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SeasonsOnline: How one publisher went from print to web... and survived!

Published: April 26 2009

It’s no longer a secret – the print world is in trouble.

We knew it was coming. Every week we hear about another magazine shutting down or newspaper staff cuts. The flexibility of the Internet is threatening old business models and distribution methods. The record industry alone has been going through a mini-revolution with the help of iTunes and other online services such as last.fm. The old fundamentals of distributing product are questioned on a daily basis. In a world where digital distribution is king, how can distributers and publishers compete?

Wood Lake Publishing is a trusted name in Christian Publishing in North America and various countries around the world. It has provided stimulating reading and lecture-based practical group resources for 25 years. Wood Lake saw the trends in the publishing industry and started to read between the lines. They needed to get online.

Wood Lake Publishing came to DotCom Media looking for a way to bypass their old distribution models and reach their customers directly. We began to look at distribution methods in other industries and started to create a model that could work for Wood Lake. Together, DotCom Media and Wood Lake Publishing took their flagship product, Seasons of the Spirit, and introduced it to the online world with SeasonsOnline.ca. In 2008, DotCom helped bring Seasons of the Spirit into the digital realm by creating a portal that allowed churches to purchase and access all the materials online. This reduced the need for print, shipping, and distribution, and offered a greener alternative for churches around the world.

This last month, SeasonsOnline started their 2nd year of materials, and have found online sales up over 800%!  SeasonsOnline has been so successful that Wood Lake Publishing is currently looking into introducing the online model into new geographical areas across the globe.

This is just one example of how print based companies can adapt and evolve in this ever changing landscape of technologies.