Technology and innovation probably aren’t the words that come to mind when you think about your local grocery store. Bar code scanners in the 1970’s were probably the last recent advancement in the grocery store industry. As you’ll see in this article, however, at least one grocery chain is leveraging a new form of technology to improve the shopping experience and I believe it offers guidance for a terrific lesson for bookstores.
In the book publishing world there are two very separate kinds of metadata: metadata for bibliography and metadata for commerce.
The bibliographic usage of metadata is led by libraries. Their standards range from Dewey Decimals to MARC. This metadata is of little or no value to the commercial needs of book publishers.ONIX is the standard for commerce, and it comes in two flavors, the extant 2.1, and the new and improved 3.0. ONIX is of little interest to libraries. And so, even within the tiny little world of book publishing, metadata is further fractured from the metadata of surveillance.
This manifesto considers only the commercial side of metadata for publishers, ONIX, in its two versions, 2.1 and 3.0.
This led me to think about why innovations like Wattpad or Amazon’s Kindle have been so much more successful than trade publishers in capturing new audiences and new opportunities. And it just happened that a blog post by the analyst turned VC Benedict Evans, about what he calls ‘permissionless innovation’ published at the end of last week explains this phenomenon perfectly.
As you can see, Pronoun offers the best terms of all of these: no upfront fees, no sales commissions, and access to all major retailers (also including Google Play Books). Pronoun also offers Booklr’s sales data analysis tools as well as tools for metadata creation, pricing, cover design, and social media tracking — in all, probably the most comprehensive set of tools for authors in the industry.
However, considering a deep slump that is plaguing the Korean publishing market, mounting voices call for galvanizing of the ebook market. Ebooks account for about 30 percent of the publishing market in the U.S., but they only take up 1 to 2 percent in the publishing market in Korea. Jang Eun-soo, head of Editing Culture Laboratory, said, “Even in overseas markets including the U.S., the ratio of ebooks substituting print versions is lower than thought,” adding, “Even if ebooks eat into the printed book market, there are ample business opportunities arising from ebooks, and Korea should galvanize the ebook market through diverse ebook services including a fixed-price system and a book rental system.”
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