Nicholas Carr

Denis Wilson is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Executive, Printing Impressions' sister publication that covers the magazine publishing business.

Amid the ambient wails of doom about the publishing industry, I'd like to enter a note of encouragement. The mainstream may be getting dumber by the day, but we are living in what looks like a golden age of publishing for, of all people, the university presses.

At the moment, I don't think there's a trade publishing house producing high-calibre, serious non-fiction of the quality and variety of Yale University Press; and snapping at its heels are Harvard, Oxford, Princeton, Cambridge and Chicago.

As is clear from the editorial coverage in this issue of Book Business, the industry is abuzz with talk of the new subscription economy and its impact on how books are discovered, accessed, and monetized. If this is the discussion that has taken center stage, in the wings persists a rumbling over how new technologies and content platforms are affecting the very nature of the book as we know it.

When I picked up the current Scientific American my eye was immediately drawn to the cover line, "Google Is Changing the Way You Think." Given the sensationalist tone that often accompanies explorations of how Internet use affects cognition, the article was a measured summation of studies that indicate a) we often go online to answer questions we used to ask friends and b) relying on the Internet for information we or our friends used to remember means while we have access to more information than ever, we know less.

Boulder, CO, November 12, 2013 - During the Next Chapter event hosted by Ricoh Americas Corporation (Ricoh), the future of the printed book was discussed and debated, and preliminary results from a major new study on the future of book publishing were revealed. Concurrently, Edwards Brothers Malloy announced that they have installed a new InfoPrint 5000 digital printer to be used for book publishing and short print runs. 

At roughtype.com, Nicholas Carr continued his examination of the decline in ebook sales growth, a trend that started in 2012 and seems to be continuing this year. According to an Association of American Publishers report, e-book sales in the U.S. trade market for the first quarter of 2013 grew by just 5% over the same period in 2012. Meaning, according to Carr, "the explosive growth of the last few years has basically petered out, according to the APP numbers."

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