Hudson tells LBF of 'focus on digital’

Hudson tells LBF of 'focus on digital’

Random House will focus on international partnerships, engage directly with customers and encourage a “digitally focused mindset” in-house as it continues its transformation to digital. Those were some of the highlights of RH UK deputy group c.e.o. Ian Hudson’s speech to delegates at London Book Fair's China–UK Digital Forum this week.

Hudson revealed that the RH group now has 10,000 e-books available in its British business, and 40,000 globally. Thus far in 2012 in the UK, e-books have accounted for almost 20% of RH’s sales, he said.

With the rise of e-book revenue, RH has focused on training staff, Hudson said. He added: “Our vision is that every member of our company will ultimately be able to contribute to our digital success in some shape or form . . . widespread awareness, knowledge and understanding is enabling more and more of our colleagues to innovate and be creative digitally.”

With digital “knowing no boundaries”, Hudson said RH was looking internationally more than ever before, and particularly singled out the LBF Market Focus country. He said: “We will seek to grow our international business and develop new partnerships and opportunities. China therefore, and more particularly the partnerships we can build with Chinese companies and institutions, are of enormous importance to us.”

Random is also engaging more directly with consumers than at any time in the past and RH must act as the “creative interface” between authors and readers, Hudson said. “Digital facilitates direct engagement with our consumers both through our publishing and more particularly through our digital marketing. Social media and modern marketing techniques are our key tools as we strive to get closer to our consumers and facilitate their discovery of our titles.”

Hudson pointed out that the company had several projects “untethered to print”, such as bespoke digital short stores and the Brain Shots series. He also revealed that the Richard Dawkins Magic of Reality iPad app sold 23,000 units since September at £9.99.