SOURCE: Simba Information

Simba Information

January 10, 2011 09:42 ET

Book Retailers Should "Look Before They Leap," Says Simba's Book Publishing Report

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - January 10, 2011) - Recent revenue declines in trade book publishing and retailing may be due to industry giants jumping into new tech platforms and e-reading devices without considering the consequences. This includes releasing e-books alongside hardcover books, introducing lending features and shedding the book identity, according to "Book Publishing Report," the monthly newsletter from media and publishing forecast firm Simba Information.

Industry pundits have long identified e-books as the grim reaper for physical trade books. Although it is predicted that sales of physical trade books will decline in years to come due to the decreasing production costs of e-reading devices and their increased adoption, this transition has been accelerated by retailers and publishers alike. 

"Publishers and retailers should have taken a lesson from the movie industry, which distributes new releases to the theatres months before releasing the DVD," says senior trade book analyst Michael Norris. "Hardcover and e-book versions are released simultaneously, forcing a price point decision on the consumer."

New advances in e-reading technology, such as Barnes & Noble's LendMe feature, are creating a culture of sharing that will encourage piracy.

"Another lesson can be learned from the music industry; the sharing of music cannibalized the industry, creating a scenario in which producers were making something for nothing," adds Norris. "Unlike the music industry, there are no concerts or stage performances that will protect authors from losing sales."

An identity crisis is also sparking a paralysis on the industry's revenues, forcing publishers to create more content without generating additional income.

"We're getting to the point where all books include some interactive feature; put a video here, a link there or an interactive game there," states Norris. "We're almost afraid of using the word 'book', or, even worse, 'reading' when describing the finished product and how to use it."

"2011 will be the year that the industry realizes it can evolve without morphing into something that it isn't or abandoning things that work, have purpose and value."

Continuous updates on e-books, and the trade publishing and retailing landscape as a whole, are available in Simba Information's "Book Publishing Report," an online newsletter which also offers fully searchable and indexed archives. It is available at:  

About Simba Information:
Simba Information is widely recognized as the leading authority for market intelligence in the media and publishing industry as its extensive information network delivers top quality, independent perspective on the people, events and alliances shaping the industry. Simba provides consulting and reports that provide key decision-makers at more than 15,000 client companies around the globe with timely analysis, exclusive statistics and proprietary industry forecasts. For more information, please visit

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