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Meet the Book Industry Digital Task Force

Publishing News reports that a Book Industry Digital Task Force is to be created and market research undertaken to ascertain consumer views and buying behavior on digital products, following last month’s Conference on Digitisation in Godalming hosted by the Booksellers’ Association. Reaction to the Conference, which was attended by cross-section of the industry, has largely been positive, although some feel that the lack of publishing chief executives in attendance meant that the momentum on this issue has now been seized by booksellers. Bill Samuel of Foyles told PN: “It was encouraging that the bookselling chains sent their top people, but disappointing that so few publishing chief executives were there. This is a time for the whole industry to be united and share its concerns. If not, there is a danger that one of the digital giants will come along and pick us all off.”

Macmillan‘s Richard Charkin, who was the sole publishing CEO present, said: “For me, the central issue is to ensure that we can reach readers through as many channels as possible, provided our authors’ intellectual property is protected. I therefore support wholeheartedly bookshop experimentation and involvement in digital delivery. Of course, we need to sell through the ‘new’ entrants, but we shouldn’t ignore our traditional and trusted retail partners.”

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