All that publishing! How the business of books is expanding, converging and fragmenting – all at the same time
The big digital storm seems to have passed for the moment, without leaving devastation in its wake. E-book sales in Europe have stalled at a low level, and their growth has plateaued in English.
In fact, the opposite is true.
The predominant market leaders are putting an ever bigger footprint onto the entire book business. As print is shrinking at the same time, and more readers are focusing on just a few bestsellers. Industry consolidation, the expansion of the value chain, and the optimization of the workflow define the agenda for the strongest players. At the same time, a remarkable number of new companies have been launched recently.
Meanwhile, for readers –consumers –, looking at books is hardly any different from embracing any other content, media or format. They wouldn’t scorn a book (on paper or on a screen) in favor of a game, or a video, or time spent on social media; this mobile audience moves seamlessly from one to the other in a confident manner.
The speed of the transformation of the book business has only accelerated, even if in a more matter-of-fact way.
The Publishers’ Forum 2016 explored the extended value chain and the ever more complex processes, both from a strategic and a how-to-implement perspective.