A Competition: Publishers vs. Readers

Johanna Vondeling gives a speech about her observation of the global publishing industry while working in Perth, Australia.

According to Vondeling, the rapid change that publishing industry faces today comes from “the explosion of self-publishing”, “the emergence of new technologies and new business models”, “globalisation of the industry”, and even some “fundamental changes in consumption habits”. These changes have brought about unprecedented challenges in the industry. She encourages the global publishers to invest more in digital publishing to embrace the new trends, while maintaining traditional publishing practices.

The most interesting point that Vondeling has made is that publishers these days are not just competing with each other or self-publishing authors, but are really competing with the attention of readers, who are believed to spend less and less time on reading due to distraction of emerging electronic devices and more diversified sources of information. Concerns of this phenomenon can be found beyond the publishing industry; as people devote more time to their smartphones and laptop entertainments, they are deprived of the time they used to spend exercising, meditating, family gathering, and even sleeping. What we are witnessing is a fundamental change of modern lifestyle that has been going on globally in the past decade. Traditional publishers will need to think about adjusting their strategies in business decision making before the change is too overwhelming to digest.

Video Credit: Berrett-Koehler Publishers


12 thoughts on “A Competition: Publishers vs. Readers”

  1. The publishing industry’s interactions with writers is also, to put it mildly, pretty hostile.

    I got awfully tired of getting rejection letters from people who had clearly not even read the first half of the first sentence in my queries. Thankfully, local publishers are a lot more open to showing up and pitching in person, which works approximately 9,000 times better, in my experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. amazon allows me to publish for free and gives 70% royalty on my sales. I did checked out one or two other platforms, they all ask for money for publishing the books, or else give a format requirement impossible for rookies like me to try. Whereas amazon supplies formats and cover creator.


  3. Thank you for visiting my blog and your thoughtful comment. I rarely read anything about publishing because I’m still foundering in first draft status. However, yours is a great blog to get someone like me acclimated to the prospect, just in case! I see a generous amount of good information on your blog.


  4. Very interesting. My books are bring published by a small indie publisher who does quality work. The chore of attracting readers is immense and as the reading public shrinks so the chore rises in difficulty. Thanks for sharing this and following my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As a writer I am rather enjoying “self publishing” barring the selling part, but being a person with very little hunger for “selling” it suits me fine to display my works to readers in different books and let them pick one, all or reject em all!

    I write/create in a manner of my own so I dont think any publisher would have accepted my works and published them, whereas after self publishing in the same style I am getting surprised by the way people are actually buying them! Thank them and amazon for giving us a way to share our creativity the way we want.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sharmishtha,

      Thank you for sharing your story as a self-published author — it’s a great accomplishment! Although it’s true that Amazon’s got all the reputation, you might also want to check out self-publishing platforms other than Amazon, who might be providing a more creator-friendly environment for authors. I know many authors like you who write in your own manner and do not really worry about the sales, and that’s a great conviction, but I also believe that if you do put it out on the market, you should receive the profit share that you deserve, and not let companies like Amazon to deprive of your rights…… Just some thoughts, more on this topic in a few days!

      Liked by 1 person

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