September 28, 2015

THE DOUBLE DOWN: What Do You do When Technologies Change And Your Business Model Becomes Obsolete.  This post was put up in one of my facebook groups and as I was on a break from The Novel tm, I read it.  I got to a paragraph and my mouth dropped open.  The post is about the publishing earning reports that shows that, in traditional publishing, since Amazon stopped forcing traditional publishers to put up ebooks for under 9.99, ebooks have been selling less than paper books.  This is no more than any business person knows: raise prices, sell fewer units. Particularly in a recessionary environment.  My friend Cedar blogged about the report here. None of which prepared me for these reported news:

Publishers, seeking to capitalize on the shift, are pouring money into their print infrastructures and distribution. Hachette added 218,000 square feet to its Indiana warehouse late last year, and Simon & Schuster is expanding its New Jersey distribution facility by 200,000 square feet.

Penguin Random House has invested nearly $100 million in expanding and updating its warehouses and speeding up distribution of its books. It added 365,000 square feet last year to its warehouse in Crawfordsville, Ind., more than doubling the size of the warehouse.

“People talked about the demise of physical books as if it was only a matter of time, but even 50 to 100 years from now, print will be a big chunk of our business,” said Markus Dohle, the chief executive of Penguin Random House, which has nearly 250 imprints globally. Print books account for more than 70 percent of the company’s sales in the United States.

The company began offering independent booksellers in 2011 two-day guaranteed delivery from November to January, the peak book buying months.

DO read the whole thing. Even if publishing isn’t of interest to you, watching an entrenched industry deal with catastrophic change is fascinating.  (And because it is my business, more than a bit scary.)


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