The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

Archive for April 30th, 2009

At the NAB 2009 Supermeet I revealed, and sold, the first copies of my new book – The New Now: grow your production or postproduction business in a changed and changing world.

This is a new venture for me for two reasons: as the title suggests, this is my first business book and this is also the first time I’ve used a print-on-demand service.

The second is easier to explain. I contemplated going with print-on-demand for 2008’s HD Survival Handboook (about to be revised for the 2009 edition) but the cost of a color book of that size made the selling price, I thought, unattractive. But The New Now is a black and white book only so the economics work out. For anyone interested I’m using Amazon Createspace who handle the whole thing – ISBN number, listing in Amazon, Print-on-Demand, Shipping and I still get a decent cut of the selling price.

I will be interested as to the balance of PDF vs Paperback purchasers there are given the price differential: PDF download is $9.95, while the paperback will sell for $18.95 plus shipping etc. 

As to why a business book this time. Because this knowledge needs to get to people in production and postproduction businesses. The principles would apply to any service-oriented business but the examples are for production and postproduction people.

I also wrote, in part, to force myself to focus on, and analyze the application of, a whole range of new communication forums – blogs, social media, twitter – and new ways to do branding, PR, marketing and advertising that don’t involve the cost structures of more traditional approaches (which still work well for those who can afford them). 

I’ve learnt a lot writing the book. Some of which I’ve been able to put in practice already, and some of which I still have to apply for myself. I could have waited until I had personal results to report, or I could get the knowledge out there so other people could start to benefit from it asap.

The current economic downturn just exacerbated changes that were already happening, but instead of happening over the next five years, they’re happening much more suddenly. The demise (or imminent demise) of newspapers foreshadows the dangers for television and production industries if we don’t adapt. 

I also think that I’m well positioned to write a business book for the production and postproduction industries because I’ve owned and operated businesses in those industries since 1987, and been digital NLE since 1994. We’ve adapted and will adapt again. One of the lessons I learnt along the way is the value of owning content. It’s the last section in the book but the most valuable lesson I learnt in business, other than to keep my prices higher, in some cases doubling the price on products we created and sold. 

So, I’ve bundled up my 36 years of business experience – 22 years of them in production or postproduction – and learnt how to apply all the new techniques and The New Now is the result. It’s an easy read, packed with information that is guaranteed to grow your business, whatever the economic circumstances.

April 2009
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