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!
Labels: Books, ebooks, new paradigm, Publishing