Five Digital Publishing Questions for Seth Godin

Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.

The Digital Book World Conference + Expo, kicking off on January 13, 2015 is packed with an incredible amount of information and ideas about the digital publishing landscape at a time of remarkable transformations. To help attendees make the most out of those three days, Digital Book World is sitting down with conference speakers to help lay the groundwork for conversations that will take place at the conference and continue for many weeks and months afterward.

This is the seventh installment in our “Digital Publishing Questions” blog series, featuring Seth Godin, author and founder of squidoo.com.

What do you think has been the most newsworthy event for authors in the past year around publishing and digital change?

Newsworthiness is in the eye of the media company (what sells ads, what attracts eyeballs). For me, the most think-worthy event of 2014 was the clarion wake-up call for book publishers: Time to decide who your customer is. Is it the bookstore? The New York Times? Amazon? The reader?

What are you anticipating as the big change we will see in 2015?

I think the healthy back-list bump that ebook sales brought will start to be eclipsed by the noise and cruft and occasional winner that’s coming from the self-publishing community.

What is the most important thing publishers need to accomplish in 2015?

See my answer to Question 1. If you know who your customers are, do a much better job of connecting with them.

Will Amazon’s ebook market share grow in 2015, or will this be the year that Apple, Kobo, Google and Nook (or someone else) push them back?

It’s a no-brainer. Amazon will grow.

Are there any companies (start-up or otherwise) now flying below the radar that you think may break out in 2015?

I think that mobile and book publishing are largely incompatible, but someone will prove me wrong.

Seth Godin is a best-selling author and the founder of squidoo.com. He’ll be speaking in an interactive session at Digital Book World 2015 called, “OK, What’s Next?” examining what’s possible and what’s important for a wide range of players in the publishing value chain as each charts a course into 2015 and beyond.

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