We are in the digital age of publishing. The past four years have been a carnival ride. The very foundation of the publishing and book-selling industry have been shaken. The landscape has shifted and the industry will never be the same.
Four years ago, digital was less than 1% of sales. Today it is over 60% on many popular fiction titles.
Certain categories have been eliminated as eBooks – Travel, Languages, Dictionaries, Reference. Sure there are still some physical, but when is the last time yopu have bought a dictionary? People under the age of 10 probably don’t even know how to use a physical one? Why?
New companies enter and will lead.
Former leading companies will die and be absorbed.
What does it take to thrive?
- Content – traditional publishers have control over this today. But with new entrants from individuals to corporations creating divisions, this is being more and more a battle. Amazon, Apple and MS-BN are all trying to get exclusive content.
- Capital – Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Rakugan and Apple have deep pockets. You want to compete? Then this is your competition. The company will need a lot of $$$$$$$$. It is a money game and not all of them will survive or stay interested in eBooks.
- Customers – Own the customers. Market direct to them. Get to know what they want, when they want it. Sell them other things. Block others out. Publishers have conceded this to the retailers. But that is changing. D2C is deign discussed at every publisher. Digital delivery and internet selling is much less expensive than running stores.