Kindle and the transformation of Publishing

Discussion in 'Economics' started by achilles28, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. Like music and video, perhaps the future of publishing isn't the hardcopy, brick-and-motor, multi-layer distribution channel rife with overhead expenses, store rents and employee costs? Maybe like Itunes, it's digital. Even Amazon seems outdated to me. True, some will always prefer a hardcopy, for readability and access. Something about a print edition having a tangible, satisfaction to it. But what about authors going purely digital? Like the Kahn online academy? No need for publishers, marketers, distributors and retail fronts, that eat the lions share of the sales price in overhead, transportation and brick-and-motor costs. Digital publishing, like the music industry (digital producing), eliminates the entire "middle-man" industry and makes the author publisher, and directly connects them to the consumer. With digital delivery, the cost to "publish" and deliver a book is hardly more than the cost to write it. Books that retail for 20 or 30 dollars, could easily sell for 3 or 4, while the author maintains their original profit margin. This represents a huge efficiency to the marketplace, makes accessible a wealth of information to the underclass and third world, and does to publishers what google did to print advertisers. Maybe the big paper publishers of the world are a good long-term short (HarperCollins, MacMillian, Random House etc), along with big retail store-fronts (Chapters, Barnes and Noble etc)? Maybe there's an opportunity here to create an online clearinghouse/retailer for digital publishers and their content? Similar to iTunes? Or Netflix?
  2. Maybe the big paper publishers of the world are a good long-term short (HarperCollins, MacMillian, Random House etc),

    It would be interesting to see what the school text book industry does.Text book publishing might be the last hold out.
  3. Agreed. That's one of the biggest money makers, especially for academics. They only get one or two editions before they rewrite or update the book. And it's sold to a completely captive audience. I remember some books in university retailed for 70-120 dollars. 500-600 dollars per semester in books, alone ! The racket is in the Professors dictating which books are used for the course, which I'm sure they get a cut of the profits. They'll be loathe to give that up. Maybe there's a way around it?
  4. wartrace


    I think the end of a Paper book is near.

    Someone brought up the "Kahn academy" and I really have to wonder if the age of the "educational infrastructure" is over. Why would children have to listen to ineffectual "teachers" in a classroom when they can learn BETTER online? Think about the cost savings if we didn't have to build schools, pay administrators, pay "teachers" and all the other associated cost of a traditional school district?

    It pretty much comes down to warehousing children so their parents can work. I don't want to pay for their "childcare".
  5. S2007S


    The paper book, the newspaper, the libraries and textbook industry is done with. Barnes and nobles is the next to close, the nook has helped their bottom line, but without the nook the company his headed for chapter 11.
  6. S2007S


    Maybe the future is a change to the educational infrastructure, think about the billions in savings if this was to happen, I have been saying for years that the educational system is very outdated. The methods and ways used to teach kids today is outdated. You know those SATs all those HS students worry about, those are a joke.
  7. wartrace


    My initial objection to the Kindle type reader was it seemed as if it would be hard on the eyes. I overcame that after using readers and realized I was just suffering from "old fart syndrome" resisting change....

    I keep a lot of PDF based manuals for business use on my laptop. The thing I like about that is I can carry my entire reference library with me with no effort at all. On top of the ability to carry all the "books" the ease of looking up information is much better than a paper book.