Book publishing is in a good state. No, publishing is not dying because of the Internet, eBooks, tablets, and mobile phones. Publishing has evolved from the spoken word, long hand and printing press. Publishing will adapt and evolve because society will always want to entertain, inform and inspire. It is not the end of the world. The Internet has actually disrupted distribution cost and connected authors directly to the tribe of their readers. Publishing is actually ripe for opportunities because a disrupted industry will have problems they need to solve. For instance, there is mobile, e-commerce affiliate programs, social media, big data and more opportunities to develop and market content efficiently to the prescribed consumers. Publishing is alive; it’s trimming the fat of distribution and getting to the meat of a sustaining business model.
Audiobooks are on the rise as their sales have doubled in the last five years. Consumers are listening on-the-go, due to the rise of tablets, e-Readers, and mobile phones. eBooks have matured into a slower growth industry. The days of triple digit growth are over. Kindle Unlimited by Amazon, Google books by Google, and Scribd are the main players to become the “Netflix” of eBooks. Unlikely. What’s surprising is the audiobook trend, as consumers will alternate between reading and listening according to their need or preference. Consumers have a diversity of options, but the demographics of publishing are static to say the least.
The number of diverse books published each year over the past twenty years has been stuck in neutral, never exceeding, on average, 10 percent. The article in the New York Times about Chris Jackson being one of the few African American editors in the publishing industry is disturbing. An article from the New York Times only provides a sip for the thirsty Americans who clamor for the truth. After being introduced to the publishing industry by an African-American woman, I nibbled on how publishing can capture the hearts and minds of society. Now I crawl. I crawl slowly toward the light of change because all American authors deserve a chance to be read on their merit and not the shades of their
I’m not tripping; publishing is in a good state because our curiosity constantly kills the cat. It’s a cycle. Curiosity has brought me to publishing. Publishing isn’t going anywhere because curious people will always find a home with the industry. What’s kept me interested are the people. The teachers are cool and down to earth. When I think of publishing I think of trains and boats. Trains and boats are utterly defiant. They find new ways to be useful in a world where people fly. Trains and boats were shaken and stirred by technological disruption, but it adapted to the times just like publishing will.