Global Publishing Trends in 2018

How big is global book publishing? And why should you care? Because within the business data lie critical clues for digital transformation.

Rüdiger Wischenbart , co-founder of BookMap, a non-profit initiative on international publishing statistics, believes an understanding of world book markets can drive decisions that will position your content to best advantage everywhere.

Author of the highly-regarded Global eBook Report, Wischenbart shared his latest data on the world’s biggest publishing markets during a recent Copyright Clearance Center webinar. As lines blur among books and other media, publishers must manage content assets and rights with the confidence that comes with quality data.

“When we speak here about digital, I’m not only talking about e-books. I’m talking about a digital transformation. I mean that a publishing company suddenly is driven and organized in a digitally organized value chain and work processes,” Wischenbart explains.

“Three major forces that really make the change. Number one, we have arrived – it’s not the future, it’s the present. We have arrived in a network economy for the book industry as well, and that means we have winner-take-all markets, where a few major and bigger and better-financed players are in a so much stronger position than all the little guys.

“This is reinforced by market fragmentation,” he continues. “When I have a big organization, I can play around here and experiment there and acquire a little start-up or a little imprint from somewhere else. I can really play across all those different niches and fields. I even can fix a mistake that I may have made when – just recently in the US, Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury [has been] so much more successful than the publisher had expected. I have the tools to do this, and that is making the competition so much stronger against all the small and middle-sized publishing companies.

“Finally, a third factor [is] that is publishing traditionally thought that the publishers, the authors, and their offer are defining the market. But in a networked economy, in a corporate economy, in all these digital pipes and channels and platforms, it’s the consumers, it’s the customers who define it.”

View the transcript here.


Author: Christopher Kenneally

Christopher Kenneally hosts CCC's Velocity of Content podcast series, which debuted in 2006 and is the longest continuously running podcast covering the publishing industry. As CCC's Senior Director, Marketing, he is responsible for organizing and hosting programs that address the business needs of all stakeholders in publishing and research. His reporting has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, The Independent (London), WBUR-FM, NPR, and WGBH-TV.
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