The Future of Book Publishing

Last week I was invited to attend a fascinating presentation about technology trends, delivered to a group of hospitality industry technology professionals by Peter Leyden, who is the former managing editor of Wired magazine and author of The Long Boom, a History of the Future 1980-2020. As an author and publisher, two main themes stood out to me:

1.    The tablet computer changes everything.

2.    The use of video will continue to grow rapidly.

During his presentation, Leyden cited the huge growth in sales of ebooks and the next big trends in book publishing: apps and multi-media ebooks with images, audio, and video integrated into the text. 

I have been writing a lot about ebooks lately, with good reason. Consider these recent developments:

  • Publisher’s Weekly just reported yet another month of falling sales of printed books and surging sales of ebooks.
  • In January of 2011, Forrester Research predicted that by 2015, 82 million U.S. consumers (one-third of U.S. online consumers) will be using a tablet computer. Some analysts say that projection is too conservative.
  • Right now, the Apple iPad owns the tablet market, but a number of new competitors will soon appear. Last week, CNET reported that Amazon is planning to release its own Android-based tablet PC by the Fall of 2011. Think about what a game changer that could be.
  • Here’s a quote from a recent press release from Barnes & Noble. Notice how they refer to NOOK Color as a "tablet" and mention apps before books.

"Barnes & Noble continues to make its bestselling, critically acclaimed NOOK Color Reader’s Tablet even better, delivering customers a wide array of high-quality apps, books, interactive children’s books, magazines and more. The company announced it doubled its number of NOOK Apps since recently introducing a broad collection of popular apps."

  • Ebook publisher Smashwords recently announced that their ebooks are now available to the app marketplace through ScrollMotion, which is developing applications for mobile platforms including Apple iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7 and WebOS.

As authors and publishers, we need to capitalize on these trends by making our books available on tablets like the iPad and looking for ways to integrate multi-media features and create apps. The future is here!

Related Articles

Sales of Ebooks and Reading Devices Soar 

6 Reasons Why You Need to Publish Ebooks

How to Publish an Ebook for Multiple Platforms

Quick Start Guide to Marketing Your Kindle eBooks Like a Pro!

About the Author

Dana Lynn Smith, The Savvy Book Marketer, helps authors and indie publishers learn how to sell more books through her how-to guides, blog, newsletter, and private coaching. For more book marketing tips, get her free Top Book Marketing Tips ebooks, subscribe to her blog, follow BookMarketer on Twitter, and connect on Facebook.


This is a reprint from Dana Lynn Smith‘s The Savvy Book Marketer.