by Victoria Southgate
I decided to take a break over Christmas because I spent the months running up to it in, what can only be describe with hindsight as, a disorientating freefall. 2011 provided me with many contacts and the majority of them have been an open resource of information, guidance, advice and support. I have spent months trying to gather all the information I need and just before Christmas I found myself floundering, it is very probable that I was overloaded with information and advice. I needed to decide where I wanted to be, be specific (for the first time in my life) as to what I wanted to achieve. I wanted to create a super-duper business plan/strategy, something that I could refer back to, that would spur me on in the darkest of times, which all start-up businesses go through.
However, I asked for help to do this, so I had a game-plan, but the help wasn’t there. No-one could tell me what I needed to know, nobody else knew what I could do. I had to figure it out for myself! So after months of reassessing my business idea and stressing about what my end game should be, yet never really getting my head around where I am truly going, Christmas was upon me. I went into the Christmas week in a blur. I felt as if I should be doing something, what had I forgotten to do? Then I realised; Christmas was going to happen anyway, even if I had forgotten something and …did it really matter? It was at that moment I decided to STOP DOING and START BEING.
The first thing I did?… I played with my 7 year old daughter, I allowed myself to be immersed in her world. I discovered how differently she views things. I listened to her; her stories; her songs; her chats with her toys; the games she plays; and I listened to her reading from many different types of books.
It then occurred to me that sitting beside me ‘was’ the future of publishing. It is her generation that will decide how publishing will progress, so I asked her what she prefers to read – Digital or Physical books? Her initial answer was concise, so simple, she simply said “Both!”. So I asked her what she would read in the Physical form and what she would read in Digital format. Her answer was, this time, more considered and intellectually astute… this is what she said:
“I would read Physical fiction books and Digital non-fiction”
her reasoning was this:
“I get more of an experience out of the non-real stories when I read them and feel the book and I can really ‘get into’ the story. And when I want to know and learn about real things, I think it is good to be able to get extra information and it makes learning fun.”
As a 7 year old, she is reading stories that are littered with illustrations, because her ability to read and imagine is still limited even though her reading age is far older than she is. She could easily read text based books, but she would not get as much enjoyment out of them as she does when there is visual stimuli to break up the monotony of text.
My Daughter’s responses to my questions confirms that the Future of Publishing must include Physical Books and Digital Content, working together to create a greater whole. So beyond wanting to provide creative services for publishing professionals and companies, I have decided that VixenUK’s end game will include collaborating with other companies to produce high quality Physical and Digital products.
I would very much like to hear from anyone who would like to join me to develop a great future for the Publishing Industry.