In the continuing development of the ‘evolving publishing industry’, as in the evolution of ANY industry or of the world, itself, for that matter, there are going to be growth spurts and plateaus.
And when either one of these phenomena occur, speculation runs rampant Re why – and all kinds of predictions materialize running all the way from Armageddon of a product (e.g. the printed book) to the newest replacement product (e.g. the ebook)!
The truth of the matter is neither of these book platforms are going anywhere – In fact, more hitherto unknown platforms will be marching onto the publishing stage in the future AND the future thereafter 🙂
What is and will be happening is the acceptance of existing and new publishing products will be integrated, massaged and utilized by different demographic areas at different times.
Tonight’s research article outlines one such current ‘state of the printed book’ forecast; with a little of its history thrown in for good measure:
The Past, Present and Future of the Printed Book
Hear that? That’s the sound of Johannes Gutenberg rolling in his grave. Amazon, the very company that has done the most to disrupt the industry surrounding the printing press, has opened a physical bookstore.
Dustin Kurtz over at New Republic has a great review of what the company is billing as a “brick-and-mortar store without walls”: Amazon Books, located just outside a shopping mall named University Village in Seattle, comes with the company’s touch; reviews, ratings and all. Books are organised into stacks such as “Most Wish-listed Cookbooks”, customers can look at online reviews while physically browsing a book and the price of all inventory is determined by Amazon’s online algorithm, the one used for the company’s website.
Perhaps it’s only fitting that Amazon has finally opened a bookstore. The store’s existence shows us how developments in the publishing industry, which has often confused business analysts, have come full circle over the past ten years.
The all-too-familiar tale of digital disruption that we’ve seen play out in television (Netflix), transportation (Uber/Ola Cabs), accommodation (Airbnb) and music (iTunes, Spotify) hasn’t quite applied to the printed word. This isn’t to suggest, however, that Amazon is throwing in the towel and plans to open any more bookstores, or even pursue it as a serious strategy; only that the march of technological progress hasn’t followed its usual course.
Read the entire article here.
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