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Old 05-26-2010, 09:25 AM   #1
The Old Man
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Coming to the end of an era in publishing

Interesting article in the Chicago Tribune:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/c...1253174.column
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Old 05-26-2010, 10:59 AM   #2
L.J. Sellers
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I don't think traditional book publishing is going away. E-books still only have 8% of the market. Everything is changing, and hardback books will take the biggest hit and eventually be found mostly in libraries and classrooms. Mass market paperbacks are in trouble too with declining sales. But digitally published trade paper fiction will be around for a while.

I just found this quote from a presenter at BEA: "One of the big six publishers told me that in five years 60% of all business will be e-books."—Esther Newberg, executive v-p, International Creative Management.
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L.J. Sellers View Post
I don't think traditional book publishing is going away.
I'm sure it will. Not entirely, never completely, there's always a room for books as we know them, but I am convinced the majority of our reading material will be fully digital before too soon.

I don't think that necessarily means the end of publishers and publishing houses: if anything the need for a filter, for help to find quality content in this sea of mediocrity will increase.

Quote:
E-books still only have 8% of the market.
Only? For how long have we had viable alternatives? I can't stand reading more text than necessary on my laptop. With my ebook reader, on the other hand ... It's early days still, but the path is pretty clear.
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:54 AM   #4
HistoryWes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogue_librarian View Post
I don't think that necessarily means the end of publishers and publishing houses: if anything the need for a filter, for help to find quality content in this sea of mediocrity will increase.
Sadly the current publishers are way too slow to make this transition and will soon go the way of Philco TVs and Polaroid Cameras. There will be successful publishers, but they will be a new breed who can take advantage of change rather than being run over by it.

I have no doubt that books will follow the photograph dynamic. Most will be digital and only those beloved few will then be printed.
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:46 PM   #5
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The hardback/collector market will always exist in paper. I think the future of ebooks will be as a replacement for second hand paperbacks, with the mass market being people who don't keep them after they have read them. But before that happens the publishers will need to price them at the second hand paperback level. Those sort of people just won't pay hardback prices for disposable reading material.
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:39 PM   #6
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It'll be a while before ebooks reach the price level of used MMPBs. I mean, I can get them for a approximately a dollar at my local used book store. And I also live near Daedalus books, where I can get new hardbacks for well under ten dollars and new paper backs for under four dollars.

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