Guest Column: Keeping Pace With Today’s Consumer
The shift to e-books also is likely to bring challenges in reaching certain customer segments. One startling reality indicates that the current e-book market skews to a wealthier audience than traditional print formats (which stands to reason due to the high cost of entry for e-book devices). Today, the percentages are flip-flopped between high-income earners versus lower-income earners when comparing e-book use to print. This is significant because census data shows that the vast majority of American adults earn less than $35,000 per year, indicating that unless something changes to lower the point of entry for e-books, publishers may be potentially removing a substantial consumer base from the e-market.
These are just a few of examples of how book publishers need to be in tune with their customers to adapt to the shifts in consumer book purchasing underway.
How Do We Survive This
Digital Tipping Point?
Most of us can now envision a future in which the book publishing industry has migrated to a new business model built around the production, sale and distribution of books in digital formats. However, it's the challenge of managing this transition and surviving the upcoming "digital tipping point" that will likely determine the long-term winners and losers in our industry.
As we navigate these choppy waters in the marketplace, it's going to be crucial that we gather, assess and act upon the most accurate information intelligence available, so we know with some degree of certainty where book buyers are headed and what is driving their decisions.
We all have a front row seat to a historic shift in the way human beings read books. The smart publishers will make sure they're listening carefully to consumers so they can find ways to be on the right side of this extraordinary transition.