Many of the TBI team enjoyed soaking up the buzz and inspiration at The London Book Fair last month. It’s a key opportunity to hear from expert voices in publishing, to network with fellow marketing enthusiasts, admire creative exhibitor stands, and of course count up those steps, steps, and more steps!
In this first of two round up posts, we’re focusing on some of the key trends covered in the sessions and at the stands.
1. Technology: metadata, AI and agile innovation
According to a recent survey from Deanta Publishing Services, the top priorities for publishers include improving the discoverability of products through marketing, metadata, and technology, improving technology workflows, and improving or partnering with content delivery platforms.
As speakers from Penguin Random House, Bonnier Books, Hachette UK, and Pan Macmillan discussed in “The Role of Technology in Publishing”, the increased accessibility and availability of metadata allows publishers to respond more quickly to trends. The session also covered the future of AI, with publishers discussing how it can be harnessed to drive efficiency within the publishing process and to help with marketing.
AI was also the focus of Costas Andriopoulos’s session, debating the impact of robots and AI on the future of jobs, and how to not be replaced by them. Key insights focussed on the importance of being curious as a human, around the limitations of AI based on its rules and programming, and on its lack of ability to stop and reflect.
The BMJ’s Agile Journey session also looked at the role of technology in supporting author experience. For publishers to stay nimble in the rapidly changing publishing landscape, a more agile approach with constant innovation is necessary. BMJ shared how their collaboration with Kryadocs has allowed for seamless collaboration between teams across continents, continuous improvement and innovation in processes reporting, and resilience in the face of unprecedented change.
For publishers to stay nimble in the rapidly changing publishing landscape, a more agile approach with constant innovation is necessary.
2. Open access
In addition to keeping up to date with the technology trends identified, open access remains a significant area of focus for academic publishers. In the Deanta ‘trends in academic publishing’ survey, 50% of publishers stated that authors have shown increased demand for OA, and because of the expansion 63% of publishers have established dedicated workflows for OA journal publishing. Inevitably, these changes have significant implications for marketing teams, with many of our clients now considering what a shift to author marketing will require. We’re looking forward to digging into this topic further at the forthcoming Society for Scholarly Publishing conference – watch out for more news on this soon!
50% of publishers stated that authors have shown increased demand for OA.
Closely tied up with the transition to open access and a shift to B2C marketing, many publishers also commented on the need to invest in their brand marketing. Being visible to authors at the right points in their publishing journey is increasingly important when authors are choosing where to submit their research. Brands that understand their communities, who invest in tailoring their approach to speak directly to these communities, and who understand how to tell authentic stories consistently across their channels are well placed in an author-centric publishing system.
Being visible to authors at the right points in their publishing journey is increasingly important.
When looking to the future of publishing and sustainability, a number of sessions showed that collaboration is key to becoming more sustainable. Publishers need to work together and share best practices to reduce their carbon footprint.
Collaboration is key to becoming more sustainable.
Inevitably, across the floor, we heard more on these topics from many publishing clients. The future of academic publishing requires a hard look at collaboration, innovation, and leadership to adapt to the changing landscape.
Look out for our second LBF round up with some of our favourite highlights for marketing teams.