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Whether you know it or not, APIs have taken over various industries. Our article titled The Role of APIs in the Future of Technology shares that these software intermediaries have been a critical technology for the past few years—and their importance will continue to develop. After all, APIs enable interactivity between various software applications and services, bring automation in developing applications, and provide a simpler interface to work with when developers integrate different systems. In the future, some applications of APIs will likely include allowing IoT devices to share data and interact with other devices and helping the news industry report more accurate data by accessing information from sources like social media platforms.

Yet, did you know that APIs are also vital in the publishing industry? You might think this technology has no place in releasing works like books and magazines. However, the industry would most likely fall apart without it. To find out more about APIs’ role in publishing, keep reading below:

How do APIs work in the publishing industry?

An Application Programming Interface (API) is a code that allows two programs or software to communicate and interact. TechTarget adds that developers use them to ask for services from an operating system. From here, they can expose data using different contexts and across multiple platforms or channels.

That means APIs help authors, publishers, and related professionals share accurate information about their works. Instead of relying on web users to relay a book’s summary and other important details, publishers use an API to display a book’s proper metadata—like its title, author, book description, and publication date.

APIs can even disseminate content about a book in a more streamlined manner. Releasing an API containing accurate book information makes it easier for this content to flow more naturally throughout the Internet. Since readers don’t have to dig within websites or other platforms to know more about a book, they can discover more titles.

The benefits of APIs for the publishing industry

APIs give publishers opportunities to adopt new business models

Depending on a publishing company’s goals and type of published work, it may benefit from having only one or multiple business models. APIs help by providing more options for them to choose from. The subscription model, in particular, is one the API allows, letting consumers access thousands of works for a regular fee. Developers use subscription APIs to offer different billing structures and accept various payment methods.

Such models are already finding success today, mainly when applied to digital libraries. Take Everand: for a low monthly fee equivalent to the price of a single book, it provides subscribers with all kinds of resources—from audiobooks and ebooks to magazines and podcasts—including renowned works like Stephen King’s Haunted Heart and Laura Lippman’s The Summer of Fall. Yet APIs let Everand do more than just implement a subscription model. They also allow the company to integrate users from its parent company, Scribd, to provide a more seamless experience. That means even Scribd subscribers can access Everand, and newer Everand subscribers may also explore Scribd’s offers. With this, the company expands its reach with a new business model.

APIs help better promote published works

Promoting books can be a struggle for many authors and publishers. In the past, they may have attended or initiated book events, posted articles, and used social media to get more attention. With APIs, however, they can more easily create content about their works. APIs use publishing tools with advanced AI algorithms, allowing publishers to create promotional material for books more easily. For example, APIs can analyze a piece of writing from the publisher and assign it to a specific reading level, allowing publishers to promote books and other materials to particular age ranges and reading levels.

Tech giant Amazon started as an online bookstore and is now one of the biggest online platforms for book-selling. APIs played a huge part in helping it reach a milestone in 2020: the first year where online book sales outnumbered physical sales. This largely came about through Amazon allowing authors to self-publish through helpful initiatives like Amazon Books API. Authors and publishers can register for a product advertising API, wherein they’ll provide their book’s metadata. Developers who are affiliate partners with Amazon can then access this information about the book and promote the products. Once an author or publisher accesses Amazon’s associate program, they can use APIs to build apps selling their books.

APIs help publishing professionals better promote their work and adopt newer business models for success. As the use of APIs continues to grow, there’s no doubt that it will have more applications in the publishing industry.

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