Mike Shatzkin’s blog posts are always worth reading, but his latest is particularly interesting. Frequently e-book prognosticators focus on the long-term, but Shatzkin this time tries to predict where the e-book industry will be in nine months, for the purposes of planning the panel schedule of the Digital Book World event he helps run.

Among the larger issues he predicts will be getting attention are the matters of territorial restrictions on e-book sales, and publishers figuring out how to form direct relationships with consumers. He also thinks more publishers will start experimenting with new business models such as subscription services.

Other subjects worthy of attention include the continuing problem of metadata, reducing reliance on physical book inventory, how a move toward self-publishing will affect the business models of literary agents, and the fate of bookstores and public libraries in an e-book world.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this article isn’t so much any one thing mentioned in it, but the way that Shatzkin sees the publishing industry continuing to change over the months that come. It wasn’t so long ago that one might confidently expect the publishing industry in nine months to look pretty much like the publishing industry today.


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