Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Kodak Moment - Book publishing roundtable.

Kodak recently hosted a roundtable discussion on the future of book publishing with executives from book publishing, manufacturing, retailing and distribution companies... and an author for good measure! The full release is here, but I found this precis most interesting...
Topics, highlights and points-of-view shared by various participants included:

- The fluctuating revenue model for e-books as publishers have assumed a number of new costs, such as licensing and privacy protection, associated with e-books.
- High-speed inkjet printing will have a significant impact on book manufacturing—“the biggest development in publishing in the past 50 years,” according to one panelist.
-  Inkjet printing will allow for more and shorter production runs, saving on inventory, waste and obsolescence costs, and providing a means for niche books to be printed that otherwise wouldn’t get produced.
- E-books make it possible to offer new promotions based on an individual’s interests, such as bundling similar e-books into one download or including a sample of a different author’s work with an e-book purchase.
- Print-on-demand book production minimizes losses associated with returns, which can average 15% for many titles.
- While children have access to computers and other electronic devices, they typically prefer the printed book.
- All players in the publishing market need to remain agile and always ready to adapt their business models.
- Publishers will continue to add value and play a critical role in bringing books to the marketplace.

“The bottom line: people will have greater access to books and related content, what, when and however they want it, which should mean more people reading more often,” said Jim Milliot, Editorial Director, Publisher’s Weekly, and moderator of the discussion. “And that certainly bodes well for the future.”
Licensing is just part of the current model of handling IP but "privacy protection"? They're not talking about DRM are they? I know how they can solve that problem - scrap it! Evidently agility and readiness to adapt their business practises does not include ditching their sad devotion to an outmoded concept that you can own information. 

They talk up a storm about why DRM is needed to protect their "property", making honest people who have paid for the eBooks jump through hoops, when they allow internet eBook pirates to traffic their stolen goods in apparent impunity.

Come on! Get serious!

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