DBW Insights: David Steinberger

In this exclusive interview, David Steinberger, President and CEO of the Perseus Books Group, discusses distribution, social media and Constellation, a digital discovery service for independent book publishers.

From the interview:

I think one of the things that we’re going to see over the next year is social media really come to the book publishing industry. I don’t think we’ve seen the ultimate social media model for books or anything even close to it.

And one of the things people keep talking about is the issue of how do you discover a book that you weren’t planning to purchase in the digital world. Where you used to walk down the aisle in a bookstore and stumble on a book that you didn’t anticipate. And, while physical bookstores are still very significant and will always be significant that is, I think, a real question, and I think social media is part of the answer.

But, to me, even if there is no complete breakthrough on the marketing side, you’re still going to see big sales increases just by moving the distribution barriers.

A joint production of Digital Book World and Astral Road Brand Media: http://www.astralroad.com

2 thoughts on “DBW Insights: David Steinberger

  1. Christopher Wills

    It’s refreshing to hear David Steinberger’s views and to hear that he has an open mind on the future of publishing especially independent publishing. He poses an interesting question of how will readers stumble on books in the future where digital media is king.
    I suspect the answer will be similar to what happens today. Bestsellers will be selected by publishers and heavily marketed. Specialist books will congregate on websites or blogs devoted to specialist subjects so if I was interested in Fly fishing I think in 5 years there will be a website devoted to Fly fishing literature of all forms that carries reviews of ebooks and emagazines and even single articles that I can download for money, or a subscription or for free.
    Where I think he is wrong is in assuming bookstores will play a significant part in publishing. I think bookstores will go just as music stores have. The numbers don’t add up. There will not be sufficient demand for print copies of books to price them as cheap as they are now. Once many bookstores have closed, print runs will reduce, making the economics of book printing expensive. I can see the paperback book dying and hardback books easily being $100 each, or more, due to such low demand for them. Once color ereaders are the norm and the technology has advanced to have internet links in color ereaders and all sorts of other fancy things like being able to print color images from an ebook wirelessly in high quality I don’t think print books have a chance except as a luxury item. Remember, the young generation seem quite happy to stare at a tiny phone screen for hours; they do not have the same emotional attachment to books some of us middle aged people have.
    I don’t like it but it’s progress.

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