The big five publishing houses are going to have to pay more to publish books in a year than they have ever done before, and that will be partly because of the way the world is going.
Publishers are going through a “crisis” period in which the publishing world has become more expensive, with Amazon’s Kindle becoming the new main-line book seller.
There are signs that some publishers are now starting to worry that they are being priced out of the market.
As a result, the big five, whose combined revenues are estimated at more than $150bn, are likely to be paying more for the rights to their books than ever before.
That will force the big publishers to start offering the same books again and again, in a bid to keep their titles around.
They may also start to sell fewer of the same titles.
The big four publishers will also have to consider the cost of making sure their books are available for the same price in every market they exist in.
“It’s not like there’s not going to be more pressure on the big four,” says Martin Laski, a senior editor at the Bookseller, who was a member of the publishing board for the big three when they were in their prime.
“They’ve had to pay a lot more to be published, and they’re paying a lot less than they did a few years ago.”
The big three publishers, whose books they publish and whose revenues are believed to be worth $250bn, will face a similar challenge as the big one.
There is a lot of pressure on them.
But the big books, particularly the big ones, are going out of print, they are going digital, and the only way they can make the biggest profits is to keep the books around forever, says Laskin.
They are just so important.
“If they’re going to survive, they’ve got to be able to keep publishing,” he says.
The biggest challenges are going from print to digital to e-books and, to a lesser extent, to paperback, says Peter Rive, the publisher of the New York Times bestselling The New York Review of Books, which will publish its first paperback in the next few weeks. “
They don’t want to make the big mistakes.”
The biggest challenges are going from print to digital to e-books and, to a lesser extent, to paperback, says Peter Rive, the publisher of the New York Times bestselling The New York Review of Books, which will publish its first paperback in the next few weeks.
The New Yorker, the best-selling print newspaper in the world, will also be publishing a hardback edition of its most popular novel.
Rive says that many of the big-selling titles in the book world will have to be dropped, as will most of the best books in the humanities.
It will be the biggest year-on-year fall in sales since 2007, when the New Yorker dropped most of its best-seller lists.
But publishers are still going to keep printing a lot.
“There’s no end in sight to this book industry,” Rive predicts.
“The problem is that there’s a big, big book industry and we’re just going to go into it as if it never happened.”