As conventional book sales decrease, book publishers have to come up with innovative strategies for sourcing, making and selling books. Between 2012 and 2016, Mario Gagliardi Design consulted Thames and Hudson, a mid-sized visual art publisher, on new strategies for book publishing. We came up with three strategic product building blocks which can be combined into a variety of new publishing products: the augmented book, the DIY book and the crowdsourced book.
The augmented book adds digital assets to a book to make it an immersive experience. The DIY book lets authors write and design their book with an online app. The crowdsourced book lets the public co-finance book projects.
In the intersections of these three product strategies, there are interesting product ideas. Authors can create a book, present it for crowdsourcing and boost its attractiveness by adding digital assets, all in one integrated platform. There could be books of lives, narratives of what authors experienced and recorded with Google glasses. As a sales strategy, we proposed sales timelines in which products go through different sales channels: starting with exclusive editions, products can after a period of time be offered as co-branded bundles and end their sales timeline by being sold on Amazon.
As a result, Thames and Hudson presented Volume, their new crowdsource book platform, in 2017.