Are You a Publisher or a Brand Manager?

Posted by Barry Bealer on Aug 22, 2014 9:25:00 AM

Are you a publisher or a brand manager?Over the years we have worked with hundreds of publishers spanning many industry verticals.  Some publishers do everything in-house, some outsource pretty much everything. The question for me is what is the definition of a publisher these days?  Is it an organization that does everything from soup to nuts in the entire publishing process or is it a publisher that outsources as much as possible and only worries about brand management?  

According to Oxford English Dictionary (OED) published by our RSuite CMS client Oxford University Press, the definition of a publisher and brand manager are:

PublisherA person or company whose business is the preparation and issuing of printed or documentary material for distribution or sale, acting as the agent of an author or owner; a person or company that arranges the printing or manufacture of such items and their distribution to booksellers or the public

Brand Managerthe supervision of the promotion of a particular brand of goods

So, do these definitions define today’s environment?  Let’s look at two examples:

We do everything publisher

We have worked with some publishers who like to control everything about the publishing process right down to printing and binding their publications onsite.  These types of publishers are few and far between these days, but they do still exist.  I can certainly understand the desire to own the entire publishing process since I am sure the company is a traditional publisher, have employed many of the people for 20 plus years, and have honed the process to be very efficient.  The questions are, can outsourcing a specific piece of the publishing process drive better profits or maybe adding some key automation tools (i.e., RSuite CMS) help deliver more and higher quality content?  The “we do everything publisher” is generally a niche publisher (e.g., safety information) and has not had too many competitors in their space to drive change.  However, as with everything in publishing, the digital age requires publishing to deliver in multiple formats and print no longer can support the company growth.  Therefore the call to automate as much of the process to really drive multi-channel publishing will continue to grow and require change along the way.  What these types of publishers need to realize is that change is not a bad thing and frankly, change is inevitable.  Selective automation is better than no automation.

We outsource everything publisher

Several years ago I had a rather heated conversation with an executive at a global publisher.  I asked her what exactly they do in-house anymore since it seemed like all they wanted to do was to outsource the entire publishing process and enjoyed beating up their vendors to hit their quality standards and profit targets.  First, I’m sure the offshore vendor deserved some of the beating up.  Second, I’m sure some of blame was due to poor input from the publishers.  In other words, there was blame on both sides, but the fact was that this global publisher became nothing more than a brand manager in my opinion.  Other than the acquisition team, everything else was outsourced (mainly offshore).  Is this the face of publishing today?  I suppose that companies who are attempting to drive profitability as much as possible feel that outsourcing everything is the best alternative.  Long gone are the days when the art and craft of publishing required a solid team who were dedicated to the higher cause of publishing.  It’s about brand management and its about profits in this scenario.

We selectively outsource publisher

Now I am sure there are publishers that fall in between these two examples where they do a lot in-house and selectively outsource production processes.  If I had to guess, I think that is where most publishers fall today.  The question that still remains is which direction is the industry headed?  Will publishers become so highly outsourced in their production process that they only manage their brands or will they want to continue to control every step along the way?  My guess would be that most publishers are going to continue to move towards the brand manager model and outsource and automate as much as possible to drive profits because of the pressure of replacing print with digital revenue.  Unfortunately that is not a dollar for dollar replacement and publishers will be forced to do something in a very short period of time or begin a slow decline until they go out of business.

When publishers look to automate their publishing process, I hope they take some time to look at the amazing results our RSuite CMS publishing clients have achieved by implementing our software.  When we set out to build a better publishing automation tool, we never envisioned our clients enjoying a 50% reduction is production time, 30% increase in website traffic due to better metadata management, or 100% content processing automation.  These numbers are staggering but real and we are proud of how much we have helped our clients drive revenue and profitability within their organizations.


See RSuite in Action!

Topics: RSuite CMS, publishing, Automation, digital revenue, inhouse publishing

RSuite CMS Success Stories | The IET, Sara Sharman

Posted by Sarah Silveri on Aug 1, 2014 8:30:00 AM

Sara Sharman, Editorial and Production Manager at The Institution of Engineering and Technology (The IET) explains how RSuite CMS has allowed her organization to establish an e-first publishing workflow to publish individual articles before the entire issue is complete, manage ONIX metadata, and future plans to manage video content for their IET TV department.

See RSuite in Action

Topics: RSuite CMS, publishing, metadata, The IET, journals, e-first, IET TV

RSuite CMS Success Stories | SAGE Publications, Keith Lawrenz

Posted by Sarah Silveri on Jul 10, 2014 3:19:00 PM

In this brief video, Keith Lawrenz, ‎Sr Business Analyst & Content Systems Supervisor at SAGE Publications, explains why RSuite CMS is a great fit for publishers and how RSuite CMS has enabled SAGE to control their content. You'll hear how SAGE had tens of thousands of zip files that they couldn't begin to look at until RSuite CMS was implemented. Now, they're able to search and discover their content within RSuite.


Interested in seeing how RSuite CMS can manage your organization's content?


See RSuite in Action

Topics: content management, RSuite CMS, publishing, zip files, Success Stories, control

O'Reilly TOC: How Does Content Management Fit?

Posted by Barry Bealer on Feb 22, 2012 8:33:00 PM

TOCLast week's O'Reilly Tools of Change (TOC) event in New York had a theme of Change/Forward/Fast.  Based on the keynote presentations, I think the publishing industry heard loud and clear that they need to change....and now!  However, the other underlying theme for the conference was also articulated by the hosts as "we are confused."  Needless to say, these two themes are in conflict with one another.  How can you change if you are confused?  Confusion generally leads to paralysis and that is what I have seen with publishers over the past few years. 

While publishers heard success stories about building audiences before publishing a title and on-going interactions with that audience, what was suspiciously absent was how publishers are delivering content to the various devices.  Maybe it was the wrong venue, but I suspect many of the success stories started once content was in a sellable format rather than how easily the content was created and published in their content management system.

I also suspect that many in the audience were from the business side of publishing and the TOC event makes them pause and think about their business.  TOC did not, for me anyway, tackle the more difficult challanges of multi-channel publishing using home grown or antiquated technology.  Sadly, that is what many publishers are wrestling with today.  Once they are able to get content in ebook format, they can do really cool stuff with it.  Until publishers address the content management side of the equation, I don't see how they will efficiently meet time-to-market demands.  The reality is that most ebooks today are created by publishing services vendors because they are converting various flavors of legacy files.  Most publishers today are not multi-channel publishing but sticking with the print paradigm and then, through various publishing services vendors, creating ebooks for distribution.  Publishers who are stuck with this publishing process need to "change/forward/fast."

I will say that overall the TOC conference appears to be rejuvinated.  Two years ago the conference seemed to have run its course, but I believe it is back to being an event that publishers will want to attend to learn how the newbies are doing it without the "burden" of print.  Pushing the envelope is what TOC is best at and I hope they continue to push the industry's thinking along the way.

Topics: content management for publishers, publishing, CMS, book publishers

EPUB 3 Snapshot: Highlights Publishers Need to Know

Posted by Marianne Calihanna on Jun 1, 2011 3:47:00 PM


<update>June 7, 2011</update>

Since announcing the release of the EPUB 3 specification, the blogosphere and tweet streams have been alive with the sound of music to publishers' ears. No doubt Amazon's news that it will finally accept EPUB also adds to the collective hallelujah chorus.

While there is already an abundance of information, news, and opinions on EPUB 3, this post aims to highlight what features and functionality are most important for publishers to understand:


  • Improved accessibility support---It's a big deal that DAISY is converging completely with EPUB 3. This will promote rapid take-up of the standard in education and government segments. 
  • MathML support---this alone garnered hoots and hollers from RSuite's tech team. No longer must STM publishers sketch out equations as art.
  • Embedded fonts---the look and feel of your PDF is maintained because publishers can deliver fonts along with the epub file.
  • Improved SVG support---vector graphics mean images scale with your pages and pages are "lighter" thus loading faster.
  • New and improved metadata---who doesn't love publication metadata that can include specific handling and distribution instructions!?
  • Video and audio support---publishers can synchronize audio with text. This will also raise the bar for all of us, e.g. enabling switching seamlessly between listening in the car and reading at home!
  • Javascript---scripting offers chances for interactivity, think forms, etc.
  • Layout---multiple columns, hello! Ladders and widows and orphans, goodbye!

We'd love to add your opinions on new functionality to the list. Leave a comment and I'll continue to add on to the bullets.

Topics: ebooks, publishing, epub, standards

Batter up, Publishers! Really Strategies will be at SSP in Boston.

Posted by Sarah Silveri on May 20, 2011 9:00:00 AM


RSuite is exhibiting at booth #34 from June 1st through the 3rd at The Society for Scholarly Publishing (#SSP)!


Schedule your time with us today and see how publishers have done the following things with RSuite:

  • reduced book production time-to-market by 8 weeks
  • automated aggregation and distribution of journal articles to licensing clients
  • Increased website traffic by more than 35%
  • and much more

Tweet about us at #SSP using the #RSuite hashtag.

Topics: RSuite, CMS for publishers, ebooks, publishing, CMS, publishing industry, book publishing, revenue, book publishers, metadata, really strategies inc, STM publishers, journal publishers

Book Expo America 2011: RSuite Cloud will be there. Will you?

Posted by Sarah Silveri on May 2, 2011 8:00:00 AM

Book Expo America, BEA 2011, Really Strategies, RSuite Cloud, Digital Zone, Publishing event, NYCBook Expo America is coming up in just a few weeks and we’re so excited to be part of it. RSuite Cloud will be representing Really Strategies, Inc.

At Book Expo America, Book publishers can see RSuite Cloud and understand how it is helping some of the leading publishers:

  • Increase revenues with faster time-to-market
  • Produce pages in minutes not weeks
  • Simultaneously output to print, web, ipad, and more
  • Automatically Convert Word files to XML
  • Translate and publish to more than 200 languages

People from all  around the world within the publishing industry will be there and we want to see you between May 24th and May 26th. We’ll be in the IDPF Digital Zone at Kiosk #2309. Schedule your time with us today!

Tweet about us at #BookExpo using the #RSuiteCloud hashtag.

Topics: content management for publishers, content management, CMS for publishers, publishing, CMS, XML

The American Institute of Physics Selects RSuite Content Management System to Modernize its Publishing Program

Posted by Marianne Calihanna on Apr 26, 2011 10:10:00 AM

First law of physicsReally Strategies is pleased to add The American Institute of Physics to its growing list of STM and journal publishers who are using RSuite to manage content.

"The American Institute of Physics selected RSuite to manage and store its vast amount of content, including metadata, full-text XML, PDFs, images, and multimedia assets,” stated Evan Owens, AIP’s Chief Information Officer, Publishing. “We see RSuite as a key technology that will allow us to implement industrial strength content management, including version control and automated content distribution, to best support our digital publishing program."

Click here to read the official press release.

Topics: content management, publishing, XML, STM publishers, journal publishers

EBooks are #1 Format According to Association of American Publishers

Posted by Marianne Calihanna on Apr 20, 2011 5:10:00 PM

ebooksAccording to the Association of American Publishers (AAP) ebooks ranked as #1 format among all trade categories for the month of February. The stats track monthly and year-to-date publishers’ net sales revenue in all categories of commercial, education, professional and scholarly books and journals.

A couple potent highlights from the AAP report:


  • February 2011, e-Books ranked as the #1 format (Adult Hardcover, Adult Paperback, Adult Mass Market, Children’s/Young Adult Hardcover, Children’s/Young Adult Paperback).
  • January/February 2011 compared with January/February 2010---e-Books grew 169.4% to $164.1M

[Read more here]

If you're not generating ebooks, start. If you are generating ebooks, take a look at your back list and bring it forward.

Have any interesting metrics that you can share?

Topics: ebooks, publishing, revenue

Make XML a solution (instead of a challenge)

Posted by Marianne Calihanna on Mar 30, 2011 9:17:00 AM

Address the top 3 digital publishing challenges with XML. Most content producers no longer rely on a single channel for content distribution. To efficiently and competitively expand digital offerings, publishers are looking to re-use existing content to create new products. Whether creating new content “mash-ups” out of existing content repositories or ensuring consistency between publications that share information, content re-use is a powerful capability allowing content to achieve its maximum value. XML provides an anchor for coping with a diverse and expanding number of channels.

Download our latest white paper, "Make XML a Solution Instead of a Challenge."

XML - content management for publishers

Topics: content management, CMS for publishers, publishing, CMS, XML

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