The Future of Digital Publishing, According to Publishers Themselves
In a time when predictions about the digital publishing industry can be largely gloom and doom, it’s nice for book lovers to receive some good news about the fate of the industry supporting our love of reading. And, it always helps when that news comes from the most credible of source for industry predictions: Forrester Research.
Forrester, which is a research juggernaut, recently teamed up with Digital Book World for an annual study of publishers’ attitudes toward digital publishing. It seems that publishers are finally embracing – welcoming, even – the digital transition that has rocked their world in recent years. Here are some of the main insights from their findings.
1. Of the publishers surveyed, representing three-quarters of U.S. trade publishing revenues, 85 percent said they were optimistic about the direction in which digital is taking their industry.
2. Publishers see tablets as the future for e-reading, as nearly half of those surveyed believe dedicated e-readers will soon be irrelevant. This view is a complete departure from last year’s general sentiment that the rise of tablets would be bad for e-reading.
3. As a group, publishers think that e-books will comprise half of all books sold by December 2014. Their proof? Around a quarter of them believe that half of all books being sold at their own companies are already e-books.
4. According to publishers, Amazon will continue to rise in significance within the publishing industry. The Department of Justice’s settlement with some of the major players in publishing last year definitely supports this theory.
5. The study showed that publishers believe print sales will continue their downward trajectory, while e-book sales will rise by 21 percent. However, this increase is much lower than the 130 percent predicted by publishers just last year.
6. While publishers seem to be embracing e-books, they have yet to warm up to apps. Even though 85 percent produce them, nearly half of publishers say apps are too expensive to make. Only one-in-five think apps will have an impact on the future of the publishing industry.
Since publishers always seem to be late to the digital party, maybe next year will be the year of the app!