On Friday March 18, Will Atkinson, Simon Blacklock and Nigel Marsh from Faber and Faber made a presentation to Publishing Scotland members at PS’s offices in Edinburgh. The publisher was promoting the existence and services of Faber Factory, a digitisation and distribution service for smaller publishers. Making the move into digital publishing is now an absolute necessity for all, publishers are being told, but this can be daunting, especially for the smaller publisher with few resources. It takes money, labour, time and consideration to decide to begin digitising titles; then when you finally have decided to do it there are still many things to think about – how many titles should you digitise, who should do it, when should it be done, how long will it take, how can you get them to market? Faber Factory takes the headache away with its one-stop service. As an independent publisher and founding member of the Independent Publishers Alliance, Faber aims to provide much more than just digital conversion. It understands the needs of publishers, the pressures on them, and how they operate. This empathy enables Faber to tailor the service to the needs of the individual publisher. Firstly, Faber can take files already in digital format or it can provide the initial conversion service. After that it will store and distribute the titles, collect receipts, provide detailed sales data and information, and manage contracts with retailers and aggregators. All of this comes at a cost, of course. But the need for publishers to have digital products is immediate and the processed involved will be a considerable burden for many small publishers if they decide to go it alone. So far about 50 publishers are convinced and have signed up for the Faber Factory service. Could you be next?!
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