The entire global publishing industry is experiencing an amazing change that is improving everything we know about publishing.

When we talk about this revolution, we are basically talking about web-based management and operation software.

To talk about it simply, the publishing industry in the form of major legacy publishers is transitioning from manual techniques of running their operations to web-based integrated software development solutions.

This is probably one of the last industries to go through this transition and there is a reason why the publishing industry has been so late to adapt this software approach to operations management.

Let us start this blog by understanding the reason why it took so long for the publishing industry to adopt management software.

We are also going to discuss the kind of software elements needed to manage a publishing company and make it more efficient.

So, grab a cup of coffee and let’s get straight into it.

Reason Why the Software Revolution Came Late to The Publishing Industry

The thing we have to understand about the publishing industry is that it is not like all the other industries that can operate completely in a digital environment.

The publishing industry is quite traditional because it has to rely on offline channels as well as online channels of material sourcing as well as sales and promotion.

There is always this offline angle of operations involved which makes manual data entry and manual calculations quite easy.

The problem with this is that book publishers also sell online and most popular book publishers probably have more sales online which can completely rely on an online system for data entry and inventory management.

So, hope you understand where the conflict lies. Publishers have to juggle between two worlds, one being a manual old with traditional operations and the other being digital.

  • Publishers have to make sure that their inventory data is up to date both from online and offline sources.
  • Publishers have to keep on cross-checking data and tallying data from both sources.
  • Things become even more complicated if they rely on software for inventory and data management and they have a complex situation like an offline book return.

There is a reason why book publishers did not adapt their systems completely towards a software-oriented approach.

It was because they did not have universal operations software that could handle the nuances of the publishing industry up until now.

This can just be attributed to the late advancements in software solutions for the publishing industry.  The publishers did not ask for software like that up until now and the software developers did not notice.

The Kind of Software Elements Needed by Book Publishers Today

An Operator Portal

One of the most important elements that every book publisher needs is definitely going to be an operator portal.

When we say an operator portal, we mean a simple dashboard that is easy to operate by people who are not software developers.

This is quite an important aspect of any software used in publishing companies because if you want publishers to adopt technology then that adoption process should be simple.

This operator portal should essentially contain a dashboard with everything at a glance and it should contain all the basic important data such as profits and books sold et cetera.

This operator portal should also contain easy access to other important elements that will help the publishers run the entire operations.

All the other elements that we are able to talk about in subsequent points can be different features and different parts of this operator portal system.

The most important thing to understand is that this operator portal should be cloud-based so that it does not rely on any physical server or computing power to work.

This can be easily achieved with reputed cloud providers like AWS. Along with that, it is also going to help if there is some sort of AI integration into the system.

We must also tell you that the more elements of automation you include in the process of this operator portal, the more efficient of a system you are going to get.

A Universal System

The other element of a software fit for the publishing industry should essentially be a universal system and when we say a universal system, it is very important to understand what it actually signifies.

The universal system is going to be a system that will be interconnected with every element of the operation of that particular publisher.

This means the universal system will contain information linked to the payment gateway so as to get the most updated data about book sales.

The universal system will also contain a linkage to the royalty system and it will also contain links to the delivery partners.

The reason why an automatically universal system is important is because without it you are just going to get stuck in the same process of inefficiency.

Inventory System

The third important element that needs to be a necessity for every software development for any kind of business and especially the publishing industry should be an inventory system.

The thing with inventory is that you either have to track everything or you track nothing because if you miss out on something then it will mess up your ledgers.

When it comes to the publishing industry, there are two kinds of inventory movements essentially. The primary kind of inventory movement is going to be the inbound inventory which will contain raw materials for book printing.

Then there is going to be the outbound inventory movement in the form of printed and published books that are sent out to bookstores or warehouses for online sales.

That is why every publishing company management software should include an inventory system that keeps track of everything that goes into the company and goes out of the company.

It is even better if the publisher can manage an automated system that is going to automatically place new orders or at least give smart suggestions for things like paper and ink when it detects a shortage.

And this inventory system should be closely linked with the universal operator portal which will also help keep track of revenue.

Business Contacts Details

A book publisher has to deal with a lot of business contacts and it is important to understand that these contact details should be quite easy to access.

That is why we cannot imagine a proper software revolution without a feature for business contact details.

When we are talking about business contacts, we mean contacts like distributors and raw material suppliers and bookstore owners as well editors and illustrators and so much more.

It is important to always keep in touch with a lot of people indirectly associated with a publishing house and that is why this system should be able to search for every particular person in that kind of need.

This means if the system detects a shortage of books and an increase in demand and scarcity in supply then this system should essentially suggest the publishers to check the inventory along with suggestions for raw material suppliers.

The thing with any software revolution is that the more thought you put into it, the more detailed the system you are going to get.

Digital Ledger

No publishing software is going to be complete without a digital accounting system that keeps track of every credit and debit to the organisation.

That is also the case with a software revolution in the publishing industry because if a publisher is to use software, then it must have a digital accounting solution of some sort.

This is probably the most important element of any software solution because this accounting software should include everything right from profit calculation to revenue calculation as well as royalty calculation.

It should also have a provision for reversing payments in case of returns.

This digital ledger should also be good for handling offline orders because if the order is online then it is going to be automatically tracked by the software. However, if any order is offline then there should be the option to input details about that order.

Such software should have the best kind of encryption because if someone has access to this, they have access to all business operations.

Additionally, if the publisher does international business, then this accounting software should take into account international charges and currency conversions and much more.

This might be very challenging and the truth is it is actually very challenging. This is probably one of the reasons why the publishing industry was so late to implement a software revolution for itself.

Author Royalty System

An important part of any publishing company is going to be the royalty system because without that you are not going to have a publishing company.

Royalty calculation is difficult and if you want to do it manually then it might take up a lot of your resources and people.

But the best part about a software is that you can simply program it to calculate the royalty based on the point of sale.

Along with that you can also input in all the factors that determine the royalty and that can be along the lines of the type of sale and if the sale has any discounts.

After you factor in all these variables, it is just about as automatic as it can be with a capable enough software.

The software will simply calculate the royalty and then send out monthly or weekly payments to the author just like any automated system.

Book Return System

And finally, you cannot miss a book returns system if you really want to have the best kind of software that can single-handedly carry your publishing company operations.

Most people outside the book publishing industry do not understand how difficult book returns can be. That is exactly why you need an independent system just to deal with book returns.

Book returns are not really common with offline book sales but it is a very common thing with online book sales.

But the problem with book returns is that sometimes the book return can simply be a damaged book which needs to be calculated as a loss.

Sometimes the book might be in good condition and not calculated as a loss. That is why the problem is that you simply cannot close a sale unless the return period of that book is over because even if there is a 1% likelihood of return, you should consider it.

That is why a proper software solution for your publishing company should keep a book-return system in mind.

So, How Do We Know All This?

If you have managed to come all the way to the end then you might only have a few important questions and one of the questions might be “Where can I find a software like this?”

The answer to the questions is going to be Think To Share IT Solutions.

This is because we have created software solutions like this in the past, especially for a legacy book publisher with thousands of sales and thousands of factors to consider.

Our systems have resulted in an increase in efficiency for the entire publisher by reducing a lot of time wastage.

The software that we have custom-developed for them has also resulted in no error operations especially when it comes to the elements of the software.

They are now able to conduct all their business efficiently and save a lot of money and they are also able to assign their team to more important tasks rather than manual data entry and manual accounting.

This can be an addition to every publisher out there no matter if you are a new and upcoming publisher or you are a legacy publishing company with decades of industry experience.

That is why we welcome you to visit our website and take a look at the specific case study where we discuss our universal operator portal dashboard solution for this reputed publisher.

If we have done it once then we can do it as many times as you want.