Saturday, April 10, 2010

2012 is Doomsday

Or so the Huffington Post says about publishing (Publishing Crashes in 2012), citing this blog post. (Link from Moses Siregar III on J.A. Konrath's blog.) The Huffington Post summarizes the blog post in this paragraph: "...once ebook sales hit 20-25% of book sales, print run numbers will fall to a point where the current consignment system for sales will break down. Under the current system, most books can be returned for credit, so for every book sold, two are printed. Those "returned" books have the covers torn off, and the guts discarded, so they cannot be put out into the market again. Ebook sales will create smaller print runs, driving up the unit cost, forcing higher prices which, in turn, will kill sales. Game over."

The original post also says this: "There’s an inevitable concurrent downward spiral of brick-and-mortar retail inherent in this forecast that sales are moving online. The nearly-limitless online selection has been an increasingly powerful magnet since the day Amazon opened and in the new paradigm there will be a growing body of talked-about content not visible on store shelves. It is beyond the scope of today’s speculation to consider what this means for the strategy and survival of bookstores and wholesalers and for publishers’ expectations for them, but it’s not likely to be pretty."

I do think ebooks will continue putting pressure on traditional publishing, though perhaps not to any dramatic extent by 2012. I hope brick-and-mortar bookstores never go away, though, as I love going into Barnes and Noble. But the sad truth is that I only go to B&N nowadays to browse and decide what to buy on my Kindle, so...

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