DBW Insights: David Shanks, CEO of Penguin Group (USA)

David Shanks, CEO, Penguin Group (USA)In this exclusive interview, David Shanks, CEO of the Penguin Group (USA), discusses the difficulties juggling both print and e-publishing, the place of Book Country in Penguin’s strategy, and the future of handselling and brick-and-mortar retailers.

From the interview:

I think that it’s all about the content anyhow. Right now, you can see that there are online companies now that are getting into content because they’re worried about content. The fact that we still have things that people want to read, I think, is going to still be our major advantage.

And I think you can do both. My job as the CEO is not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

So we still have 80 percent of our volume, 85 percent, whatever it is, is still print. And that’s turning on the lights and paying my salary and paying for our booth [at BEA]. So we can’t just devote all our attention to ebooks, and the way that some of the mainstream media is representing ebooks, it’s like it’s 100 percent of the business all of a sudden, and it isn’t. And it certainly, I think, will never be 100 percent of the business….

A joint production of Digital Book World and Astral Road Brand Media: http://www.astralroad.com/. Founded by Rich Fahle, Astral Road Media is a full-service digital media agency, providing content strategy, design, video production, and other creative forms of social outreach for authors and content creators of all types.

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