What is the future of publishing?

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That perennial question: What is the future of publishing? Nick Morgan at forbes.com [12 Jul 12] says:

There has been a great deal of handwringing in the book publishing world for the last decade or so over what the Internet is going to do to traditional publishing. And in the last few years, experimentation has increased, with successful authors like Seth Godin by-passing traditional publishing, new ventures like NetMinds from Tim Sanders and team, and the explosion of various kinds of self-publishing. Amazon has become, of course, a huge presence in the book with, now paying advances just like traditional publishing, as well as trying out print-on-demand books and of course the Kindle.

I get questions all the time from prospective authors who wonder whether it’s worth it to publish in the traditional way at all. The quick answer is, for speakers it’s still important, for now. For everyone else, it depends. But everyone wants to know, where’s the book business headed? Who’s going to survive, and what will the terrain look like when the battle is over?

Here are Nick’s five predictions:

  1. Amazon’s power keeps growing
  2. Traditional publishers have one chance left: form a relationship with readers
  3. An interesting exception to this pattern is Harvard Business Publishing
  4. Hybrid self-publishing companies are the other winners
  5. The rest of written word goes online and gets shorter.

Read the post and the predictions in full at forbes.com.

About Author

Publishing Talk is the online community for publishers and authors interested in social media marketing, digital publishing, self-publishing and the future of the industry. It is run by social media consultant, author and ex-publisher Jon Reed.

1 Comment

  1. I’m not sure Nr. 2 is fully correct. Yes, the relation with the reader is increasingly a cornerstone element. But I do feel that ultimately that is not the only element in the picture.

    As I see how smaller traditional but specialised publishers can increasingly connect this triangle of publisher / author / reader predominantly because they have selected a niche and excell in that niche, it strikes me that this specialisation is at least an equal element there.

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