the road ahead

The Publishing Dilemma
July 12, 2009, 8:21 pm
Filed under: business

self-publishing-image pic

The publishing world is moving through a major transition period. For those of us who are part of the industry, this time of rapid change is raising many new issues. We face questions that don’t have clear answers.

For example, the dramatic rise in both digital platforms delivering content and consumers’ desire for inexpensive or free resources is putting the current publishing business model at risk. Consumers are moving away from retail stores and to virtual retailers.

The ebook and ereader world, while still in the early stages of adoption by consumers, will have an impact. At this time a 3% to 5% market share does not seem to me to be too significant; however, this trend will continue and publishers must determine now how they will adjust to this growing demand for electronic products.

In addition, the publishing monetary model is under assault. The web is resetting the rules for commerce–you start with free and move to premium products for sale online.

Wow, just talking about these issues makes my head spin! But this is the new normal for publishing in the 21st century. Any thoughts?


3 Comments so far
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This is goo stuff but as you know, your comments are not limited to publishers. NavPress is publishing a book for me this summer. I know that book buyers want more than text on paper or on a Kindle screen. They want electronic contact with the author and other readers, ongoing updates, related podcasts, and opportunities for interaction. My book will have a book-related website, blog, links to video clips, access to webinars and podcasts, information about other resources. Developing and paying for this is the author’s responsibility and so is a lot of the marketing. Unless you are very famous, the days are gone when somebody writes a book, submits it to a publisher (assuming one does not go the self-publishing route) and then sits back waiting for royalities. Changes like these can be disruptive and unsettling but they are necessary and, I think, ultimately very positive.

Comment by Gary Collins

In my previous post I goofed. I meant to type: “This is good stuff”

Comment by Gary Collins

I am a long-time lover of books. I love the printed page, the feel of a good book in my hands. So I was surprised when I recently downloaded Amazon’s Kindle reader for my iPod Touch and discovered I don’t hate ebooks. In fact, the digital format is perfect for business trips. I used to take 3 or 4 books with me wherever I went. Now I take one hard copy and 25+ digital copies and I’m set for the whole trip (and then some)!

Comment by sharilee

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