WRITERS. When leaders in the book publishing business gather at the DIgital Book World Conference + Expo (DBW) March 6-7, many of the topics they discuss will affect how publishers work with authors.
For a preview of trends that are re-shaping the book publishing industry, download the free white paper “Viewpoints on Publishing’s Digital Transformation.” Contributors to the white paper include speakers from Digital Book World.
The white paper covers topics such as:
- how Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are affecting the publishing business:
- what publishers need to know about copyright;
- changes to global copyright law;
- the state and future of audiobooks;
- the elasticity of e-book pricing;
- personalized content and other new revenue streams.
The Destructive Impact of Digital Monopoly Platforms
In the opening chapter of the white paper “Sleeping Through the Revolution,” Jonathan Taplin, of the Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Southern California, says scientists who helped create the Internet in the 1960s had a utopian vision of decentralizing power and harmonizing people: “For creative artists, the prospects of a democratized distribution network indeed seemed to generate endless possibilities.”
But the reality of the Internet shifted as Google, Amazon, and Facebook began using deep customer surveillance to sell advertising and products.
Taplin writes that “For artists, the dreams of digital democracy have turned into nightmares: the music, movie, book, and journalism businesses have been decimated by the rise of digital monopoly platforms. A massive reallocation of revenue, on the order of $50 billion a year, has taken place, with economic value moving from creators and owners of content to monopoly platforms.”
Taplin notes that, “In Amazon’s view, as long as the customer gets lower prices, society should not care that writers cannot make a living, that independent book stores go out of business, and publishers die.”
About The Digital Book World Conference
The Digital Book World Conference is dedicated to the business of digital publishing. DBW focuses on digital content and digital book strategies, as well as the challenges and opportunities facing publishers and content providers of all sizes and business models.
Although e-book sales seem to be at a plateau for big books and big publishers, the event organizers emphasize “That doesn’t mean that digital change has stopped.”
For example, publishers and authors must become more skilled at online marketing because consumers typically use online channels to learn about what books they want to read next.
The relationship between publishers and authors is also changing.
“On the one hand, authors are a more important component of a book’s marketing than they ever were before,” explains Mike Shatzkin, chair of the Digital Book World Conference. “At the same time, authors have more choices of ways to reach readers than they had in the past.”