From publishers to self-publishing: The disruptive effects of digitalisation on the book industry

Authors : Morten Hviid, Sabine Jacques, Sofia Izquierdo Sanchez

This paper explores the structure of the book publishing industry post-digitalisation. We argue that the introduction of successful e-book readers has belatedly given digitalisation the characteristics of a disruptive technology by making self-publishing a serious option for authors.

This has been supported by the entry of new types of intermediaries and the
strengthening of others. These changes have reduced the overall complexities for an author to get a book self-published.

As a result, a larger share of the surplus from the book industry is likely going to authors, explaining the significant increase in the supply of books. The potential over-supply of books has created a new problem by making consumer search more difficult.

We argue that digitalisation has shifted the potential market failure from inadequate supply of books to asymmetric information about quality.

It remains to be seen whether the market will provide appropriate intermediaries to solve the associated asymmetric information problem and, if not, what appropriate interventions should be contemplated.


Stage Five Book Publishing

Author : Joseph J. Esposito

In order for university presses to ensure their financial success, they have to become innovators: Simply cutting expenses will get them nowhere. The key area for innovation for presses today (a point they share with all other book publishers) is in the area of marketing.

The five stages of book publishing outlined here describe the arc as publishers move from the traditional model (where print books were sold mostly in bookstores and to libraries) through a range of developments using online media, culminating in new forms of subscription marketing.

Among the assumptions for this strategy are: publishers will increasingly seek direct relationships with their readers, often bypassing libraries; publishers will have to become experts in metadata creation in order to make their publications discoverable online; and publishers, even university presses, will begin to create customer databases and become concerned about the life cycles of their customers.