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The Past, Present and Future of Book Publishing


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The world of publishing has changed a huge amount in the last few years. This presentation, alongside 4 authors (two of ours) was to around 75 people at the European School at Karlsruhe in Germany on Thursday 20th January 2011. The evening was a great success with several leading businesspeople and also Sherlockians in the audience.

Published in: Business
  • Here is a link to the montage that ran behind Paul Spiring's talk that evening about Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle and Bertram Fletcher Robinson.
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The Past, Present and Future of Book Publishing

  1. 1. Publishing – Past, Present and Future <ul><li>European School </li></ul><ul><li>Karlsruhe </li></ul><ul><li>Steve Emecz </li></ul><ul><li>Managing Director, MX Publishing </li></ul><ul><li>Contributing writer for The Bookseller magazine’s Futurebook </li></ul>
  2. 2. Publishing – Past, Present and Future <ul><li>Agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Brief introduction to MX Publishing </li></ul><ul><li>The old world of publishing </li></ul><ul><li>The new landscape </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Print on Demand </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distribution Systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online Sellers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Publishing Formats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Media and Marketing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Websites </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The future </li></ul>
  3. 3. Brief Introduction to MX Publishing <ul><li>11 years young [formed in 2000] </li></ul><ul><li>World’s first 100% digital book publisher* </li></ul><ul><li>Two key genres </li></ul><ul><li>NLP, Coaching and Therapy </li></ul><ul><li>Victorian Literature and History </li></ul><ul><li>[including Sherlock Holmes] </li></ul><ul><li>HQ in London, office in New York </li></ul><ul><li>Around 100 titles and 50 authors </li></ul><ul><li>Paperbacks, eBooks and publishing consultancy </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Cause led’ – we take on books we can get passionate about </li></ul><ul><li> and </li></ul>* Print Week – first publisher to set up all their titles as Print on Demand from day 1.
  4. 4. The Old World of Publishing <ul><li>Led by the printing and distribution process </li></ul><ul><li>Economics meant print runs of several thousand copies </li></ul><ul><li>Long selection process, few make it through </li></ul><ul><li>Luck, timing, ‘marketability’ and ‘who you know’ play a big role </li></ul><ul><li>9-18 months lead time on getting a book to market </li></ul><ul><li>Hardback editions and paperback editions common </li></ul><ul><li>Publishing houses spread geographically </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Old World of Publishing <ul><li>Book metadata [Title, Author, Price, Description, Cover Image] sent out </li></ul><ul><li>to the booksellers and several national and international databases </li></ul><ul><li>In print </li></ul><ul><li>Then on disk </li></ul><ul><li>Then on CD </li></ul><ul><li>It took months to get the information on the books to the retailers – </li></ul><ul><li>and some only took periodic updates to save time and money. </li></ul>
  6. 6. The New Landscape – Printing, Retail, Publishers, Databases <ul><li>Print on Demand [POD] means a print run of 1 is possible within minutes </li></ul><ul><li>Supermarkets [volume] and online sellers [lower costs] dominate while </li></ul><ul><li>traditional bookstores struggle </li></ul><ul><li>Consolidation amongst publishers means lots of small specialists and some </li></ul><ul><li>really big players are left </li></ul><ul><li>One big global books database [Nielsen] means book information transferred </li></ul><ul><li>to retailers almost instantly </li></ul><ul><li>Publishing costs have dropped from thousands, to a few hundred </li></ul><ul><li>and then there are the formats....... </li></ul>
  7. 7. The New Landscape – Book Formats <ul><li>Print Electronic </li></ul><ul><li>Hardback in heavy decline ePub Mobipocket </li></ul><ul><li>Paperback holding on ok </li></ul><ul><li>More sizes in on-demand </li></ul><ul><li> eBook Readers Amazon Kindle </li></ul><ul><li> Sony, Nook, iPad, etc Now ‘3G’ versions </li></ul><ul><li> [download from anywhere] </li></ul>
  8. 8. The New Landscape – The Genius of Amazon Kindle <ul><li>Amazon Kindle is both a device, and software </li></ul><ul><li>Kindle books can be read on almost any device, and you can share the book </li></ul><ul><li>on multiple devices too </li></ul><ul><li>PCs, iPhones, iPads [and other tablets], Android phones and more </li></ul><ul><li>Lets take a quick look at Kindle on the PC………. </li></ul><ul><li>[demonstration of colour, seach, dictionary, hyperlinks, etc.] </li></ul>
  9. 9. The New Landscape – Marketing <ul><li>Social Media – all brand new in the last couple of years </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs Facebook Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Author blogs like Paul Spiring’s Facebook fan page for Sherlock Holmes MX Publishing Twitter has </li></ul><ul><li>‘ BFR Online ’ have thousands Books has over 1,100 members from 21,000 + followers and we </li></ul><ul><li>of visitors all around the world have several specialist </li></ul><ul><li>accounts </li></ul>
  10. 10. Into the Future – A Case Study - Speed to Market First approach with manuscript - 26 th November through website, publication date set for 24 th January Started pre-selling paperback in USA in December, launched on Amazon Kindle at the beginning of January and first very successful book signing in Oklahoma. From initial approach to selling worldwide in weeks..... New to the web, Kieran has relished learning to ‘blog’
  11. 11. Into the Future – A Case Study - Niches Very specialist NLP book on battling cancer – would not have been published a few years ago – too risky. Paperback has sold worldwide – changing lives. “ Hern excellently describes living with cancer.” The Lancet Through social media alone author Keith Hern has become an advocate for a mouth cancer charity – and gained national press coverage for the cause. Keith Hern on ITV’s This Morning
  12. 12. The New Landscape – The Future <ul><li>Further consolidation in retail and publishing </li></ul><ul><li>Agile and flexible publishers will flourish </li></ul><ul><li>Niche and specialist authors will do better than ever before – social media means reaching the consumer will get easier </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs become established as the No.1 author marketing tool </li></ul><ul><li>eBooks go to the next level [already 20% of our sales in 1 year] </li></ul><ul><li>Multimedia ebooks with </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Video </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interactive applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individually tailored books? </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Publishing – Our ‘Local Authors’ Paul R Spiring and……………
  14. 14. Publishing – Our ‘Local Authors’ Paul R Spiring and ……………Hugh Cooke
  15. 15. Publishing – Our ‘Local Authors’ Preservation of important works over 100 years old – 1880s, 1890s, 1900s
  16. 16. Publishing – Our ‘Local Authors’ Paul R Spiring and Hugh Cooke Have agreed to sign/dedicate copies of their books Promotion code ‘Karlsruhe’ – 25% discount on all books on the site Thank You. Questions?