Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Book Publishing and Fast Change

There seems to be a new sentiment building among traditional publishers that the eBook revolution and shift to digital content is going to drive the cost of books lower. This might be why the traditional publishers have been such slow adopters of digital technology in their industry, but it seems they are not students of history, especially recent history.

While everyone understands that publishing is a business, and the sole purpose of a business is to make money, it is important to not forget this business is also an art form. Within the realm of the art form, the recent history should make publishers look at the music industry as to what exorbitant pricing for inferior products gets you. It was well known to people involved in the financial processes within the entertainment industry that making music is relatively cheap. In fact, a CD costs almost nothing to make. Adding production costs and marketing expense, everyone who would want to make money off a CD would be a millionaire if CD’s sold for $7 per CD.

So what happened to the music industry? People stopped buying CD’s because no one wants to pay $18 for a CD where they only like 2 songs. Consumers were asking for labels to release CD Singles, and create easy ways to make music portable. The music industry did neither of these things, and now iTunes sales matter more for an artist than CD sales.

Does the book industry want to go the way of the music industry and not give consumers what they want? Consumers seem to want portability, affordability and quality. E-Books can offer all of these. Publishers need to get behind some solid eBooks and help authors get the word out about quality content that exists for everyone. The “50 Shades” phenomenon will keep happening, where an author gets a huge online following first and then publishers are forced to fight for the right to sign that author to a book deal for the print versions.

Book publishing is changing quickly, and there are exciting things happening every day. The writing has been on the wall for years for books and bookstores to catch up and predict changes rather than wait for technology to change the whole industry.

Happy reading and writing!


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posted by Luca Lashes @ 7:00 AM   0 Comments


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