Updated: Jun 7
Implementing a fully-integrated and highly-configurable publishing system can exponentially increase your efficiency and productivity as a publisher; but some systems have a wider range of functionality and modules to offer than others, and it isn’t always clear what your publishing house may need, either now or for the future.
The Biblio Suite of publishing software offers unrivaled solutions for acquisitions, forecasting, metadata and asset management, production, rights and royalties, sales analytics and more (all specifically designed for the publishing industry, in collaboration with world-leading publishers) and supports any type of content. Moreover, the latest functionality is made available to Biblio customers as an inclusive upgrade - ensuring that publishers remain on the cutting-edge of technology whilst also reducing the overall cost of system ownership.
To help you see the wood from the trees, here are the 5 most pressing reasons to implement a modern publishing system now; and the functionality you should be seeking to stay ahead of the curve and future-proof your business.
1) Continual Improvement
As publishers, their range of products and so their requirements continue to evolve, it’s unfortunate that many of the publishing systems currently on the market are not capable of supporting publishers’ digital workflows and transformative aspirations. Publishers are increasingly expected to bring a range of products to market – from print books, ebooks and audiobooks, to digital subscriptions, microsites, merchandise and more – yet many systems do not support the essential workflows and metadata which enable this; for example, some systems still require every product to have an ISBN assigned to it (even if the product type itself doesn’t require one).
The cost of upgrading an existing system is often significant, both in terms of financial investment and business disruption, and can often be on a par with implementing an entirely new system altogether.
Best-of-class systems adapt and evolve on a fluid basis according to emerging industry trends, and incorporate new technologies as soon as they come on the scene. Not only is the new Biblio Suite of publishing software built using the latest frameworks and technologies from Microsoft and Google, it is also the culmination of Virtusales’ 22 years of experience working with forward-thinking publishers across the globe, which enables publishers to roll out new workflows and dashboards within their current system's landscape.
Furthermore, Biblio users can upgrade their processes as their business grows, cherry-picking the workflows and modules that meet their requirements every step of the way whilst avoiding the disruption and cost of a full ERP implementation. And Virtusales’ rapid release cycle of inclusive upgrades introduces new functionality and updates every 10 weeks, ensuring that the Biblio system continues to meet publishers’ requirements without delay.
Integration and connectivity are key in today’s working landscape, where siloed teams work remotely and are likely to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Remote-working necessitates a reliance upon dependable, effortless and secure access to important information, metadata and assets (in the absence of direct communication with team members and business partners) to avoid miscommunication and/or duplication of efforts.
Having siloed systems compounds the issue, resulting in considerable workflow inefficiencies and reporting discrepancies - often caused directly by the lack of integration that is required to successfully support a modern publishing house. For example, if your royalties management system isn’t integrated with your sales system, how will your royalties and finance teams know the sum owed to your authors?
Having a fully-integrated system is integral to the success of a publishing house to reduce (if not eliminate) the creation and re-creation of data and assets; refine and enhance your metadata, reporting and digital workflows; better communicate with business partners; and avoid time-consuming and costly errors which can ultimately impact upon your public image.
The Biblio Suite of publishing software is capable of integrating fully within your existing systems landscape, and allows its users to create, maintain and share rich metadata and linked assets for any print or digital product in an accurate and safe environment.
To further our customers’ connectivity, Biblio features:
ONIX validation wizards and gateways which guarantee the creation and dissemination of rich, high quality and tailored metadata to websites, distributors and retailers (subsequently facilitating the discoverability of your products online);
Connections with third parties such as Adobe and Amazon Web Services for automated keyword tagging, all powered by AI - making it even easier to locate and share the information and assets that your teams need to perform their jobs whilst reducing duplication of effort and the use of multiple systems for storage purposes;
APIs for Editorial, Production, Contracts, Rights and Royalties which allow data to transfer seamlessly in and out of Biblio, and business partners to perform specific requests such as accessing and sharing data, creating and updating Biblio records, real-time data transfers, and more;
The ability to schedule and automate outputs of data and digital assets in a range of formats including XML, CSV, XMPT and Excel - which can be automatically delivered to any FTP site or server location, or used to flow data and images into Microsoft Word or InDesign templates.
The publishing industry continues to expand at an unprecedented rate and now, more so than ever before, it’s important that publishing systems are as agile as possible. Without flexibility and the freedom to act on opportunities as soon as they arise, publishers can be stifled by the limitations of their system and its infrastructure.
Taking an agile, content-led approach to publishing dramatically increases productivity, but implementing optimized workflows (which are both tried and tested, and continually evolve to meet world-leading publishers’ requirements) actively supports this endeavour, enabling publishers to proactively deal with new challenges and opportunities as soon as they present themselves; giving your publishing house the best possible chance of succeeding in its current field and any it chooses to move into in the near or distant future.
Growth is a byproduct of agility, and publishing relevant content in the formats your customers desire can help to ensure that your publishing house continues to stay relevant to its target audience(s). Having the right system in place to support this, year-on-year, makes evident sense. Afterall, who doesn’t want to see their business expand?
Workflow-driven so that it can meet any publisher’s requirements, the new Biblio Suite can be implemented as either a full ERP publishing management system or on a modular-basis to cater for your current business priorities. Individual solutions - ranging from acquisitions, product and asset management to rights, royalties and sales analytics - can be integrated into any existing systems landscape, allowing publishers to collect, store, manage, and interpret data for an array of publishing-specific processes without the need for a full system implementation.
When implementing a new system, publishers often find that they have to heavily customize or even build their own system in order to support the intricacies of their business. For example, many publishing houses use internal identifiers for their products in-house which a number of systems on the market cannot support.
Your system should be as unique as your publishing house is and while industry standards are there to keep the industry on a tried and trusted path (to facilitate communication and the dissemination of data across the supply chain), all publishing houses have their own idiosyncratic, internal processes that (for better or worse) are embedded in the business. The importance of these internal practices cannot be overstated for the smooth-running of your publishing house and your system needs to support them all from Day 1.
Biblio recognizes the importance of personalization and supports both industry-recognised and proprietary standards and identifiers (including ISBNs, ISSNs, DOIs, SKUs, and more), allowing your publishing house to compile and store its data in a personalized way that meet its individual requirements, but communicate and disseminate that data to business partners throughout the supply chain in a standardized way. Giving you the best of both worlds.
In addition, Biblio allows publishers to generate and implement customized screens and dashboards for the processes that are of most importance to you, and configure workflows that are personal to your internal requirements; all delivered through our modern and intuitive UI.
5) Modern Workflows
While internal working processes can change from one publisher to another, one constant is the fact that different products and formats are often managed by separate teams within a publishing house, making it very difficult for your staff to oversee, collaborate on and/or provide feedback on a product during its various stages of production unless they are part of the specific teams involved. Older, disparate systems exacerbate the issue, by ensuring that your processes and workflows remain siloed and inaccessible to other staff members.
Modern systems enable better ways of working, introducing new digital workflows to your publishing business which will support transformation and free up your staff’s time to achieve its goals. In this way, the key objective for any modern system is digital cohesion - ensuring that all your processes are as streamlined and automated as possible to unite and support your teams, and ultimately align them with your business’ aspirations.
Biblio’s workflows have been developed in collaboration with world-leading publishers over the past 22 years. In this way, they have been tried and tested by experts in the field, enabling new implementers to stand on the shoulders of world-class publishers and learn from their experience and successes.
The Biblio Suite makes light work of product management - linking metadata and assets, contracts and licenses, rights and royalties information, plus all related analytics and forecasting statistics into a single system to support the full product lifecycle for any type of product or content. As a direct result, Biblio customers repeatedly report a significant increase in the overall efficiency and productivity of their business.
Obtaining a modern system that can support your publishing house and all its requirements, both now and into the future, is the single most important business decision your publishing house can take, and any decision-making should take into account your future requirements as well as your current needs.
The Virtusales Publishing Solutions team - itself a collective of publishing specialists, renowned for their dedication and professionalism - offers not only innovative software that supports all types of publishers, but also an exceptional service.
Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your requirements and find out how the Biblio Suite of publishing software can drive your growth.