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The Power of the Publisher

When it comes to selling subscriptions to institutions there are several key factors to consider; the quality of the product, the pricing of the product and how to spread the word about the product. A strong marketing strategy can go a long way in securing subscriptions which will continue to renew year in, year out, providing a consistent and welcome revenue stream to publishers.

In this symbiotic relationship, the publisher brings the food and wine (content); and Exact Editions provide the dinner plate (online platform), the cutlery (search functionality, usage statistics, etc) and the table service (technical support for libraries). We use our industry experience to assess the best price bracket for the title and create dedicated marketing campaigns to attract new subscribers. This strategy works well, made evident by the 25% rise in sales during the 2017–2018 financial year; however, we are always seeking to improve and have found that a dual-approach made in tandem with the publisher is extremely powerful.

Why is that the case? Publishers can talk with their existing customers with a forwardness and potency which is difficult to replicate as a third party platform. This largely stems from the brand strength of the magazine. Librarians will be aware of The Times Literary SupplementGeographical and Creative Review and also know that Exact Editions offer a reliable, cutting-edge platform with excellent customer service. It is inevitable that some academics and librarians will head to the publisher’s site to check for the availability of institutional subscriptions, which is why it is essential to clearly advertise on both sites, see below for an example.

Banipal’s website clearly advertises the institutional subscription.

There is a clear correlation between the strongest performing magazines in the institutional market and the willingness of publishers to flex their muscles of influence. Banipal, Neural and The Wire were among the top performers during the 2017–2018 purchasing period.

Banipal — 25% increase
Neural — 40% increase
The Wire — 15% increase, not including perpetual access sales

They each acquired numerous new institutional subscribers who will now be a continuous stream of revenue through renewals. The common thread between these magazines (who massively differ in terms of content) is that they actively approach their contacts in the academic sphere such as contributors and print subscribers. Alongside this, they make the option clear on their websites and collaborate with us on marketing campaigns.

For more on this, see our case study on The Wire: http://static.exacteditions.com/casestudies/the-wire-case-study.pdf

What else can publishers do to drum up sales? Think about the copy on your dedicated institutional pages. Is it tailored to the institutional market? Could you contact influential people/academics to get testimonials for the magazine? Even better could you have someone write a review for the site? — see the example below.

TPM Site Page

TPM benefits from having a review and strong institutionally focused copy

Finally, another source of revenue which should be considered by all publishers is the desire for Perpetual Access in academic libraries. To briefly explain, a set budget will be allocated for serials and this is usually very tight, meaning librarians have to think carefully before committing to a magazine. There is, however, often a pool of money set aside which librarians will use to buy resources in perpetuity. This is a potentially very lucrative opportunity for publishers, as proven by The Wire who made several high-value sales at the start of 2018. If you would be interested in hearing more about this, do get in touch.

We hope this gives publishers food for thought and we are always available to chat via publisher@exacteditions.com

Interview with the Librarian — Volume 2

It’s the second instalment of Interview with the Librarian and this time we have the pleasure of speaking with Lucille Osafo from Bristol Grammar School.

We’re lucky in the fact that we work with librarians from all levels of the education industry, and beyond, so we should have some interesting variety in our answers.

Before we begin, our trivia question from last week:

Which 1994 film is the title of this blog series inspired by?
The answer is Interview with the Vampire directed by Neil Jordan, and starring Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Antonio Banderas. The tagline was ‘drink from me and live forever’, which is kind of applicable to libraries, I think.

For next week, could you tell me the famous detention movie set in a library?

Now, the Interview.

Job title?
Senior Librarian

Best part of your job?
Interacting with pupils

Favourite book? Favourite magazine?
Favourite book — The Stand by Stephen King
Favourite magazine — Pride

What will the library of the future be like? (In one sentence)
A creative hub of interconnected data, materials and tools to support lifelong learning — with librarians acting as guides and facilitators

Most common query in the library?
Miss, are my books overdue?

Coffee or Tea?
Builder’s tea

What job would you do if you weren’t a librarian?
I’d be a graphic designer, but I’d really like to have been a DJ!

Should the library be quiet or a place for discussion?
It depends on the type of library. In my opinion, though, a school library should be mainly quiet unless a class is being taught.

Perhaps you could do a silent disco in the library?
That’s a great World Book Day idea!

Anything you would like to ask me?
How do you decide which resources to add to your School Collection?

That’s an interesting question, I suppose at the moment we select titles based on how applicable we think they are to the schools market. This primarily comes down to our judgement of the content. Of course, it would be excellent to get the opinion of School Librarians, so if anyone has any suggestions, please get in touch!

As always, if you’d like to participate or nominate a colleague, you can reach me at tom.rodenby@exacteditions.com

Exact Editions launches Future Music Collection

Exact Editions have partnered with Future PLC to create a digital music collection, consisting of the following magazines: Computer Music, Guitar Techniques, Future Music, Total Guitar and Guitarist.

The Future Music Collection, which accompanies the broader Music Collection in the Exact Editions shop, is now available to institutional libraries. Its content varies from music technology,  to guitar tuition and music production, providing in-depth analysis and practical advice.

screen shot 2019-01-21 at 16.53.13

Each title includes a modern archive of digital issues, dating all the way back to January 2017. Users of the collection will be able to search, via web, iOS or Android platforms, the entire collection, or simply navigate to a single issue, and peruse the content there.

Please click here to view the Future Music Collection.

Interview with the Librarian – Volume 1

Welcome to our new 2019 blog series! We’re excited about this one.

We’re going to be asking librarians a short selection of questions that are intended to be fun and easygoing. We’ll be mixing up the questions from time to time to keep things fresh. Entries will be released once a week on Friday afternoons for a spot of leisurely reading before the weekend.

A little bit of trivia to start… which 1994 film is the title of the series inspired by?
Send answers to tom.rodenby@exacteditions.com

We start the series with Peter Reid of Bath Spa University, who was the first librarian to kindly volunteer their time.

Job Title

Digital Services Librarian

Best part of your job?

There’s just so much of it … with some good people.

Favourite book?

The Secret History.

Favourite magazine?

French Vanity Fair.

What will the library of the future be like? (In one sentence)

A place for quiet thought and creativity, and the generation of new ideas and knowledge, like it always was.

Most common query in the library?

Something springing from a failed, seamed journey along the many back-and-forths from link click to full text, unfortunately.

Coffee or Tea?


What job would you do if you weren’t a librarian?

Some sort of researcher.

Should the library be quiet or a place for discussion?

Quiet. The rest of the university/organisation/city or town or village is for discussion.

Anything you would like to ask me?

Job title? etc.

I’m the institutional sales and marketing manager here at Exact Editions. The role is quite varied and my responsibilities range from liaising with librarians and subscriptions agents to thinking of new email designs, writing press releases and writing blog posts!

Would you like to participate? Or nominate a colleague?
You can reach me at tom.rodenby@exacteditions.com

Exact Editions - 2019 Goals

Number One — Community Building

Fortunately for us, we already have quite a few librarian friends, but there is always room for more. In 2019 we aim to speak with as many librarians as possible. We want to hear about your daily challenges, your long-term goals, industry insights and career achievements. As part of this, we are starting a blog series (the first of which will be posted very soon) in which we ask librarians a short set of questions that should only take a minute or two to answer.

Would you like to participate? Get in touch — institutions@exacteditions.com

On a more professional note, we will be attending events such as the London Book Fair and conferences run by CILIP, JISC and UKSG. These events are very informative for us and a great opportunity to put some faces to names. Beyond that, we will be aiming to visit more libraries in person, or if you are too far away, to arrange a phone call. If you’d like to meet-up or speak over the phone, then please do let us know.

Finally, we have the library advisory board, complete with new members who will be introduced in the next round of questions! We hope that these efforts will put librarians at the heart of our strategy. We want our service to be the best it can be, and in order to achieve that, we want to continue getting to know the proactive and famously friendly library community.

Number Two — Content, Content, Content

2018 was a great year for content acquisition at Exact Editions. We had a number of new periodicals join the institutional platform, including the illustrious Times Literary Supplement which has proved very popular with customers around the world.

We’ve also started 2019 with a bang, introducing several new music titles from Future. Now the aim is to keep this momentum going and our dedicated content acquisition team will be looking to secure more titles for the platform, so keep an eye out and send us any recommendations.

The word of a librarian can carry a lot of weight in discussions with publishers, and of course, we always love to find new magazines.

Which periodical would you like to see on Exact Editions?
Let us know at institutions@exacteditions.com

Number Three —The Next Level

At Exact Editions, we are continually looking to the future and what can be described as the ‘Next Level’. This involves a balance of consolidating our current position and seeking new opportunities. To achieve this we have to have a strong, cohesive team and plenty of ideas.

We have Tech, who are constantly searching for ways to improve the online Web reader, the Exactly apps and the customer experience on our shop pages. They are working to align with the needs of libraries, in particular using the advice that we have received from meetings with librarians. And on top of this, they are developing new and exciting features for our subscribers, more will be revealed on the latest of these in the near future…

We have Production and Account Managers who work tirelessly to bring new publishers onboard and control the flow of content on the site. Without their work, we wouldn’t have the New Humanist archive dating back to 1884 or the enormous archive of The Tablet which is still in production. I suppose in a sense they are quite similar to librarians; acquiring, preserving and organising content for future readers. With more archives on the way, steam will be coming off of Production’s keyboards.

Finally, Marketing and Finance, who are the first point of contact for librarians and subscription agents. They will be coming up with new and innovative ways to spread the word about our favourite magazines and make sure that current subscribers are happy. Expect to see new email designs, plenty of blog posts and tweets.

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