Most publishers seem to believe the worst is now over, that the industry has survived an inconvenient tsunami warning that turned out to be nothing but an unseasonably high tide.
That is, according to Gareth Cuddy, the founder and CEO of Vearsa, in a recent article on Digital Book World titled “Publishing’s Digital Disruption Hasn’t Even Started.” (Click here to read entire article; it’s long, but certainly worth your time.)
With ebooks settling down, I think it’s safe to say that publishers have regained hope in the production and profitable sales of print books, which is fantastic. But consumption and distribution of content has been fundamentally changing, and so whether ebooks continue to make a considerable profit makes no difference. The fact is, publishing has changed. And another thing: it hasn’t stopped changing.
It’s easy to take a breath of relief when a particular threat has shown itself to be inconsequential, to lessen your guard when you know that obstacle is no longer an obstacle. But what about the unknown, unforeseeable obstacles that you haven’t prepared for?
Cuddy brings up an interesting argument and outlines a distinct pattern in disruption. Publishing falls somewhere in the middle of the pattern, which leads him to believe that “for anyone to think that the digital disruption book publishing has experienced in the last few years is over or receding would be foolish in the extreme” (Source).
What do you think? Has publishing gotten over its hump and can it look forward to smooth sailing, or is there still a lot of turmoil ahead?