Because of digital initiatives along with a strong report on titles, the 50-year-old UK publisher continues to grow its business, despite increasing competition external to traditional publishing.
Once we listen to Kogan Page’s leadership today regarding the rights landscape in this independent house’s business and management specialty, the ways to access several titles the organization is presenting for rights sales. You can find those after this story.-Porter Anderson
Chinese Rights Sales Now Leading
China is now Kogan Page‘s most productive rights territory, as the UK publisher marks its 50th anniversary.
Founded by Philip Kogan in 1967, it has remained independent throughout its half-century, and it’s run today by Philip’s daughter Helen Kogan, who’s md.
The business recently made industry headlines using the timely acquisition of two cyber-attack titles, announced within the same week as the global ransomware attack. These two titles are scheduled for spring 2018:
Cyberwars: The Hacks that Shook the entire world is as simple as former Guardian technology editor Charles Arthur and may glance at the dramatic inside stories of many of the world’s biggest cyber-attacks like the Clinton election campaign as well as recent global events.
Cyber Risk Management, is as simple as Richard Benham in the UK’s National Cyber Skills Centre and may, as outlined by promotional copy, offer “vital tips on the best way to evaluate threats and communicate a cyber-security strategy to assist in preventing the trillions of dollars which might be lost globally every year.”
Publishing Perspectives spoke to Helen Kogan about how the organization has been able to remain independent, its current rights activity, and exactly how the field of Best Business Books publishing is evolving.
‘Discoverable Anywhere in the World’
Publishing Perspectives: As Kogan Page enters its sixth decade, bed not the culprit business?
Helen Kogan: We’re creating a great year. We’re almost after our financial year and we’re seeing double-digit growth across all revenue streams. We’ve also won two transformational publishing contracts using the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development and the Chartered Institute of Banking both for academic and professional development titles.
We’re going to launch a searchable digital platform for B2B customers and we’re also going to launch our first web based classes. It’s been an incredibly exciting breakthrough year following four years of refocus and development of our value proposition.
PP: Exactly what is the particular focus in your rights activity?
HK: The development and further expansion of Beijing Book Fair continues to be particularly beneficial to us, and the sale of Chinese rights is now our most successful territory.
However, we’ve got our titles translated into 50 different languages now and, interestingly, this isn’t just limited to our popular general business titles. We’ve had success with a few in our more specialist titles too, in the area of logistics and human resources.
We’ve forever been internationally-focused and currently sell our titles into 90 countries with key territories being United states, Europe, Southeast Asia, the guts East, Australia, India, and China.
We now have offices in the united states and India along with a wide network of agents globally. We’re fortunate to publish in English-the international language of business-and that business and management is really a global subject. We’ve really cheated global supply chains in recent years and, through the development of digital bibliographic and marketing feeds, now have the extraordinary power to make our titles discoverable from any location.
‘A Very Crowded Marketplace’
PP: Do you know the main issues facing business and professional publishers?
HK: A serious problem is that we’re now flanked by content producers.
It’s merely traditional publishers that disseminate business content, and it’s an extremely crowded marketplace. Training companies, member organizations, business schools and management consultancies are a few of the serious non-traditional competition we have to think of. However, we’ve spent the last 3 years defining our value proposition and points of difference and think we still have a persuasive and competitive business with significant potential for further growth.
PP: How much of a threat is open access? The ‘knowledge ought to be free’ camp can be extremely persuasive. Will it create an atmosphere where students tend to be more not wanting to purchase content?
HK: I do believe it’s tough to persuade students to pay for content when they’ve been accustomed to ‘free’. We actually require the educational institutes to support us in this and to make the case that after the road is surely an author who’s made the book and should be compensated accordingly.
Just as much as “free” is really a challenge Furthermore, i believe the threat to non-linear narrative, through other media formats, is problematic. We’re considering how we will offer a more three-dimensional and interactive expertise in the long run to contend with changing consumer reading habits.
PP: How has Kogan Page been able to stay independent?
HK: Bloody-mindedness, resilience, opportunism-all those activities plus more.
PP: What number of staff members have you got and what’s your turnover?
HK: We now have 35 staff and growing. Our turnover is ?4.5 million (US$5.Six million) but also in the subsequent financial year this will grow to over ?5.5 million (US$7.Two million) through organic growth and the addition of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development’s list. We’d to adopt a winner on our top line during the last number of years as we refocused section of our activity on specialist areas however this year we’re seeing the fruits of that work and have a much 12-percent growth.
Benefitting From the Weak Pound
PP: What effect you think Brexit could have?
HK: It’s tough to say now. We have to hope we won’t experience tariffs simply because this will clearly have some impact. Costs of materials can be a worry and we’ll must keep close track of this. We hold English-language world and digital rights to the majority of our list and this should mitigate needing to contend with US editions in Europe (an evergrowing concern amongst other publishers).
Hopefully sanity will prevail and the threat hanging over our European colleagues’ directly to remain in the united states is going to be dealt with swiftly as opposed to using it as being a bargaining chip.
For the plus side, we’ve certainly taken advantage of the weakness in the pound up against the dollar.
PP: Where do you sell most of your books?
HK: 70 % in our sales still have the traditional supply chain-bookshops, online stores, wholesalers, etc. However, our Website sales are increasing so we possess a thriving B2B sales activity for member organizations, author networks, and corporates.
PP: What’s the split between digital and print inside your business?
HK: Digital is the reason for A quarter of revenue using the balance on this being delivered from digital licensing to academic library suppliers, aggregators, and company content suppliers. Our ebook business has stayed fairly stable at approximately 8 percent of overall revenue.
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