The changing nature of the publishing value chain | FutureBook

The changing nature of the publishing value chain | FutureBook:

Jürgen Snoeren is Digital Operations Manager with Amsterdam publisher Meulenhoff Boekerij. He began his career in publishing as an editor for Meulenhoff and was publisher of the commercial imprint of De Boekerij for several years before becoming Digital Manager in 2009. He has a degree in Literature and recently completed his MBA. Today on FutureBook he pulled together so many news items whirling around in the world of publishing, from agents becoming digital publishers, Amazon as publisher, and the efforts of some of the big publishers like Hachette, Penguin and Simon & Schuster to re-engage with readers.

Snoeren presents some strong arguments as to why publishers need to first concentrate on delivering good quality content before they throw themselves into the lion’s den of reader networks and what the true value is in book publishing.

We publishers need to find our own part in this in order to survive. At the moment it’s a bit of a gold rush, with parties claiming their stakes and digging for gold in the hope to find gold first. The gold, here, means “the consumer” or “the reader”. There is a slight edge of hysteria in the way I hear publishers call for the need to reach the consumer’s heart. Certainly in the US, where during the Digital Book World conference last January Vertical Communities were all everybody was talking about.

I find that slightly disconcerting. It is certainly true that publishers need to learn more about the people reading their books – knowing reader’s preferences will be key in the digital marketplace. But I find that the real message for publishers is being drowned out by the constant call for “connecting with the consumer”.
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