"Publishing conglomerates Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster are facing tough times this quarter as ebook sales fell and total profit dropped 5.6% at S&S and approximately 12% for RPH ... [There is also] the slow but sure shrinking of the print market." - John Biggs, TechCrunch, March 3, 2015. Here is the article.
What publishers might not realize is that we read differently in a disruptive, digital age. Unlike little children who flock to the public library for story-time, we don't have the time for the "experience" of reading.
No longer is stress reduced by curling up with a good book and getting lost in that world. Instead we go to the gym and there we track our activities with some connected device.
In addition, we leverage books for their ideas, not for a complete read. Those are usually highlighted in the book reviews such as in The Economist. If we do actually get the book and click it on or crack it open it's to gallop through the Introduction to find out the tenets.
Yet, at the same time, books are still the price of entry for thought leaders. I receive calls all the time about ghostwriting a print or ebook. But in order to receive attention and show up okay in the rankings on Amazon.com, they have to be provocative, organized as a how-to and contain workbook exercises. Even memoirs have to provide takeaways.
Publishers who provide advances have to become more in-tune with why people read books. The next step is being more selective what they publish. That industry, just like the landline one, could become an anachronism.
Meanwhile the demand for Sponsored Content is growing. Here is the backgrounder I developed on how to approach that promotional opportunity Download SponsoredContentbackgrounder.