Saturday, November 8, 2008

On the Future of the Publishing Industry

The Largest Barnes and Noble in ConnecticutImage via Wikipedia
A bunch of stories I found at The 26th Story:

A downturn in at Barnes & Noble:
With yesterday’s news of an expected downturn at Barnes & Noble from head Len Riggio and the drop in consumer spending in general, the pressure to generate book sales is on. But does that mean creating books for specific groups of people? Or finding the people who might read the books we are publishing after we’ve already decided to publish them? Which comes first? The chicken or the egg? The book or the reader?
Tribes author Seth Godin discusses free content and the publishing industry:
The huge opportunity for book publishers is to get unstuck. You're not in the printing business. The life and death of trees is not your concern. You're in the business of leveraging the big ideas authors have.:en:Seth GodinImage via Wikipedia

First, the market and the internet don't care if you make money. That's important to say. You have no right to make money from every development in media, and the humility that comes from approaching the market that way matters. It's not "how can the market make me money" it's "how can I do things for this market."
And their review of Tribes is here:
"Boring ideas don't spread. Boring organizations don't grow. Working in an environment that's static is not fun. Even worse, working for an organization that is busy fighting off change is horrible."
And via booktwo.org:
A theme of change, appropriate for the night. Publishing is “standing on the cusp of change: digitisation”. Barnsley “not the most digitally sound person” but “cares deeply about books.”

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, quoted on books vs. ebooks: before cars everyone rode horses, and “I’m sure people love their horses, too. But you’re not going to keep riding your horse to work just because you love your horse.”

Barnsley does not agree entirely with Bezos. “Is the printed bImage representing Amazon.com as depicted in C...Image via CrunchBaseook dead? I hope not.” However, there are clearly changing reading patterns among digital natives, and digital nomads in the upper reaches of publishing need to ask questions. Does business have to change? Yes. Not a time for hand-wringing. Industry needs to change and maintain its influence. Can’t assume print market will stay the same. Can’t predict future, so need to ask questions.
Read the full piece.
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