“Bits of destruction” is a phrase Fred Wilson uses to describe the destructive part of “creative destruction” brought on by digitization. We hear a lot about the destruction wrought on the newspaper business. A more interesting and nuanced wave is now hitting the book publishing business. Actually, it is three waves: thedigitization of back catalogs, e-books, and print on demand. However this plays out, a lot of people will be affected, but the way in which it will play out is not at all obvious. This is too big a subject for one post, so read this as an introduction to a multi-post investigation.
Somewhere Between Author and Reader Is Multi-Billion Dollar Market
Data on market size is hard to come by. Albert N. Greco, in his book “The Book Publishing Industry” (therelevant extract of which is available, ironically, on Google Books), pegs the number at $65 billion in 1993. The value is probably higher by now. In any case, it is big.
An author writes a book, and you read it. A lot of money is exchanged between those two actions. Consider the steps an author has had to go through in the past to make a living from writing books:
- Find an agent, who takes a cut and finds a…
- Publisher, who arranges everything and takes a very big cut and delivers the manuscript to the…
- Printer, who takes a cut and delivers the product to the…
- Distributor, who takes a cut and delivers the books to the…
- Retailers, who sell one to you.
Continues @ http://www.readwriteweb.com
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