frankfurt.jpegThe Bookseller has the first of a number of articles on this panel at Frankfurt. Participants were Victoria Barnsley, CEO of HarperCollins, Mike Shatzkin, Ronald Schild of Libreka and Jens Bammel, Secretary General of the IPA.

Here’s a snippet:

A more serious threat to the publishing industry than digitisation was the imminent demise of the bookstore, warned Shatzkin, who predicted that shelf-space in bookstores would halve from present levels. Barnsley, by contrast, suggested that shelf-space had always been scarce, and that the direct interaction with readers made possible by digital publishing would actually help to alleviate the problem. The biggest challenge ahead of publishers, she felt, would be adjusting to the fact that theirs was now a customer-facing business: editors, for instance, would need to become more like marketing staff. Shatzkin agreed that a focus on the customer would be vital: the relationship with the reader would ultimately be of even greater importance to publishers than control of copyrights. It would be whoever got the eyeballs and the trust, he assured the audience, that would end up controlling the ebook business.


  1. Barnsley seems to be getting handle on what is needed for the future success of the Publishing industry imho. However it is alarming for the customer to know how much back room cooperation is going on between publishers. This is classic anti trust behaviour and customers need to be writing to their politicians raising the alarm and demanding action.

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