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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Publishers Try to Come to Grips with Digital Challenge

Publishing executives painted a rather gloomy picture of their world at the first World E-Reading Congress recently in London. According to this article in paidContent UK, the printed book is in trouble and publishers just aren’t yet sure what to do with its digital counterpart.

“The entire publishing industry is going down the drain,” an executive from Siemens told the publishers in a sponsored address about a tablet publishing software service. While most attendees probably don’t actually believe that, they are trying to tell their stories in new ways through technology such as iPhone apps.

They want to learn from the painful lessons of the music industry, but also fear competition that ranges from self-publishing authors to e-tail giants such as Amazon, which recently launched its own publishing imprint for romance novels.

“We need to anticipate and create new business models that give consumers access when they want it,” said Victoria Barnsley, international CEO at HarperCollins.

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