Heshan J Peiris
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|Name||Heshan J Peiris|
|Publishers||KBOOKS Pvt Ltd|
|In 2012, KBOOKS was started as a small-scale publishing company in Sri Lanka as a side hustle, and we were eager to make a fine blend of both reading and technology with this new company. We have won almost every national level literary award for our printed publications to date. In 2017, we have moved into the eCommerce domain with Printed Books Delivery in Sri Lanka, and we have fulfilled over 100,000 orders to date. We have also moved into retail in 2020 with 2 physical bookshops. Currently, we are on the path of becoming a tech startup with exponential growth with our latest cross-platform digital reading framework, KReader, which is focusing on the next level of digital reading experience for readers in South Asia and Africa. We are working with Global Advisors and Mentors for disruptive startups, EDRLab, Polygon, and Chainlink.|
Keywords for innovation in publishing
Technology and innovation are evolving at a rapid pace around the world, and there are numerous areas where the publishing industry can benefit from these emerging trends and become a more cutting-edge industry while making reading more affordable and there are key areas that can be listed as follows as the keywords for innovation in publishing.
1. Digital Publishing and Reading
1. 1. eBooks
In today's world, there are 6.567 billion smartphones, which means that more than 83% of the world's population owns a smartphone. (Statista) As of July 2022, there are 5.03 billion Internet users worldwide. (Statista) Reaching readers via the Internet and allowing them to read from their smartphones has immense market potential, in addition it will enable the Software as a Service (SaaS) model for delivering entertainment and knowledge via digital channels. According to global reading surveys, one out of every four sales was purchased as an eBook, and this figure is increasing exponentially year over year. Much research is being conducted in order to enable browser-based cross-platform reading with improved DRM that will work with many of the leading web browsers. And as technology advances, eBooks will become an industry with an exponential growth in the years ahead.
On the other hand, there is a global trend toward audio streaming services, and podcasts and audiobooks are becoming increasingly popular. Audiobooks are becoming increasingly popular in China, with over 30% market share, and this trend will likely continue in other Asian countries in the coming years. Many readers are unable to find the time and peace to read a paperback book due to their hectic lifestyles. However, audiobooks allow them to listen to their favourite books while at work, traveling, driving, exercising, or even dining. And the significant proportion of Millennials and Generation Z are eager for personal development and wealth creation. They are, however, shorting the amount of time they spend reading, making them an ideal audience for audiobooks. Furthermore, audiobooks are a better tool for readers in terms of accessibility for people with visual impairments, as discussed further in the following paragraph.
2. Reading for the Visually Impaired
Local language book readers with visual impairments in Asia are currently struggling to meet their reading expectations due to the limited availability of impairment-supportive reading material with traditional printed publishing and are seeking more technology-driven solutions to overcome these challenges. For them to be able to read, audiobooks would be a lifesaver. Enabling accessibility-friendly features in the app or reading framework also makes it much easier for readers with visual impairments to find and listen to their favourite audiobooks. It will make it easier for them to gain access to knowledge and live a normal life, just like many others who have access to knowledge.
3. Augmented Reality for Reading/Learning
Augmented Reality allows readers to have more interactive and gamified experiences, and it can be used in children’s books and educational needs to provide a better learning experience. With the assistance of 3D models and animations, it will provide students with a better way to comprehend more complex subject matters in the educational domain. Learners can interact with educational content in a fun way by using audio and video overlays. In addition, interactive and gamified experiences would be an excellent motivator for children to read more. They wouldn’t just be reading the books; they’d be interacting with the characters in the story, which would foster a love of reading in children. Who doesn’t enjoy interacting with the characters in a book while reading it?
4. AI based Behavioural Recommendations for Reading
It’s fascinating to think about how ML (Machine Learning) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) will transform the publishing industry in the future. Using ML and AI, we will soon be able to niche target readers based on their reading preferences, as well as predict reader responses and attention for both book covers and actual content. Ultimately, to emotionally attach readers to reading, serve them what they really want to read at the right time, and they will want to read that specific content. On the other hand, this would be extremely beneficial for publishers to understand reader engagement for books in digital formats before they are published in paperback. Alternatively, obtain real-time test readers for the content and to understand the book covers with the strongest reader engagement. Readers would see titles based on their reading preferences with behavioural recommendations, which could encourage them to continue reading the suggested books through AI.
5. Utilization of Blockchain Technology for Reading
5.1. Blockchain Technology/NFTs
There is an emerging trend for the use of Blockchain Technology throughout all industries, but there are currently only a few use cases in the publishing industry. In the digital publishing domain, eBooks and audiobooks can be considered NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) this improves the transparency, traceability, and accountability of digital sales of books. Enabling ERC-721-based dynamic Smart Contracts for eBooks and Audiobooks will make it easier for authors to understand their books’ sales volumes, who own each unique copy of the book, and how many books were actually purchased using the smart contract we generate for each book. Writers and publishers would be able to deploy millions of books and their unique instances into the Web3 space at a low cost using Polygon Blockchain, which offers low gas fees and lazy minting. This will also allow writers and publishers to have better intellectual property ownership and content rights.
5.2. IPFS(InterPlanetary File System)
This includes exploring the utilization and potential of IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) for improved DRM (Digital Rights Management) protected digital reading materials. This is an experimental feature that we are developing internally to build a more secure, efficient, and distributed P2P content delivery system based on IPFS that allows eBooks and Audiobooks to be encrypted and stored in a decentralized manner that uses content-addressed storage. Each piece of data in this protocol is given a unique content identifier (CID). Based on this unique CID, all content-addressed data in IPFS can be found and retrieved. There is no single point of failure on a single server with decentralization. Nobody can censor or delete the data. More importantly, it would be cost-effective because it would not necessitate a large number of high-performance servers or load balancers from a centralized provider in order to deliver the content with 100% uptime.
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