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All in a State of Publishing. Michael Cairns Information Media Partners RLG Symposium, Chicago - June 11, 2010.

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all in a state of publishing

All in a State of Publishing

Michael Cairns

Information Media Partners

RLG Symposium, Chicago - June 11, 2010

jonathan shaw gutenberg 2 0 harvard s libraries deal with disruptive change

“For Libraries and Librarians, the new premium on skills they have long cultivated as curators, preservers, and retrievers of collective knowledge puts them squarely on top of an information geyser in the sciences that could reshape medicine.”

Jonathan Shaw – Gutenberg 2.0: Harvard’s Libraries Deal With Disruptive Change

information publishers are trailblazers
Information Publishers are trailblazers













New Dangers

Rapid Investment


introduction and agenda
Introduction and Agenda
  • Summary of the business environment
  • The future of the book (so far)
  • Publishing in the digital age
publishing like any other industry
Publishing: Like Any Other Industry
  • Change
  • Dislocation
  • Speed
  • Technology
characterizing the marketplace today
Characterizing the Marketplace today
  • Subdued
  • Anxious
  • Retrenchment
  • Confusion
  • Jealousy
key segment business drivers

Big author block buster

Technology – Products

Technology – Distribution

Retail stability

Media tie-ins “Celebrity”

Conflict over ‘attention’


Practicing professionals

Macro economics

Library budgets

Government investment

Workflow applications

Technology innovation

Key Segment Business Drivers


  • Government spending –
    • NCLB
    • Education Policy
  • Local & state
    • Adoptions
    • Taxes
  • Enrollments
  • Economy
    • Continuing education
    • Community colleges
    • Long distance
    • Vocational/Technical
  • Workflow tools
    • Evaluative
    • Administrative
revenues look healthy
Revenues Look Healthy


Source: BISG Trends Report 2009

pearson digital is 31 of revenues in 2009

Pearson: Digital is 31% of revenues in 2009.

Wiley, Elsevier, Wolters Kluwer have similar statistics

  • Revolution or reinvention?
  • E-Books highly segmented
  • Trade adoption driven by hardware and price
  • Education faster mover, academic less so
  • No significant innovation
  • Piracy – No consistent approach, no real data
trade a giant mess no massive change
Trade: “a giant mess”…“no massive change”
  • Top of the pyramid
  • Senior executives are focused on ‘E’
  • Most publishers not addressing the transition
  • Reliant on supply chain to drive e-Content
  • Curation is little understood but will be important
  • Workflows are being redefined
academic future hasn t been invented yet
Academic: “future hasn’t been invented yet”
  • Print is still ‘format of record’ – dissertations, tenure
  • Limited impact of e-Content migrations
    • Content rendering issues
  • Old publishing model: long lead times, high pricing, one dimensional content
    • Bastardized content: graphs, tables, equations, etc.
  • Potential to exceed Trade in application of benefits of e-Content
    • Indexing, bibliographies, source materials, etc.
education much faster than anticipated
Education: “much faster than anticipated”
  • E-Content migration significantly underway
  • Successes with “born digital” content – not just ‘migrated’ print content
    • Few publishers thinking about ‘e’ from scratch
  • E-Book hardware have failed (thus far) in education
  • Market develops to a ‘database’ and ‘subscription’ model
    • Content becomes ‘dynamic’
  • Platform for services and content

“Many of our genre titles couldn’t be published without library buy-in. Of 8,000-10,000 units only 2,000 go to retail.” “I don’t understand how libraries are going to exist in a future market.”“We don’t love any of the models that exist for libraries.”

  • Patron and library data vacuum
    • Ambivalence and lack of awareness of library market dynamics: “What’s remote access?”
    • Relationship between loaning and buying
    • Characteristics of library patrons
    • Current patron behavior in an e-Content world
    • Can patrons be leveraged by publishers more effectively?
a library social world
A library social world
  • Gathering readers together
    • The ‘lonely act’ of reading transitioning to community reading
    • Around the book
    • Building communities
    • Networked reading
    • Can librarians help this trend and/or participate in it
publishing in the digital age

Publishing in the Digital Age

Thoughts and predictions

remember the characterization
Remember the Characterization?
  • Subdued
  • Anxious
  • Retrenchment
  • Confusion
  • Jealousy
are things really that bad
Are things really that bad?
  • During 2009 Book Publishing a winner
  • No ‘resurrection’ during 2009
  • Executives guarded about immediate future
  • Short to medium term problems with education and library funding
  • No bail-out!
change is coming

Re-evalution of value chain

Direct to consumer models

Publishers as retailers, retailers as publishers


Software as a service

Application providers

Service outsourcers

Embedded content

Change is Coming


  • Expanded value chain
  • Solutions providers
  • Custom production
  • Content, Assessment, Remediation, Management
ebooks and econtent holds center stage
eBooks and eContent holds center stage
  • 2009 ‘Year of the E-Book’
  • Apple’s (Hardware) role in book/media content will be defining
  • Google Editions: “The Cloud”
  • Content ‘rights’ challenged: Concept of ownership
  • E-Content rather than E-Books
  • E-Content another format option
forecasting publishing in the digital age
Forecasting Publishing In The Digital Age
  • Publishing and technology will become synonymous
  • Web delivery, xml based and ‘open’ social network orientation
  • Expansion of solutions based publishing
  • Education publishers rapid adoption of solutions based applications
  • Slow publishers will loose to new entrants


thank you the united states of publishing

THANK YOU.The United States of Publishing

Michael Cairns