Service Innovation: The Path to Book Publishing Success in the Digital Age

James Lichtenberg (Publishing Research Quarterly)
Broadway North

After centuries of focusing on the bookstore as the “customer,” success in the digital age will require publishers to focus on the ultimate consumer. Given the enormous flexibility and “mass customization” that digital technology makes possible, the future business model for book publishing can best be understood as providing a service rather than a commodity. And “value” is a co-creation—the publisher responds to the specific content needs as defined by the customer for each transaction.

How are publishers to make this transformation? As the world around us changes from a commodity to a service economy, (already 80% of the U.S. gross domestic product), publishers can follow the lead of major companies like IBM, Oracle, and others, who are pioneering the science of service innovation.

This presentation will lay out the basics of service innovation—an integration of technology, business practices, and customer-facing services—as it relates to book publishing in the digital age.

Photo of James Lichtenberg

James Lichtenberg

Publishing Research Quarterly

As president of Lightspeed, LLC, a management consulting practice in New York City, Jim Lichtenberg provides strategic counsel to clients in the fields of publishing, and information technology. A primary focus is the transformation of publishing due to the impact of new information technologies. He contributes regularly on these issues to Publishers Weekly, Publishing Research Quarterly, Publishing Trends and other journals, and is a frequent speaker at industry events sponsored by organizations such as The Frankfurt Book Fair, the Book Industry Study Group, and the American Library Association. From 2003-2006, he was a professor of Information Technology in the Executive Masters of Technology program at Polytechnic University in Manhattan.

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