The textbook publishing industry is experiencing a significant change. The emergence of digital content and its prevalence during the pandemic has given rise to virtual textbooks. Publishers are using them to offer a customized learning experience, reduce costs, and improve their products.
Many publishers are still apprehensive about going digital. This blog post explains how virtual textbooks are different and even better than printed textbooks in many ways.
Related Read: Top 10 Advantages of eBooks over Printed Books
How Can Publishers Benefit From Virtual Textbooks?
It’s not just students who benefit from virtual textbooks. Publishers too can capitalize on this opportunity to offer relevant, updated, and impactful content for the following reasons –
1. Virtual Textbooks Are Easier to Update
Earlier, publishers had to print a new edition to incorporate major updates in a textbook. This scenario has completely changed today. Unlike printed textbooks, virtual ones are faster, cheaper, and easier to update.
As opposed to releasing new printed editions, you can easily edit the content, add new information or discoveries in digital textbooks.
Before the era of virtual books, students had to choose between buying expensive new editions or keeping the outdated ones. With digital versions, you are bound to gain a wider customer base, thanks to greater accessibility.
2. Virtual Textbooks Are Environment-friendly
Digital versions eliminate the cost of printing and distribution. Hence, you can contribute towards improving the health of the planet by choosing the eco-friendly route.
Research suggests that customers prefer sustainable businesses, which is why it is high time to strengthen your corporate social responsibility. Most students already have digital devices to access digital content. All you need to do now is to convert your print based content into interactive learning resources.
3. Publishers Can Order Shorter Runs
Gone are the days when publishers had to print a hundred thousand textbooks, many of them never to be sold or read by students. Not only did it add to the costs but also led to wastage of paper.
Nowadays, publishers can offer customized content according to the learning style, pace, and aptitude of students. Therefore, virtual textbooks allow publishers to order shorter runs.
Not just that, they can improve their product without having to print a second edition. Additionally, they can offer other online resources within the eTextbooks in the form of external links that depict current changes and trends in the subject matter.
4. Publishers Can Include Value-Added Services
Publishers can use digital textbooks to streamline their supply chain and add new value. The value-added services such as geo-tagging, authenticity confirmation, and anti-counterfeiting are not costly to offer.
On the other hand, they are very difficult and expensive to implement in physical textbooks. Therefore, publishers can use Unique ID (UID) technology to prevent revenue loss and eliminate any risk of theft.
Moreover, they can protect themselves against fraud and grey market distribution by incorporating UID in virtual books. This way, only the right people will get access to the content.
5. Digital Textbooks Alleviate The Need to Maintain Large Inventories
Not all printed textbooks are sold. Some of them end up taking costly space in the warehouse. This situation understandably adds to the frustration of publishers.
Book publishing is a costly endeavor and you want to save as much money as possible. One way of saving the large inventory space is by eliminating the need for such space.
Digital versions do not require any physical storage space, only the more affordable server space! Besides, you can always use the ‘order on-demand’ feature to print only those textbooks that have already been ordered online.
Moreover, the chances of returning the book are minimal, thereby reducing its lifetime cost even further.
6. Publishers Get More Opportunity to Experiment
Digital printing technology has less investment and risks associated with it. Therefore, publishers feel more confident experimenting compared to printing physical textbooks.
Thanks to the more efficient shorter runs, publishers can experiment with new formats, content ideas, and new authors.
They can convert a digital textbook into more of an Internet of Things (IoT) book with identifiable images, text, and pages. Besides, they can supplement the content with videos, quizzes, and much more.
7. Publishers Can Innovate to Boost Revenue
Static textbooks are a thing of the past. Not only do they quickly become outdated, but also do not cater to the unique needs of the learner.
To counter that, publishers can create a multi-channel, dynamic, and interactive learning experience for students. You can boost the revenue per book by making it fun and engaging for the learners.
Innovation is truly the key to delivering a richer experience for students as well as educators.
HurixDigital uses the best-in-class technology and software infrastructure to offer a holistic learning experience.
8. Publishers Can Gain a Competitive Advantage
Today’s competitive textbook publishing landscape means that publishers can no longer focus solely on producing content. They have to think about their contribution to student learning outcomes.
For this reason, they need to adapt their products to offer optimal results. Unlike printed textbooks, their virtual counterparts offer rich data. This allows publishers to make significant improvements in their products.
To be able to determine what is and isn’t providing results is the source of gaining the crucial competitive edge. That’s the secret to offering products that produce real academic results.
Publishers can greatly benefit from virtual textbooks. They can easily update them, save the printing and distribution costs, order shorter runs, offer customized experiences, include value-added services, save inventory costs, innovate, and even gain a competitive advantage.
You need not go 100% digital right away. Better take a hybrid approach and publish both virtual and print textbooks and see the difference. You can gradually increase your focus on digital publication.
Collaborating with eLearning platforms to create interactive educational content is the most viable choice for publishers everywhere today. It will make your digital transformation much easier.
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