The latest reporting from successful publishers

In our fast-changing times, the publishing trade press often takes the – surely unwitting – tone that the book industry is threatened by unsurmountable competition from digital – online sales of both printed- and e-books. The setting for these stories of struggle is the efficiencies contemporary commerce facilitates, passing savings to happy customers, to successful ends.

There’s no need to throw out the baby that is the book industry with the stale bathwater of traditional printing with its unnecessary costs that limit publishing options (e.g. a guaranteed market for a book – in its complete but portable form)1. Ebooks facilitate previously unviable publications, readerships — and publisher profits. But ebooks aren’t the only opportunity technology presents publishers. For all sales, operations can be more efficient – and thus profitable – by streamlining not only the flow of information from author to reader, but commercial information from consumer back through the publishing channel, reliably managing payments due to all parties so that working with a large number of authors needn’t present extra work. A tool such as IBM Cognos Business Intelligence offers automated business reporting, as well as new sales insights2. Amazon was not built on ebooks, but on efficient digital operations from the outset. No publisher has missed the opportunity to implement ‘fluent’ reporting systems that make each unique business as efficient as it can be. Amazon haven’t conquered the world; they are not a monopsony while authors can choose other publishers with which to work3.

So, what’s the latest reporting from successful publishers?

It’s automated reporting of book consumption data that runs readily through the complete sales channel. This hard-nosed response on the theme of efficient business infrastructures leaves aside the notion that Amazon devalues publishing; not sharing booksellers’ love of literature4. Let us let books win hearts and minds; efficiency for publishing operations large and small will win the battle to keep a rich and varied publishing industry alive.

To start looking into ways your business can benefit from a reporting solution, please contact us. We have 21 years’ experience installing Business Intelligence systems for the publishing industry.

Further reading

  • Five reasons why the right BI is like the right partner
  • The IBM Cognos family: Analytics in the hands of everyone who needs it
  • IBM Cognos Express


1. “Before there used to be too-big-to-carry and too-short-to-print, now all those barriers are gone.” Michael Tamblyn, CEO of Kobo, From Papyrus to Pixels, The Economist
2. For ebooks; insights are multi-dimensional “[P]ublishers will be able to see which books are gulped down, which sipped slowly”, Chapter 1, Ibid.
3. Wylie praises ‘end to publishers cowering to Amazon’, The Bookseller
4. Cheap Words: Amazon is good for customers. But is it good for books? The New Yorker

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