Sarah Nelson definitely knows a lot about publishing. She is now books director for O, the Oprah magazine and from 2005 to 2009, she was editor-in-chief of Publishers Weekly. Nelson talked at the 2009 PubWest Conference about two weeks ago and the title of the talk was: Is Publishing Dead?
Her answer was 'No'. Changing - Yes, Dying - Nope (at least not for now). She pointed out that "Publishing, the publishing business or the book business as we know it, is also not dead, but it is undergoing tremendous change and will die in the way that we know it. Publishing as we know it will die if changes are not made. I think that there will always be books, there will always be people to read books, the books may be in a different format from the way we read them now, some of them. But I don’t think that the way the systems, the back-office systems, the distribution systems and so on, will be the same. I think those are changing. Dying? I’d rather say that they’re morphing rather than dying."
If you're interested to hear more of Sara Nelson’s thoughts on the publishing industry, its traditional business models and how they should change, writers, self-publishing and more, please check it out on Copyright Clearance Center’s podcast Beyond the Book.
A transcript is also available at http://www.beyondthebookcast.com/wp-images/SaraNelsonPubWest09.pdf
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