Hermes is one of the largest book publishing companies in Bulgaria. It has a chain of bookstores with over 80 employees around the country. The company came to us as they wanted to innovate on their internal processes. To better understand how we could help, we sat down with their team and talked about the different aspects of their business. We discussed what could be improved by utilizing their resources more effectively.
One of the key factors in publishing is text quality. This is typically controlled by having full-time editors and multiple part-time proofreaders. Proofreaders return feedback on spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, correct terms usage, and text consistency and are paid per book. However, Hermes had one very strong position - their chain of bookstores already had the proofreaders in place - the actual sales personnel. Not only that but this way, they could also get to know the book before it's publishing, hence, they could promote it to potential clients. The final piece came as the marketing team needed quotes from the very books, and these quotes could be provided directly from the proofreaders themselves.
We created a closed internal system to involve the employees in the proofreading process. The system allows them to read new books in advance on their mobile devices. They can mark mistakes and highlight quotes they like. The pre-press team sees the corrections on their desktop interface and this greatly speeds up their work. Ultimately, this brought an overall improvement for several business aspects:
Better text quality;
Shop assistants at the bookstores are now more engaged with the publisher's books and start "selling" them before the official release;
Time saved for the Marketing team - they have ready-to-use quotes for their campaigns.
We built on top of existing libraries using the .epub format;
We crafted carefully thought-out mobile and desktop interfaces to help readers mark errors and create highlights easily. This allowed the pre-press team to handle the corrections in a fast and consistent manner;
We encrypted the information on the devices to ensure there wouldn't be any leaks of content.