Digital Changing ‘Very Nature of the Book Itself’

It used to be that being “digital” meant having a website and a social media presence. For book publishing companies today, being digital means having a business completely infused with new ways of thinking about editorial, production, distribution and, of course, marketing.

We caught up with James McQuivey, Ph.D., vice president and principal analyst at Forrester to hear about how publishing companies used to cope with digital changes in the publishing business and what they’re doing now.

“When publishers sit down and try to do this [digital], they suddenly realize, ‘oh, this isn’t just about marketing.’ …Go back to late 2010, early 2011, many of them thought, ‘oh, digital is a marketing channel or maybe a distribution channel.’ They didn’t understand that digital was a complete re-conceptualization of the whole product itself and the way that product comes to market.

“So they were really expecting that ‘we just have to get a website up and maybe a couple Twitter accounts and we’re done’ and bless ‘em for being so naïve. But they’re now in the middle of it, and they realize, ‘wait a minute, the very nature of the book itself, the path that we follow to make people aware of that book … has completely changed now and we don’t know what levers to push.’”


A joint production of Digital Book World and Astral Road Media: 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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Rich Fahle

About Rich Fahle

Rich Fahle is Founder & CEO of Astral Road Media, an innovative marketing services agency for authors, artists, and other content creators. He is also the founder of Bibliostar.TV, a new video portal for authors and books. At Astral Road, he oversees the implementation of author marketing strategies that fully capitalize on the emerging digital marketplace, including platform and content strategy development, streaming video and audio production, website development, and digital publishing guidance. Prior to Astral Road, Fahle was Vice President, Digital Content, E-Commerce and Entertainment for Borders, Chief Spokesman and Media Relations Manager for the cable TV network, C-SPAN and a manager at Kramerbooks, in Washington, DC.

2 thoughts on “Digital Changing ‘Very Nature of the Book Itself’

  1. InkMink

    “They didn’t understand that digital was a complete re-conceptualization of the whole product itself and the way that product comes to market.” – Excellent point! Thank you, Rich.



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