Dead Tree Edition
April 30, 2012
The creator of Angry Birds has been a book publisher for less than five months but already grasps a truth that eludes so many long-time publishers.
"It is actually not relevant whether we choose print or a digital channel - what matters is that there is someone out there who cares, who reads, listens, and communicates with us. That's what publishing is all about, communication," Peter Vesterbacka, CMO at Rovio Entertainment Ltd, told The Griffin, papermaker UPM-Kymmene's corporate magazine. Ironically, that quotation is in the print and PDF versions of the magazine but not the web version.
Many panicked publishers seem to have adopted the mindset that the web is replacing print and then apps will replace the web.
No stupid arguments
But Finland-based Rovio and its Angry Birds game apps are so successful that it can actually make intelligent media choices instead of following the herd. You won't hear any of the stupid print-versus-digital debates that dominate the discussions of more experienced publishers.
"Stories can be told through so many channels, the book is not a given in all cases," Sanna Lukander of Rovio Books said in November when the company launched its first title, Bad Piggies' Egg Recipes. "It´s up to us publishers to share the stories in the preferred formats and through the channels that our readers feel comfortable with."
The recipe book, by the way, is not available in Kindle, Nook, or iBook formats. You can only get it in print.
Rovio has followed up with Angry Birds-themed coloring books, board books, and a sticker book - all of which play to print's strengths. Now it is combing through manuscripts "on the lookout for wonderful stories," according to The Griffin.
"I must say," Lukander commented, "that the traditional book is really a wonderful format to cherish."
This article originally appeared at Dead Tree Edition (http://deadtreeedition.blogspot.com/), which is written by a magazine-industry manager who goes by the pseudonym D. Eadward Tree. Comments made in this blog are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of RISI, Inc., its parent company or sponsors.