The Publisher of the Future

roadsWe’re starting to see the early signs of what the publisher of the future might look like in two examples of houses in transition, according to industry consultant (and DBW partner) Mike Shatzkin.

Wiley is returning to its roots, selling off trade assets and investing in professional and educational publishing. The move has the dual effect of limiting Wiley’s exposure to disappearing bookshelf space and allowing it to reduce overhead in the form of its formerly powerful trade sales and marketing apparatus.

Hyperion, which is reportedly selling off its back-list to focus more on new titles related to television and movie projects at parent Disney, has little overhead, outsourcing most of the heavy lifting of the publishing process to Hachette. With little to nothing in its reserves to have to focus on selling, it can be nimble and take on profitable projects as they come.

See a pattern here? Two different companies with two different plans but both are becoming slimmer and more agile and both are basically giving up marketing hard-to-sell products to consumers: in Wiley’s case, no more trade publishing; in Hyperion’s, a focus on titles with built-in marketing.

Read more.

Related: Hyperion CEO Says Publishing Business Model Is Broken

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The rest of the day’s top news:

A View of the Future Reader (DBW)
More U.S. teens are adopting smartphones and tablets, which are clearly (at least for now) the future of e-reading. Here’s more food for thought: A quarter of teens are “cell only” internet users, meaning they only access the Web through a mobile device.

Library Ebook Activity (DBW)
Kings County in Washington State is the most active library for ebook borrowing in the U.S., according to new data from OverDrive. The New York Public Library is No. 2. See how the rest of the libraries ranked.

Apple’s CEO Cook to Testify in Antitrust Case (Pub Lunch)
Despite possibly having nothing relevant to say and no established connection to the case, Apple CEO Tim Cook will testify in the upcoming ebook price-fixing antitrust case. The reason given by Judge Denise Cote? Basically, the government is “entitled” to put a senior Apple executive through the wringer in the absence of the late Steve Jobs.

Introducing DBW U! (DBW)
DBW U is an online professional development resource for digital publishing professionals. The first course starts Monday and is about converting straight-text works to EPUB.

HTML 5 in Inkling Habitat (Vimeo)
More than 1,200 people registered for the Digital Book World webcast on HTML5 and ebooks this week. For those of you who missed it, here is Inkling’s Brad Neuberg talking about HTML5 in Inkling’s content creation tool Habitat.

Three Challenges for Children and Digital Learning (DBW)
Digital is slowly but surely creeping into the classrooms of our nation’s youth. The materials have yet to catch up and educators not yet accustomed to the new way of teaching struggle, too. A new Web resource aims to help change that.

Hugh Howey’s Story (HuffPo)
Hugh Howey tells the long and winding story of how he went from being someone like you or me to being the guy who wrote and published a best-seller and then got a dream deal from a major publisher. Want to hear more? See Howey on video talking about his journey here.

Txtr Launches Windows 8 E-Reading App (DBW)
When Microsoft first invested in Barnes & Noble in the middle of last year, some of the excitement was around a Nook Windows 8 e-reading app. Now that Microsoft’s new tablet, Surface, has pretty much tanked, announcements like these aren’t so exciting.

Kindle Goes Abroad, Lowers Price (DBW)
Amazon has introduced the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire in Europe and Japan and lowered its price in the U.S.

Random House Updates BookScout App (DBW)
The social reading app from Random House has gotten a face lift in conjunction with the new Facebook news feed.

Where Books Come From (GalleyCat)
When you were little, your parents probably told you that new books came when a stork carried them in through the open window, packaged and sparkling new. Well, that’s not exactly how it happens. Here is the dirty truth.

Kindle as Bookmark (GalleyCat)
This image of a Kindle being used as a bookmark has gone viral. Don’t miss out!


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