Monday, May 02, 2011

Electronic Books Will Wreck Publishing Industry

It seems to me that E-Week’s assertion that electronic books may ultimately be bad for the publishing industry misses the mark. It’s a little bit like the dude who predicted the automobile would be tough on blacksmiths and the harness and buggy industry. And, sure: those businesses have changed a great deal since the invention of the horseless carriage, but people still had to get places.

From E-Week:
For the traditional book publishing industry, the implications of the rise of the e-book and e-book reader markets are frightening, given the decline in paper book printing, distribution and sales,” Steve Mather, IHS iSuppli’s principal analyst for wireless, wrote in an April 28 statement. “The industry has entered a phase of disruption that will be as significant as the major changes impacting the music and movie business.”
The firm predicts that physical book sales will decline at a compound annual rate of 5 percent. While e-book sales will rise during that same period, the increase won’t cover the revenue gap created by the decline in the physical book market. By 2014, the research note predicts, e-books will occupy some 13 percent of U.S. book publishing revenue, more than twice its current level.
E-Book or paper book? We still gotta drive.

Here’s the full piece.



Blogger ~ Diane said...

Still gotta drive. And by drive, you mean read, right?

I've had a harder time finishing reading various magazines and books over the last few years, because I'm (spending time) doing a lot more reading online. That's not a bad thing; in fact it's almost all good. That said, we - readers, writers, publishers - have to adjust. Readers need to be very savvy about what they read online, evaluating sources very, very wisely. Writers and publishers...well, that remains to be seen! As a reader and an author, I am eager to see what we can come up with.

Because for most of us, reading is NOT optional. It's essential.

Monday, May 2, 2011 at 6:19:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Jeffrey Tang said...

Bad in this context almost always means 'disruptive.' Ebooks aren't bad for the concept of publishing - they're bad for the inertia of publishing as an established industry, with its accompanying habits and assumptions.

It's very possible, for example, that transitioning to an ebook-heavy status quo might require publishing companies to dramatically downsize and change their most basic operating procedures.

Monday, May 2, 2011 at 8:17:00 AM PDT  

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