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“Loving to read as a strategist”. Episode 18. The business of reading.

Why did our corporate strategy representatives provoke to implement what it isn´t been studied and proven yet by specialists, scientists, and experts from different fields?

“Cozy reading”. A watercolor training exercise by Eliescalante. Painted last week. Paper: Fabriano Traditional White 300 GSM. Pigments: Van Gogh and Holbein. Not for sale. Photo inspiration: Freepik.

Why are the technologies (and the new inventions coming from the technology sector) driving what our societies need, or want? Why are we galloping behind the technology sector, when it should be the other way around?

A corporate strategist (business owner, advisor, or consultant to the board of directors, or elected representatives by democracies in the government) that is situated in the private, or public sector (no matter the industry, sub-industry, or government department serving each economic sector), is required to lead the decision making for the sake of the goodness of the societies. In theory, it is not the technology that drives the industry, but the industry that realizes what they need considering all the well-being aspects of the employees (including their families). It is each company leader that must perform the analysis and decides when, how, what, where, and for how long a technological invention can or can not be properly implemented for the sake of its own people’s well-being. The technology sector should be at the disposition of the industries as a tool. Not as the backbone of everything. At the moment, or since the Y2K, it seems to me that the industries have lost the way because the technology sector is pushing them, by trends, or by the pursuit of efficiency and cost reduction. It is the tech industry that is leading the future, it is the tech sector that is propelling everyone  (from every industry) to jump into waters of uncertainty. It is the high-tech (which is abnormally risky by nature) that is forcing us to utilize their gadgets or software or AI-forced stuff, meanwhile, we all are simply receiving the order to do it, without any type of discernment.  It is the tech sector that is driving everything, without the premise of being integrally investigated, analyzed, and scrutinized in a multidisciplinary manner previously. The toolkits are driving the head. And that can´t continue as such.

“Even the most elevated educated Europeans have pushed for conceptual errors when we adopt disruptive technologies. In the midst of technological uncertainty, our decision-making and regulation must be extremely high and overly cautious. Better to go deliberately slow than to regret”.

Eleonora Escalante Strategy

Let me explain what is going on in the business of reading. To this day, I am sure that you are already discerning that the business of reading is intrinsically connected to whatever humans learn. The educational learning experience is linked to language reading-writing organically. So the business of reading is the business of learning. And this business is the foundation for all our cultures and societies. Whatever we do to the business of reading, impacts learning, and in consequence, it affects everything we do in our societies.  In 1996,  the European Commission empowered the importance of multimedia and the Internet to encourage research and development with initiatives aiming to stimulate the development and use of multimedia in Europe (1). How could it be that leaders from a collection of the top supra nations (The European Union), decided to provoke the most decisive policies in relation to the utilization of multimedia technologies in learning, without knowing in advance that those initiatives weren´t still proven by academics of multidisciplinary grounds? How could it be that 25 years ago, the decision-making for the business of reading began to be so altered since its start, without putting in place, and in advance all the pros and cons coming from academics of different disciplines?. And I mention the European Union, with such a respectful and honorable example, of how the most rigorous humans that I know on earth, can also make mistakes. Even the most elevated educated Europeans have pushed for conceptual errors when we adopt disruptive technologies. In the midst of technological uncertainty, our decision-making and regulation must be extremely high and overly cautious. Better to go slow than to regret.

If the business of reading is the foundation of all our learning experiences in all disciplines, how did we jump into using multimedia and the internet, then, without knowing in advance all the consequences?  What drivers were considered at that time to promote such a dramatic change that we are reaping the imbalance of such decisions today… In my personal opinion, not as a strategist, but as a book-lover ultimate consumer: we are reaping now all the consequences of the decisions taken in the 1990s decade. More than 25 years have passed. And we are just starting to wake up to the notion that it is not the tech that drives business, but it is business that must rely upon independent researchers (from multiple academic sources with impeccable ethics) first. It is the business that must depend on a diversity of professions and domains (including historians, social scientists, archaeologists, human resources specialists, historians of the art, psychologists, philosophers, human scientists, neurophysiologists, brain connoisseurs,  etc) to evaluate with serious long studies to all the innovation technologies first, before even considering them commercially viable for a Design-based research process.

The business of reading is an example of industries that have been accepting any new technology available in the market without considering all the consequences. Many publishers, knew around 25 years ago, that the Internet was going to affect them, but no one knew the extent of the damage that has caused to the readers’ brains. Nowadays, scientists and experts have started to talk about it, but 25 years have passed, and here we are trying to find out what to do to fix the major issues that we are facing.

Let´s find out what is the business of reading. We have prepared a set of slides about the book publishing industry which is represented in the NAICS 51113 (By the US NAICS 2017 categorization).

The market size of the business of reading books.
I exhort you to understand the slides that we have prepared for you. I have been trying to understand the size of the publishing industry first, not just in the United States, but also globally. I also wish you to see the big picture: The market size of book publishers is around 100 billion dollars per year globally. 25 companies represent 50% of that global market in sales. The top book publisher corporations are RELX, Pearson, Thompson Reuters, Bertelsmann, Wolters Kluver, Hachette Livre, Springer, Wiley, Haper Collins, Scholastic, McGraw Hill, Phoenix Publishing, Cengage, and Holtzbrink. The first inference about the reading book business industry (we have not included magazines and newspapers in our analysis), is that the book-publishing industry is highly concentrated. In addition, the publishers of higher reputation are located in the USA, The Netherlands, Italy, Germany, France, Canada, Spain, the UK, and Japan. The second inference is that all our reading books are published in 9 countries, from which all our learning depends. In our schools (K-12) and Universities, we learn from books published in these nations.

In Latinamerica, we learn from books translated by authors who are published in these 9 countries, but we, as local authors are far behind in producing our own books that can contend with the content supported by these international publishers. We are far behind from at least aspiring in serving our own domestic or local organic clients. The same applies to other developing economies.  Authors from poor nations can´t or are unable to even get the attention of these publishing corporations, not even from their representatives located in our capital cities. So, our development as authors to work with these corporations hasn´t even been activated. Yet.

The book publishing business model.  Slide number 13, illustrates the business model of a typical publishing company. I will discuss this in our next session because I need to review some details about the book publishing value chain. I don´t have all the reliable data on my hands, so I am doing miracles to make sense of what I can obtain from public sources on the Internet.  A market research study from this industry costs around $4,000 to $6,000 dollars, and I can´t afford it. So I have tried to do my best with what I can, by identifying the truth from the faux. Today, we only wanted to show you a prelude to what is coming next week. In our next publication, we will cover more about the publishing industry. We will provide a Porter Analysis and an overview of the industry drivers, critical issues,  challenges, trends, and opportunities. We will also offer you an ample rationale about why the D2C publishing model has organic flaws that need to be addressed.

Announcement: Our next  Tuesday´s publication is “The Publishing industries and the Internet”.

Illustrative and non-commercial image. Used for educational use. Utilized only informatively for the public good


Strategic Music Section

Music Reading chill-outs

In our last episode, we started to explore the definition of “reading fluency”. Professor Timothy Rasinski from Kent State University has defined this term in a noteworthy manner. We become fluent readers when we can read texts accurately, automatically, and with the appropriate prosody. And this applies when we read orally aloud, and when we read in silence. Today we will explore the term automatically. To read automatically means that we are able to not just identify with accuracy, but instantly and without effort with automatic and without conscious thought or hard work.

Automatic means that we can recognize all the words in the text, without stopping, or without the need for a dictionary in an involuntary and intuitive way. To read automatically requires reading accuracy, enables an appropriate reading speed, and it feels exquisite to read As if you are reading unconsciously on a super highway! The more vocabulary words we fill in our brains, by reading continuously,  the more we are able to read automatically.

The music that accompanies your reading today is from a young Hungarian composer Ferenc Hegedus. The Title: Opus 2 – Piano Version. His Youtube channel is OCB Relax Music. He has beautiful music videos that I listen to when I am writing.

See you next Tuesday 15th of November, with the 19th episode of the saga “Loving to read as a strategist: The Publishing industries and the internet”. Thank you for reading to me. Blessings.

“Loving to Read as a Strategist”. Illustrative and non-commercial image. Giphy source from Nazaret Escobedo

Sources of reference are utilized today: All are Included in the slides.

(1) Anthoney, A.; Royle, J. and Johnson, I. “The UK children’s publishing house adapting to change for the multimedia market”.  The Electronic Library. Emerald. Volume 18. Number 4 . 2000. pp. 269-278

Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY.  All are used as Illustrative and non-commercial images. Utilized only informatively for the public good. Nevertheless, most of this blog’s pictures, images, or videos are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.

Episode 18th total amount of words: 1,837
Reading time: 10  minutes

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