Will You Miss Paper?

NewspapersThe marketing of a paperless world dates back to the last century. With no further reference to the gag line about a “paperless bathroom,” what has been impacting our worlds is the onrush of digital everything taking over the publishing of magazines, newspapers and books.

Early in 2012, discussions and announcements are raising everyone’s focus towards the rise of digital reading material with a decline in paper based printing. These are indicators that need to be assessed by anyone in the process of either doing research or the process of creating research materials. The world of digital will increase both the volume of researchable material and the accessibility to far distant data that can be located anywhere. Researchers will not have to travel the Library at Alexandria to immerse themselves in knowledge and information. Here are three recent indicators about the move from paper to non-paper:

Apple expands its volume of digital textbooks to be read on the iPad Tablet. WSJ 1/20/12

Exchanging an overweight backpack filled with text books for a Tablet computer will help shoulders, spines, and knees to survive High School, College and Grad Schools. Apple developed a new version of its iBook’s Apps that support textbooks. These digital versions will include quizzes, note-taking, study cards and other interactive features.

Currently, Apple has agreements with McGraw-Hill, Pearson, with titles from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to be announced soon. Textbooks will be sold for $14.99 or less. Eventually, Apple said, it expects textbooks for almost every subject and grade level.

Apple also released a free tool for authors to create interactive titles. Consequently, authors of research material can start to focus on how to re-engineer how a book can be used as flexible learning tools rather than sequential page after page.

Amazon Wants to Burn The Book Business – Bloomberg Business Week – 1/30/2012

Librarian and NPR commentator, Nancy Pearl, is assisting Amazon Publishing to launch a new series called, “Book Lust Rediscoveries.” Pearl will select a handful of out-of-print books each year to be republished by Amazon in both print and digital formats.

The original text of each book will be augmented with an introduction by Pearl, reading group discussion questions and a list of recommended further reading. Books will be available in print and for Kindle: With a modest first budget of only six books per year, Amazon will be very careful with market reaction to this new service. Audio books, eBooks and paper is an ambitious undertaking for literature that may or may not find a readership. The is multi-format opportunity will also impact schools and libraries as to what their users want to obtain.

New York Times has display booth at CES

The legendary newspaper is still publishing its print edition every day. Many New Yorkers cannot make it from to Monday without the Sunday Times. For a while the Times has provided a digital version of the newspaper. With all the flight to digital, here was “The Old Gray Lady” that has been published since 1851, appealing to on-line readers. Currently the newspaper has over 30 million views of their website each month. Print subscribers have declined to one million.

As in all digital selling there was a come-on to get 6 months for 1/2 price. The grandest newspaper recognizes that readership demands access through phones, tables and other computing devices.

Whether the user or the provider, you need to plan how your research will be accomplished and expanded over the next few years. Check in with Unlimited Priorities for a very valuable conversation about the digital publication universe.

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