Can the book survive?
As Borders goes into liquidation, and Amazon announces that Kindle sales outperform print while planning the launch of its own tablet, here's an example of publishing innovation that might help paperbacks survive into the next decade.
Flipbook is a new publishing venture that issues handheld, print versions of modern classics including Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Cloud Atlas and One Day. The books fit in your pocket, and more importantly they're cleverly designed to be held in one hand. You 'flip' the lower page up with your thumb to move to the next spread. I'd like to believe that they chose the paper weight and texture deliberately to make it easy to do this, although that might be wishful thinking.
I've had trouble tracking down Flipbook sales, so I don't know whether this will be the saviour of print; frankly I doubt it. But whatever the numbers, you have to be impressed by the way in which the publisher has taken an innovative approach to the reading experience that hasn't changed much, in print terms, since the launch of the paperback.
Digital marketing expertise, print innovation
The same goes for print-marketing collateral. While we tend to think of innovation on the digital side of industry, there's still room for agencies and content managers to take smart ideas from online and mobile and use them to drive new ideas in print.
Remember, there's more to this than eye-catching, spanking new design. Thanks to tablets and the Kindle, reading habits are changing. It might be something as basic as a return to portrait formats, on the other, the more fluid organisation of printed content inspired by the greater variety of 'reader journeys' available online.
Take away the marketing speak for a moment, the majority of reading is now no longer a linear, front-to-back activity. And traditional print is starting to sacrifice the beginning-middle-end approach to narrative as well.
We're not producing Flipbook brochures yet, but we are using our digital exprience to innovate an otherwise endangered format. Can the book survive? Not sure. Can Metia find new ways to bring your print-marketing to life, long into the coming decade? Most certainly, yes.