The Moving Word

Writer, Preacher, Bookworm, Student of the Word

Publishing House Goes All Digital

The Wall Street Journal reports:

As digital books continue to gain market share, one of the country’s oldest mass paperback publishers is abandoning its traditional print books and making its titles available in digital format and print-on-demand only.

Dorchester Publishing Inc., a closely held book and magazine house, said it is making the switch after its book unit sales fell 25% last year, in part because of declining orders from some of its key retail accounts, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. A spokeswoman for Wal-Mart declined comment.

“It wasn’t a long, drawn out decision, because we’ve been putting in the effort but not getting the results,” said Dorchester Chief Executive John Prebich.

The move comes at a time when electronic-book sales are gaining popularity with readers. Mike Shatzkin, chief executive of the Idea Logical Co., publishing consultants, predicts that digital books will be 20% to 25% of unit sales by the end of 2012, up from around 8% today.

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What do you think about this news? I find it quite disconcerting that it is possible that books as we know it, will begin to disappear. Of course, it will also be cheaper for publishers to send products to market. However, don’t expect authors to make more money.

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One thought on “Publishing House Goes All Digital

  1. Richard,

    I truly doubt that books will ever disappear. What parent wants to spend the money on a e-reader for each of their kids to be able to read the books which cost the same as the print versions? Especially at the prices the readers are. I know that a reader (I have the Sony Reader) is handy for pleasure reading, but it is quite cumbersome for actual research. I can locate what I need in my physical Bible far quicker than I can on the Reader version. If I am wanting to look up something in a commentary, can you imagine how slow it would be in getting to it, not knowing what page to look for? For those who are do actual research, the reader is ok, but more of a hinderance than a help. For the pleasure reader, it is great (other than that whole having to hook it up to a computer to get books on it, the relatively short battery life.

    Do you realize, however, that another problem arises when you cannot sell or trade in your book once you have finished reading it (and no longer need it)? There is no such thing as an e-book resale market. You get zero return on your investment. You would have a hard time sharing the book you bought with others as well.

    I feel like ranting today, apparently…


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