Three kinds of publishing enterprises can survive

2022-09-23
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In the media era, there are three kinds of publishing enterprises that can survive.

Wang Bin is not unaware of the difficulties encountered by his foreign counterparts. At the same time, he also understands the time window of the Chinese market; But this soberness does not help dispel his confusion: how long can the time window of the market last under the background of the old industrial model being overturned by technology

before Song Hongbing became famous, the manuscript of "currency war" had been tossed around several publishers, all of which hit a wall. At that time, he was not well-known. Although the theme of conspiracy theory caught people's attention, publishers still felt that it was risky

the manuscript went to Jianglei, deputy editor in chief of CITIC publishing house. She believed that the book would sell well. It was possible to sell 300 or 400 thousand books. For financial books, 100000 books were basically considered best sellers. Jiang Lei's dilemma is that the content is a little uncertain. Is it appropriate for CITIC to publish such a book? She found financial practitioners within CITIC Group to make recommendations, and they replied that the books would be hot, and the content should be recommended by her real name, so it's not necessary

only such a book was approved at three meetings of the topic selection committee of CITIC news agency. At that time, there were only 35000 copies printed, priced at 38 yuan, less than 2million copies of code ocean (code Ocean: the book publishing industry refers to the total price of books), and the final legitimate sales of nearly 2million copies

the success of "currency war", in Jiang Lei's words, caught up with the time, place and people. The current situation creates heroes, and the achievements are not only bestsellers. In the past decade, the cultural and entertainment needs gradually released in the Chinese market, the reform of the publishing industry and the subjective initiative of entrepreneurship make it possible to draw a conclusion that the zigzag experiment can also be applied through the experimental installation with two supporting rollers and a bent core. The undercurrent surges in the plate circle, and we can see the opening time window of industry innovation; What makes people ponder is that at about the same time, the traditional publishing industry is being driven into the seemingly narrow path by the new digital technology around the world

Wang Bin is not unaware of the difficulties encountered by his foreign counterparts. At the same time, he also understands the time window of the Chinese market; But this soberness does not help dispel his confusion: how long can the time window of the market last under the background of the old industrial model being overturned by technology? Will the destructive innovation caused by technology cause the survival crisis of traditional operators? Before that, can the CITIC society in which you work form a sufficient scale to become a leftover? Or can we grasp new technologies and new models and become a new benchmark

unstable scale effect

the natural unstable scale effect of the publishing industry makes this industry must be a penny pinching business. Wang Bin has been president of CITIC press for the eleventh year. In 2010, CITIC news agency produced more than 600 books, with finance accounting for more than 1/2, and most of them were printed in tens of thousands. The reason why the decision-making of "currency war" should be read three times is that in addition to its sensitive content, its investment is also a medium-sized project, so we should be careful. We should know that many books earn tens of thousands of yuan in a long time, and even many projects lose money. In the meantime, choosing topics, planning, and finding may get different results under the same experimental conditions. Copyright, editing, going abroad, printing, marketing, and channels cannot be spared

for publishing houses, books are first of all a business, or a very expensive business

Lu Xinzhi is the chief planner of hengtongtang Culture Communication Co., Ltd. he is also a financial writer. He positions himself as a cultural man who respects the rules of business. I publish books on leftist views and books on rightist views. Lu Xue's finance is from an authentic academic background. He heard that someone made fun of the content of "currency war". The structure of the book was like a student with poor grades in the class who made a quarrel with the teacher

however, Lu Xinzhi still agrees that bestsellers are the key driver to improve the publishing business performance and brand. Based on his own experience, he calculated an account: a book is priced at 40 yuan, about 300 pages. If it can sell more than 600000 copies, the average royalty is about 10% and the cost of ordinary printing can be controlled at 4 The average share of various administrative expenses can be less than 1 yuan, and the total cost is about 10 yuan. If the publishing house ships at a discount of 60%, the net revenue of a book is 24 yuan, the gross profit rate can exceed 100%, and the gross profit can exceed 10 million. Of course, the profitability of CITIC publishing house is not so strong. Its shipping discount is generally less than 60%, and the operating cost is much higher. For example, the royalties are about 10%-12%, and the printing and binding costs are also higher. In addition, CITIC publishing house is a state-owned enterprise rather than a public institution, and the tax expenditure accounts for a large proportion

the scale effect of a single book in the book industry is obvious, but it is not easy to realize the scale. Book making is a cultural manufacturing industry, which is a bit similar to the household appliance manufacturing industry. Lu Xinzhi said similar, not referring to the scale effect of a single product, but a lengthy accounting period. The collection in the industry is generally more than 6 months. In addition to underwriting, the publisher has to carry the inventory that cannot be sold out by himself. If it cannot be sold out, it can only be disposed of at special prices. If you want to be fast, you have to sacrifice the profit margin

due to the high proportion of inventory, the publishing industry is a heavy asset industry. It depends on how big a publishing house is, not how many people, but how many goods it has, Lu Xinzhi said. For example, hengtongtang now has about 15 people, tens of millions of code, and tens of millions of goods are stored in the hands of dealers. In CITIC news agency, the second branch in charge of Jiang Lei alone made 130million code books in 2010, of which most of the books published in the second half of the year could not make money that year. CITIC press has three branches in the field of Finance and economics alone, and it can't play without money

more importantly, we should grab resources and get a big price. Those who can judge and sell well are often the books of first-line authors; In this regard, publishers often compete to raise prices, and good resources are not easy to get. At that time, the prepayment of $30000 for the Autobiography of Jack Welch was sky high, but a few years later, in order to win snowball, CITIC press prepaid $200000, and now the best-selling novels have a price of $1 million

in addition to raising the prepayment, the royalties are now inflating. I heard that some will give 16% or 18%; This is a great pressure on publishers. The printing cost will account for about%, and there will be discounts for bookstores and channels. The royalties are so high, and the intermediate profits are very low. Jiang Lei said. In addition, some authors will also care about the number of prints. The new edition of a dream of Red Mansions by Liu Xinwu is known as 1million. I think the author also has relevant needs. An insider said

everyone is staring at the market. The first book is hot, so go to look at the author immediately. The price of the second book must go up. In addition to the high advance payment, the first print volume is also continuously ranked up in 100000 copies, to show confidence in the author and the book. CITIC's general strategy is to print the volume for about three months according to the estimated sales volume, and then increase it continuously. This is our way to reduce inventory and risk. However, the author or overseas copyright chamber of Commerce have different expectations, so we are very embarrassed at this time. Jiang Lei said that some of the author resources she explored could not cooperate for a long time, and she was also very helpless. There was price competition here, and it also depended on whether they were right or wrong

in recent years, capital began to enter the publishing field, which pushed up the price of publishing resources this round, and a large number of currencies began to chase limited high-quality publishing resources. It is understood that many booksellers have venture capital or other capital channels. However, market-oriented institutions lack niche markets such as textbooks or professional publishing. Many new entrants will fiercely compete for resources out of some strategic considerations, and their style is quite fierce

desire for scale and economies of scope

can be solved by the bridge and road compensation method. However, money is not everything in the publishing industry

Lu Xinzhi found that several private institutions in front of him can increase their size by an order of magnitude by relying on a best-selling book or a best-selling series. For example, "things in the Ming Dynasty" to the iron mill company. Before, they hovered in the scale of 20 to 30 million for many years. For tens of millions of booksellers, in the past two years, as long as the endogenous motivation is enough, they can achieve growth step by step

however, a volume like CITIC has begun to be constrained by the expansion speed of the entire market scale. According to Wang Bin's estimate in 2010, the scale of popular books is about 35billion, and Financial Publishing accounts for less than 10%, which is a narrow market. The rise of CITIC is attributed to the differentiation of its product line. In the early years, it vigorously introduced classic management series. At that time, the discipline of financial management continued to hold the voice in the field of Social Sciences, and the rising entrepreneurial class in China urgently needed a ready-made knowledge system of business management. At that time, the business department led by Jiang Lei could achieve an annual growth of more than 20%

however, the most beautiful era is over. The introduction of classic resources has come to an end, and the growth of the financial field increasingly depends on localized creative resources. Many publishing houses, including the Huazhang branch of the machinery industry press, are cultivating and mining local excellent publishing resources. The current situation is that the Financial Publishing varieties are increasing, and the average sales volume of a single book is declining

this has accelerated the impulse of CITIC press to expand its categories. The current design of this publishing house is to build a complete product series around the financial management, career, life emotion, child education and other aspects of the mainstream population. The first problem immediately came: the operating ability and brand advantages of financial books have not been successfully transplanted. The publishing industry has economies of scope, vertical differentiation, and the operation methods of books in different categories are very different. For example, books extending to culture need to be rebuilt. Wang Bin explained

as mentioned above: This is not an industry that can be promoted by money. Publishing is sometimes like venture capital. Publishing houses have been investing money until they receive payment. The low unit price of the book means that the profit space available for sharing is limited

if your strength is not strong, you will be basically out if you fall into one of several fights. Failure and success of the species, generally open, this business can grow. Lu Xinzhi said. And no matter how much money, if we blindly seek to increase the number of varieties, in fact, in the end, in addition to increasing the value in the balance sheet, it may not make the income statement look better. Without any moves, it can only create volume, so that we can only collect corpses, a book publishing industry observer commented bitterly

another potential advantage of sufficient funds is the ability to acquire and operate. For example, through the acquisition of professional publishing houses, the expansion of product lines and multi brand operation can be realized. Wang Bin originally thought so, but later he found that there is always a distance between reality and ideal

the reform of the publishing industry in recent years has been carried out faster at the local level. Driven by the local government, several individual publishing houses soon merged into publishing groups; However, foreign acquirers are often excluded, and it is almost impossible to participate in mergers and acquisitions; The publishing units that used to belong to the central ministries and commissions and institutions have a lot of policy obstacles due to the unclear ownership of many assets; Many M & A negotiations are very smooth at the initial stage, but it is difficult to pass the examination and approval to the competent authority; If you want to acquire private teams, the expectations of the latter are often too high, and their valuations are very different, which is not easy

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