Adapting to the Digital Age: A Q&A with Association of American Publishers President and CEO Patricia S. Schroeder
Extra: What do you believe will be the biggest opportunities and challenges for publishers this year?
Schroeder: I think opportunities and challenges are like assets and liabilities. They’re almost the same. [Publishers are] continuing to adapt to the digital age. It’s also the biggest opportunity. Everyone is clearly working very hard on that. But there are other issues that people are working hard on. Again, we’ve been focusing on reading and literacy. It’s always an issue with a society [in which] everyone has attention-deficit disorder. We’re trying to make our industry more diverse. Our schools are a priority, too. There have been major spending cutbacks. We work on all of those issues, too.
For school publishers, there will be more delivery of digital product. It will be much easier to keep books up-to-date. In higher-ed, as universities deal with monetary cutbacks, they ask publishers to run the labs online and offer tutorials online. It’s not the textbook we knew in school. A lot of the publishers will become technology companies. Publishers never owned paper or print. They were content companies. Yes, they will continue to produce content in the future. No matter what, they will have to continue to offer content. They will just probably be doing a lot more with the content.