Publishing’s Digital Revolution (1)



Following that little piece I wrote for The Bookseller’s FUTUReBOOK digital blog last week, here’s more from the media on the digital world:

The Bookseller reports on an FT column from Luke Johnson, where he makes some excellent observations on the publishing trade but is savaged in the comments.  The original column can be found via here (article of 10 May).  Johnson has made some crass comments before and I am not a big fan.  However, when he says ‘…Publishers must learn to sell direct to readers and forget about saving bookstores…’, I’d say he’s right on the money.  And when he says ‘…The inevitable disappearance of the vast majority of bookshops will remove a main marketing channel…’, I assume that’s a thought developed after his experience of ownership of Borders UK.

The Daily Mail picks up on the story that Amazon is wrecking the ‘publishing trade’ in its This is Money pages and in its main pages.

From PR Newswire, the press release that Hachette, Penguin, Simon & Schuster have all joined with AOL to create a site called Bookish launching in the summer.  Odd though, that the following quote appears almost at the bottom of the press release, for this is key is creating more competition for Amazon and fighting their increasing monopoly. 

‘It will also offer readers the convenience of purchasing print and digital books directly or through other retailers.’

‘…also offer…’ suggests an added benefit. It’s not. It’s the key driver.  See that Johnson comment above.  That's in the US.  What's the UK doing, I wonder…

2 thoughts on “Publishing’s Digital Revolution (1)

  1. Maxine

    I agree that the book publishing industry is in a bit of a tizz, but the fact is that Amazon does exist and readers go there because it is very good from their perspective – brilliant stock, pricing, e-commerce, delivery times, returns policy, etc, and some very useful customer reviews and lists. They also reward regular customers via their Vine programme. The publishers are a very long way behind that curve if they want to sell direct to readers and I can’t see them achieving that (I read and posted the other day about Bookish, but I don’t hold out much hope – given what a reader can find at Amazon).
    In retrospect, the publishers should have set up Amazon 10 years ago, instead of Jeff Bezos.
    Hard to know what they (or booksellers) can do really, as their negotiations with Amazon are so fraught. I do hope they do something about geo-restrictions for e-books, though, as that is really alienating readers.

  2. crimeficreader

    Thanks Maxine. The UK is behind the US but Bookish suggests the US is not quite there yet. And yes, customers are alienated by the selling of product by territory. It will be interesting to watch the developments unfold.

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