Anticipating the New Year
In addition to holiday planning and celebrations, it is also a time for looking ahead to a new year. By the time you read this, 2010 will be one for the history books, and 2011 will be upon us. In the spirit of the new year, our editorial staff planned a cover story for this issue to take the temperature of the book publishing industry by speaking with executives from various sectors about their plans and predictions for 2011 (see page 14). We also conducted a "2011 Industry Outlook" survey of Book Business readers that inquired about everything from projected marketing spending and e-book growth to key distribution channels in the coming year. For a summary of readers' responses, see page 19.
After reading through the survey responses and insights provided by the executives interviewed in the cover story, I was left with the impression that the industry is moving in the right direction. The past couple years have been difficult, to say the least, but most of us are seeing at least glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel. More than 60 percent of our survey respondents indicated that they are either "very optimistic" or "moderately optimistic" about 2011 for the book publishing industry.
Many publishers also appear to be more and more comfortable with the integration of digital products into their business portfolios as they plan for the coming year—according to our survey, 81 percent of respondents expect to increase the number of e-books they produce in 2011. And while they may not yet have the digital piece of their publishing puzzle entirely figured out, they're still charging ahead into e-books as well as mobile applications and more. Even companies that seem to be ahead of the curve in the digital arena (such as McGraw-Hill Professional [see page 12]—which foresaw and started preparing for the print-to-digital trend years prior, according to President Philip Ruppel—and Vook [see page 22]—which has published more than 100 enhanced e-books in about a year and a half) admit that they are still experimenting and fine-tuning, which makes me feel like we all truly are in this together.