Focus on Digital Publishing

E-book sales could exceed 8% of trade publishers' sales in 2011, and could reach 15% next year, Random House UK's deputy chairman Ian Hudson told delegates at the World e-Reading Congress recently.

Hudson also rejected headlines about the death of the app or enhanced e-book, arguing publishers needed to explore "the opportunities [rather] than sit back only to be flattened by the changes sweeping the industry".

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Meanwhile, Bloomsbury is to release 500 out of print titles by the likes of Alan Clark, Edith Sitwell and Bernice Rubens as digital editions this autumn with the launch of a new imprint.

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Publishers selling direct to readers, printers folding and more agents becoming publishers are some of the implications of digital, claims former Borders chairman Luke Johnson.

In his weekly column for the Financial Times, Johnson claims digital may transform book publishing more than any other industry. He said: "There will surely be material deflation in the price of e-books over time. The inevitable disappearance of the vast majority of bookshops will remove a main marketing channel and will seriously undermine the power of publishers.

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Publishers are unlikely to be able to replace the revenues lost in the shift from print to e-books unless they can significantly grow volume sales, according to HarperCollins c.e.o. Victoria Barnsley.

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