Brand Perfect’s new report looks at how traditional publishers are contending with the challenges being brought about by increasingly fragmentary digital publishing, and highlights some of the most successful commercial projects that are responding to them.
On the state of the industry, last year writer and web commentator Clay Shirky stated simply: “The word publishing means a cadre of professionals who are taking on the incredible difficulty, complexity and expense of making something public. That’s not a job anymore. That’s a button…”
Shirky’s provocative assertion betrays a frustration with the pace at which many have responded to digital. The book trade’s publishing titans were caught on the hop by the Kindle, and have struggled to adapt to compete and cooperate with Amazon, as well as with Apple, Google and a host of other tech companies now entering the fray. Perhaps the least nervous group in this brave new world is the emerging band of start-up maker/publishers, such as France’s Volumique and the West Coast’s Ying Horowitz & Quinn.
According to the latest Pew Internet & American Life Project survey, 25% of adults in the US now own a tablet computer. The most popular device on the market is Apple’s iPad, with a 52% share of the market, but that figure is down from 81% in 2011. Surging sales of cheaper Android devices are redressing the balance; their 48% market share owes a lot to the success of Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which now accounts for 21% of tablets sold in the US. Bear in mind, too, that these figures predate the release of the Nexus 7, the Kindle Fire HD, new Samsung Galaxy models and the iPad Mini.
Our new Brand Perfect report, produced as part of our Adventures in Publishing theme, looks to the future of books, as well as magazines and newspapers, by highlighting some of the most groundbreaking and successful work recently produced. You can download it for free by joining up at brandperfect.org and heading here: Brand Perfect – Adventures in Publishing.