics for digital-learning outcomes and data-driven support for publishers,” shares Samir.
He further adds, “We are noticing an increased use of technology in education, STM, and professional publishing arenas such as personalized and adaptive courseware, collaborative and social media learning, engaging animations, learning labs, and other digital-learning interactivities. Furthermore, Aptara has seen a similar shift in learning in the corporate marketplace (another area that Aptara services daily). There seems to be an interesting trend of learning as a whole (be it from a student in one of any number of grades or a corporate employee training on a new area) finding new ways to come together that are more similar than they have been in the past. Aptara provides content in so many different areas that we are uniquely positioned to be the early identifiers of such trends in all areas of 'learning'.”
Aptara predominantly works with North American and select European publishers due to the larger requirements for turnkey projects and content development. “The work includes content development, technology development, and all aspects of learning and instructional-design development. Publishers in the United States and select European countries are typically foremost in terms of innovation,” he says.
The Indian clients…
“Working with Indian publishers has traditionally been limited to the development of and/or conversion of print-based products. Some challenges we face are multiple iterations and changes to content, limited instructional-design strategy (due to cost restraints), and a lack of innovative product features. These challenges limit the ability to leverage emerging learning designs and digital technologies to create next-generation digital products. However, Aptara is working to change the innovative landscape for publishers in India,” concludes Samir.
“We would like to be more involved in the planning process with publishers”
shares Vinod Gulati, Saku Group, in conversation with AABP.
Established in 1991, the Saku Group is today an ISO 9001:2000 certified entity to contend within the printing and publishing industry. A major step forward came in 1996 with the establishment of Saurabh Printers that altered the face of the group to a complete solutions provider to the print and publishing industry, right from type-setting and design to handling multi-location distribution and delivery of the packaged product. Over the last three years the Saku group has witnessed a five-fold increase in its turnover. Apart from catering to major publishing giants like Oxford University Press, Penguin, Taylor & Francis, Kogan Page, Thieme-A & Anthem Press through its export division, the Saku Group has also established its first offshore venture in Westman Printing. This company caters to the requirements of the Australia commercial and publishing market.
The revenue pie…
“Presently 85% of our revenue is generated locally. This includes international publishers and Indian publishers. While, 15% of our revenue is generated from exports,” tells Vinod Gulati.
Working with Indian vs. international publishers…
“The average Indian publisher is conservative in approach and they generally believe in smaller runs, inventory costs are lower, but have less returns. Indian publisher normally do not work with performance targets and pressures associated with MNCs. This results in less falsification of numbers to achieve KPI’s. While, international publishers offer payment within terms. They have better management systems and they are generally more efficient in overall book manufacturing process,” he shares.
However, Vinod Gulati feels that some Indian publishers work with less professional employees. “At times, it can be difficult for a printer to explain the technical challenges. Then, there is less cross-media diversification,” he adds. “Since the overhead cost of working in an international organization is always high, so the publisher to achieve the gross margin will always go for cost cutting with printers.”
Good practices followed…
So what are the good practices such printers would like to follow? “As a print provider, we would like to be more involved in the planning process with our publisher customers, so that we are more prepared to address the urgencies associated with book production. Also, it is important to have regular reporting; efficient communication down the production line to foresee bottlenecks and manage deadlines; and positive identification of issues without passing the blame, so that core problems can be identified and tackled,” concludes Vinod.
“With mobile apps, there is a need for analytics to analyse and optimize content”
says Dr. Anjhana Priya, business strategist – Health Sciences, diacriTech Technologies Pvt Ltd in conversation with AABP.
diactiTech Technologies is a leading provider of book, journal and multimedia publishing services specializing in the Science, Technical and Medical (STM) fields. Equipped with the knowledge and capabilities that allow for simultaneous print and digital product deliveries, their production facilities work around the clock to ensure compelling advantages to publishers for pre-publishing, editorial and conversion services.
“In addition, proven technical expertise in digital initiatives has made us uniquely positioned to handhold customers towards their transition to digital-first publishing which is becoming the new standard of progression in the ever-changing publishing world. We have been producing books and digital services for the top global publishers in Australia, Singapore, India and South Africa successfully for the past several years,” shares Dr. Anjhana Priya, business strategist – Health Sciences, diacriTech Technologies Pvt Ltd.
“Nowadays, shift of content to mobile isn’t just about consuming content on smaller screens, it is also about consuming content on-the-go which enforces a new set of requirements. There is also more demand for the right interface (UI) and greater user experience (UX). At diacriTech, we provide a Mobile first approach (providing greater UI/UX) by considering factors such as the informational architecture, a design that is more content-focused and eventually more user-focused. We target to reach all readers regardless of the platform they are using,” shares Dr. Anjhana.
Building accessibility and Efficacy in Education through content use in LMS is something diacriTech is very much into the past few years. “We help to populate LMS platform with content from the results of data conversion (e.g. to create accounts, terms, courses, sections, users etc), revamp content to make education an interactive process, test uploaded content compatibility, manage all the media assets etc. Supplement this with Augmented Reality techniques to engage learners while using EPub for accessibility and you end up with the perfect landscape to facilitate digital and classroom learning through our LMS implementation,” adds Dr Anjhana.
In today’s technology-reliant world, the fact that content is becoming ever more digital and mobile is bound to cause a disruptive impact on publishing now and in the near future. “Increase in production costs and the advances in technologies used to create feature-rich immersive eBooks with interactive and immersive media are driving factors that make major publishers rethink about publishing in a tech-driven market. To continuously help publishers prepare for longer term future growth, we handle everything from simple typesetting to innovative interactive book apps as eBooks continue to open up larger audiences,” said Dr Anjhana, who further added, “Another recent movement in the technology sector of the publishing industry herald’s cloud-based solutions. The future of digital publishing is cloud-based. At diacriTech cloud-based solutions is an integral part of streamlining production tasks, providing collaborate authoring environments not to mention our in-house developed cloud-based e-reader.”
“We work with both local and international publishers. The process of high volume document publishing involves various tasks that are not part of the core competencies for many overseas publishing companies. Added to this, for overseas publishers in the STM fields, outsourcing offers a wide range of potential benefits in terms of cost and quality,” shares Dr Anjhana.
On asking about the challenges faced, Dr Anjhana replies, “Some of the challenges faced while working with publishers in India arise because of the fragmented nature of publishing and bookselling. The investments required in terms of time and money are not manageable for most Indian publishers.
They are also unable to keep pace with rapidly changing formats, platforms and software.”
On a concluding note…
There is a paradigm shift in Technology towards more User Engagement. “As mobile devices gets more sophisticated and screen sizes more varied, more thinking needs to go into the UI/UX development for each and every app to exceed the usability of the other apps in the marketplace. The good news is that we have our own in-house UI/UX experts nurtured to design engaging, data-driven apps that offer excellent user experience for the end consumers. We have also developed significant expertise in the accelerating tech trend of developing Virtual Reality related apps (Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR). These apps offer truly immersive & realistic educational experiences,” tells Dr Anjhana.
“As more and more publishers use mobile apps for digital content distribution, there is an increasing need for analytics to analyse and optimize content. Analytics help to provide more visibility on reader’s interactions with digital publications and provide valuable insights to make informed decisions. We would like to address this shift towards analytics service by enabling publishers to leverage real-time data analytics through specialized apps using which actionable insights can be gained to drive revenue growth,” concluded Dr Anjhana.
Indian exhibitors @ FBF (As on September 30, 2016)
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