Mike Shatzkin: CEO, Idea Logical Company spoke about the publishing industry being in a state of transition. He specifically cited the longstanding rumor that Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins are in merger talks. He explained that one of the largest mergers are currently occurring with the Penguin and Random House joining forces.
All of this movement is creating an opportunity for vertical publishers. F+W Media is an example of this, the company provides centralized services to serve multiple communities of interest. More and more publishers are building out their vertical lists and targeting audience specific marketing. Changing the marketing aspects will be the hallmark of this year. Going from title-centric marketing to audience-centric marketing.
The line between marketing and editorial will become fuzzier in the months to come. The trade book business will separate children’s books and illustrated books from publishers other core business. Mike mentioned some shortcomings of the shift to digital with Illustrated books not transitioning well, people tend to want a hard copy.
On children’s side digital sells, but not on the scale we see with the adult side and are getting competition from outside sources. Globalization is increasing, as we see Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and other sellers moving massively into foreign markets. Publishers need to adapt to these circumstances and make sure worldwide rights are done properly to make distribution much easier. Mike said that “Changing rights management is a glacial process. Publishers will be getting more pressure to stop the thin slicing of rights that has always been the industry practice. Small publishers may end up better because they will probably have the global rights they need. In children’s book business in the next five years distribution will probably take place through channels that don’t exist now.”