The most prevalent question in the minds of people associated with the publishing industry is what lies ahead in the internet age of the twenty-first-century world. Can Publishing even survive in its traditional form. And if a transformation of some sort is imminent for the industry, what direction should it take?
To answer this complex question, we must first understand the existing models in Publishing businesses and the state of the industry.
The traditional Publishing models have been in place for many hundreds of years and have seen little to no change up until now. The model is based on the following core elements:
- The Author of the book Writes, and
- The Publisher helps the writer in terms of:
- Printing; and
This process of printing books has worked for multiple hundreds of years. However, in the world of rapid technological development where with the help of the internet, anything can be delivered online, E-Books and E-Publishing has dramatically shifted the Publishing paradigm and opened doors for fresh and disruptive business models in publishing industry.
People’s perception of Publishing underwent a dramatic shift with the introduction of E-publishing. Today, as an author, you don’t need to be dependent on a Publisher to not only publish but market and distribute your book as well. You can take the help of easily available freelancers and use numerous online portals such as Amazon and Flipkart to list and sell your published book. Such portals make your books available to even global markets, instantaneously.
So the question that still persists is, as an author, why do you need the help and services of an established Publisher? What special element do Publishers bring to the table?
The role of a Publisher extends far beyond this. The most crucial role of a Publisher is that of a Peer Review Person. The role of the Publisher is to make you understand,
- How to write a book?
- How to present a book?
- How to market a book?
- What will sell, and
- What will not sell?
The answer to these complex question comes to a publisher with their years of experience in creating, publishing and promoting hundreds of books. So, author driven models can indeed work in today’s world but it is up to the author to realize that the content they create can be made much more valuable with what a publisher brings to the table.
Another challenge that is being faced by the Publishing Industry, is that of the Copyright issues. Copyright crisis means anybody can download your book illegally and use it without paying you your due payment. Further, a recent high court case allowed people to photocopy a book for usage in the class without paying the authors is creating a precedent that will continue to be a challenge for Publishers as well as authors.
To make Publishing a sustainable industry, it must be understood that all three active segments of the industry—the Authors, the Publishers, and the Readers bring unique value to the table. In essence, these three segments are stakeholders in creating a sustainable ecosystem. Publishing can and will continue to flourish on the backbone of this mutually beneficial system as the value of Quality and Unique content continues to grow.
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