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May 14, 2008

News & Opinion: A Book Publisher's Manifesto

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 4:23 PM – Filed under: Innovation & Creativity, Publishing Industry

For all of you interested in what the future of publishing will look like, Sara Lloyd has begun posting her essay on the topic over at the digitalist (the digital team at Pan Macmillan's blog). Because of it's length, she's posting it in six parts. Today's installment was part two.
From the introduction posted yesterday:
Crucially, we will need to work out how we can add value as publishers within a circular, networked environment.
One of the key perception shifts that publishers need to make, then, is about the book as 'product'. Whilst the book continues to be viewed as a definable object within covers, as a singular 'unit', publishers will continue to limit their role in its production and distribution, and this is a sure fire way for publishers to write themselves out of the future of content creation and dissemination.

This is a conversation we have quite often here. While we were handing out books at an author event recently, a gentleman walking by turned to us and said, "no one reads books anymore"--and, keep in mind, this man was there to see the author of the book speak. It's that sentiment that causes so much panic in our industry about the possible demise of the printed book, and I think that that panic sometimes clouds our vision of the future and what great possibilities it holds. So far, Sara Lloyd's essay has provided a very thoughtful and sober view of the situation. I'm looking forward to the next four posts.
And, speaking of the future of publishing, you can now browse inside HarperCollins books on your iPhone.

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.