Where is the publishing industry going?

December 2, 2009

The publishing industry as we know it is changing drastically.  The Huffington Post posted: No One Warned the Dinosaurs.  Will Anyone Warn the Publishers?

When the dinosaurs were in the midst of their demise, did they have any idea they were facing extinction? If they knew, could they have changed course?

There are many people inside the major publishing houses — those, at least, who have survived the industry lay-offs of the last few years — who may be wondering the same thing.

via PW Daily

posting by Lorraine


2 Responses to “Where is the publishing industry going?”

  1. Jim McCluskey Says:

    The last piece of this article refers to what if big merchandisers (Target, Walmart)become publishers themselves to cut out the middle man ie: publishing houses, which seems unlikely until you remember that Barnes & Noble and Borders publishes lots of classics and sells them in their stores. Browse the clearance shelves in either store and you’ll see them though it’s difficult to distinguish them from any other imprint.

    One of the things that makes me nervous about this is the parallel between this and the exclusive deals that music artists like the Eagles, AC/DC, the Rolling Stones, have with Wal-Mart, and Best Buy. The last few releases by all of these artists were only available to customers who shop at these stores. Of course this is exactly the kind of thing that makes your local indie store go under and disappear.

    Pearl Jam had a similar deal with Target for Backspacer, but also worked hard to ensure that small independent stores were included in distribution as well so that fans could buy “local” if they wished.

    It’s already hard for small booksellers to survive given the price cutting that happens in chain stores like Walmart, and the others, if they begin publishing bestsellers it could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

  2. Michael Says:

    Interesting comments from Sherman Alexie, who has decided not to allow his book to be published in downloadable format. He seems to swimming upstream on this one…

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