Harper’s Sara Nelson Discusses the State of the Industry

sara nelson, harper, harpercollins, dbw, digital book world conferenceSara Nelson is a vice president, executive editor and special advisor to the publisher at Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins. Before joining the publisher, she was the editorial director for books and Kindle at Amazon, the books editor at O, Oprah’s magazine, and the editor-in-chief of Publishers Weekly.

This year at DBW 2017, Sara is part of a session in which she will help provide an inside look at what’s going on at the big publishers.

We spoke with Sara about her DBW session, her career, and what the biggest issues in the industry are.

Your career has been so wide-ranging. From where you sit, what is the state of the industry today?

I think the industry is always in better shape than people inside it tend to believe it is. Publishing has always been difficult, and while it’s undeniable that new technology, the Internet, large retailers and other big, bad boogeymen are putting pressure on the business, they are also helping it in innumerable ways.

Ebooks, for example, are bringing writing to many more readers, but the ebooks themselves bring less profit to the publishers (than traditional hardcovers). So there’s give and take, good and bad.

Much more.


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