Sitting among The New York Times reviewers and editors from Random House, tyring not gawk or drool, I learned a great deal about what's ahead and what's unknown in publishing. As you can imagine, the E-book is making strides but publishers were quick to point out that the physical book isn't dead. At least not yet. The problem? Retailers and distribution.
BORDERS filed bankruptcy and are closing over 270 stores. They aren't paying their bills and stores in
for example aren't accepting any book shipments. Barnes & Noble is trying to sell out, and they just got an offer from Liberty Media Corp. Liberty Media Corp. properties include QVC, Sirius XM Radio, and Starz Entertainment. They are big players and admit they want to buy the chain for the Nook technology so they can compete with the Apple's iPad. Liberty Media would like to turn the B&N stores into something resembling Apple stores. Yikes! Australia
There is some good news. Mid-size publishers are growing. Sourcebooks actually grew 20% in 2010. Amazon announced they are going into publishing and are working on several imprints. And with E-books on the rise, there were two million self published books in 2010. I heard many times..."This is the best time to be an author. The market is wide open."
So with all of this, where are book headed? Enhanced e-books with links to videos & photos? Maybe. Cross platform e-books that follow you from computer to T.V. to iPhone? Could be. Bookstores that offer more coffee and gifts and less books? Likely. Or what about consumers buying books in new locations like grocery stores and specialty shops. Probably. No one really knows for sure, but everyone is watching and jockeying for position.