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Skype Interview with leading UK publishing company

31 March 2014

Recently, our ITGS class (Information Technology in a global society, one of the subjects offered to our International Baccalaureate students) interviewed Julia Stimpson from Penguin Random House UK, a publishing company in the UK. They were working on our case study which was centered on the e-book publishing industry.

"E-books make around a quarter of the sales in Penguin Random House, with the rest of the sales comprising of physical books. One of the challenges the organisation faced when entering the e-book market was convincing customers that e-books would not replace physical books, but now there is a clear market for both and e-books offer the customer more choice and flexibility about when and how they read. Random House's merger with Penguin, completed in July 2013, has given both organizations the opportunity to share their experiences around ebook production. 

A current challenge Penguin Random House faces with e-books is discoverability of new e-books. Although e-books have allowed Penguin Random House to discover self-publishers and reach a variety of customers via organisations like Amazon, Apple and Google, it can be difficult for customers to discover new e-books that they might like. It is therefore an objective to better integrate the use of e-books into people's everyday lifestyle. Because of this, Penguin Random House is interested in understanding whether readers finish reading particular e-books and which ones are more popular than others.

We learned so much about e-books in one hour. The session was jammed pack with information that will be of great use for our ITGS paper 3 examination. We would like to thank Ms. Stimpson once again while also encourage others to take interest in the growing industry by checking out e-books and comparing the experience with paperbacks books themselves. The process of integrating new technology into society always raises interesting discussion in our class, and there is one big question that we like to ask: will new developments in IT, such as the e-book, ever replace its more traditional printed counter-part? In this case, many of us think no. Physical books will probably always have a place in society. What do you think? " Mae, Year 13

This is an abridged version of an article in the recent Secondary Newsletter. The full article can be read here.