On The Eve of The London Book Fair

April 2nd, 2008 · 3 Comments
by Kassia Krozser

The London Book Fair is one of the most highly anticipated events in the calendar year for publishers, authors and anyone connected with language and the ability to write captivating prose. As the event draws near the industry faces many new challenges, one thing that can be certain is that the Internet and digital technology is going to claim a bigger share of our thoughts and occupation. Sales of cut-price fiction in supermarkets, Amazon’s dominance of the book selling world on the net, digital technology, emerging markets, POD, e-Books, The Kindle and Internet piracy are all going to claim a stake for your attention. How the industry begins to tackle issues such as these often depends on the reaction of the leading players. The publishers, the retailers, the distributors, the movers and shakers – those 5% of authors who earn the lion’s share of the profits and royalties; these are the people who should be addressing the issues first. Why? Because their voices can be heard. The interesting thing when you look closely at this elite band of people is that while they control a large percentage of market they do little to embrace new technology, often choosing to view it as a threat rather than an asset. Many publishers have not even begun to embrace e-Commerce yet or provide websites for their artists. There are one or two that are exemplary but in the main they are positioned somewhere in 1998 rather than 2008.

File Under: Quote of the Week

3 responses so far ↓

  • James // Apr 3, 2008 at 4:01 am

    He makes some good points, and I don’t want to be rude, but I’d suggest that someone with a website that looks like this: http://www.cnpublishing.co.uk/ – shouldn’t be making snide remarks about big publishers’ websites being stuck in 1998.

  • Interesting reading for 04/03/08 // Apr 3, 2008 at 8:46 pm

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  • Clive Warner // Apr 4, 2008 at 10:59 am

    James, I second that. Using something called ‘Virtual Mechanics SiteSpinner’ is the mark of someone who really, really doesn’t get it.
    And he really doesn’t get the rest of it, either. Where does he mention Joe Sixpack’s role in all of this?
    Take his argument and apply it to the parallel industry – the music biz. How much influence do the record label dinosaurs have now? Precious little in the face of something called the Internet. And so it will be with books. The whole wasteful, anti-environmental concept of ‘returns’ needs to be done away with. What other industries get free products to be returned at will? Do the Chinese supply free lawnmowers to garden stores? The bloated bookstore chains have had their time at the trough. Time for a change. Go green!