Updated: Jun 7
A session at the IPG’s recent Autumn Conference explored the benefits of publishing management systems, with a case study from Andrew Furlow of Icon Books’ adoption of Virtusales’ BiblioSuite, plus tips from EDItEUR’s Graham Bell. Here are some of the advantages of good practice they highlighted.
1 Easier workflows
The manual management of titles and tasks is practical enough for small publishers, but growing ones often find that their processes become inefficient. In Icon’s case, they included an unwieldy mix of bought-in programmes, in-house spreadsheets for title costings, bibliographic data and royalties, shared documents tracking rights deals and production files stored in isolation from production data. Publishing management systems can replace these with a single hub, providing a single source of the truth and making it quicker to complete tasks and streamline workflows.
2 Reduced effort
Adopting a new publishing management system can be daunting. It may also require significant upfront investment, and Icon Books found that work was needed to export and format data and files before it could get up and running. However, effort like this is invariably justified in the long run by the resulting savings in worker-hours and stress. Some publishers tell us they have cut the time spent preparing sales sheets, production schedules and royalty statements in half since they started using systems.
Some publishers take a modular approach to management systems, perhaps first introducing rights management or editorial software before adding more elements. This can be a good solution, especially if a business doesn’t want to commit to a complete package. But the advantage of adopting an end-to-end solution is that it provides seamless integration across all publishing functions—a central repository that gets aspects of publishing like production, metadata and royalties all running in sync. Digital assets like eBook and audio files, jacket images and marketing material can also be stored neatly, and linked to title and production data for fast access.
4 Better communications
Good external communications are vital in any business, and integrated systems make it much simpler to share important information. They help publishers to supply retailers, distributors and other partners with accurate and up-to-date bibliographic information, and make it straightforward for those businesses to send sales reports and other data back. One larger publisher using BiblioSuite says it has cut the time it takes to create catalogues for partners by 12 weeks.
5 Improved teamwork
Systems also support publishers’ internal teamwork and collaboration. Having just one portal for things like title records and spreadsheets gives everyone in a business convenient and secure browser-based access to documents and royalty and rights information. Prior to Biblio3, many processes were managed with paper, but coordinated self-service has helped users cut the time spent chasing contracts or administrative material by as much as 70%. This ease of access is particularly important at a time when so many people are working remotely and may not be able to share information as well as they could in an office.
6 An inventory of content
By creating new inventories of content and contracts, systems can give publishers a much clearer picture of the copyright they own. This makes it easier to identify opportunities to sell various forms of rights, in backlist as well as frontlist titles.
Publishing management systems build the infrastructure for business growth. As publishers grow their lists and establish new sales and rights channels, it becomes more and more important to manage data and workflows. Scalable software achieves this, and a good system will be able to expand in tandem with a business. Virtusales’ BiblioSuite is constantly evolving to make sure it keeps pace with the changing needs of publishers and their partners.
Read this blog on the IPG website, here.
Gain an overview of the BilbioSuite publishing system, our cutting-edge software for optimizing publisher's workflows here.
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