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Fearing or Embracing the Publishing Future

It can be interesting to read through articles in the publishing industry and see how different people, and companies, are reacting to the changes in the publishing world.

An example of a more embracing attitude would be David “Skip” Prichard the c.e.o of Ingram Content Group. Prichard’s attitude is that, “New players don’t know what the rules are, they simply do things as efficiently as they can to reach the most people. They will change the model repeatedly. History is an asset but also a challenge, because we need to adapt so quickly.(1)

Another differentiator between those who fear the future of publishing and those who embrace it is their view on DRM (Digital Rights Management) technology. Those who truly understand and embrace the publishing future are looking beyond DRM. Those who are terrified of the future are scrambling to figure out what DRM they can use to lock down the world. has a good article summing up some ideas presented at this years Tools of Change conference. It is a short article, but makes a brief summary on why DRM is not the way of the future. One quick quote: “You create piracy by the failure to release digital content. Don’t try to solve piracy: think about managing it.

And then there are those who, by the very way they speak, demonstrate the depth of their failure to understand (or be willing to embrace) the future of publishing. At the BEA (Book Expo America) a bunch of prominent people in the publishing industry got together to talk about the future of publishing, and most of it was fretting, with comments like “Something’s radically wrong about the way the market has determined the value of the book.(3) (Ie, things are too cheap.) The article is a fascinating look into the bunker mentally of fear and fighting the future.

For more reading, check out my own, “The Future of Publishing Series.”


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