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The Current Publishing Industry

2 March 2015

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Over the last decade the book industry has changed more rapidly than at any point in over a century. Much of this change has been caused by the rise of the Internet and other technological changes.

Ten years ago, traditional publishers published a certain type of book to be published in a certain outlet and publishers and high-street retailers held full control of the industry.

First to disrupt this were the online retailers, such as Amazon, who could list millions of books as available and, with low overheads and large resources, could price lower than the high-street bookshops. Then came the supermarkets, seeing an opportunity in the popularity of books to sell them at a loss in order to get strong footfall into their large stores.

The Rise of Publishing Technologies

And then there have been the changes in technology – the rise of print-on-demand, whereby books can be printed one at a time rather than in large and high-priced print runs, and finally the ebook, in tune with a market where digital demand is soaring.

As a result, traditional publishers have faced challenges with fewer outlets to sell stock into and at high discounts, leaving little room for profits. Most are currently facing the need to completely change their business model.

And while this has been going on another sector has rapidly grown. With the ability to create their own books at a reasonable level of investment, both in print and digital form, and to have them available globally via the internet, authors saw a viable alternate, making self- publishing has become increasingly popular.

In 2012, with the worldwide success of Fifty Shades of Grey and Pearson’s purchase of the world’s largest self-publishing company, self-publishing is becoming increasingly central to the industry.

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