Thursday, October 23, 2008

Book Publishing - See The CHANGE !!

 Machiavelli wrote books on barks of tree in 600AD. The publishing of knowledge continued to innovate. The barks of tree got converted to paper. Paper became the primary agent to transfer knowledge. We have not seen any innovation in the medium for so many centuries. 

Is it poised for disruption ??? Are e-books, the next medium of knowledge ??

e-books, the electronic form of rendering book knowledge became popular in late 20th century. Most of the publishing houses still think that the revenue model of hard copy books is the most profitable model. I tend to disagree on that. 

Like google, the publishing industry can also move towards the ad-based reveniew model. The e-books can have targeted ads and get the revenues out of it. If the e-books are free, the better the ebook is, more will be its circulation. The more the circulation, the more eye balls an ad gets. Like any content on website, its the content in an e-book. 

Ebook can have targetted Ads. A Finance book can have ads from Investment Banks and financial institutions etc. All those Ads can be clickable ads and it can again be a Ads-per-click model. 

This will not only make the good content free and widely avalaible but also remove the middlemen from the industry. This will be open sourcing of the content in the publishing industry. The costs of the publishers will go down in publishing the content from the authors. 

Today the biggest threat to publishing industry comes not from piracy or used books but from the you-tubing of the content. Most of the big universities have set up their online universities on I-Tunes, YouTube and Open Course Ware formats. Wikipedia is the biggest threat for all the publishers. There is no content which is not available on Wikipedia. 

So instead of being shy of technology, the best way is to adopt it to their advantage !!