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Seth Godin: Book Publishing 10 Years in the Future

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A lot has happened in the last 10 years that has changed the book publishing industry dramatically.

It was not that long ago when people said, “Google, who?” Now, Google has become a verb as in “just Google it”. Google, once only a search engine, is poised to partner with book publishers or perhaps one day go head-to-head.

That’s not all. Since the Year 2000, we’ve seen the creation, rise and sometimes fall of Napster, the iPod, the Kindle, and Smashwords. We’ve seen massive lay-offs at major publishing houses and experimental publishing entities created such as Vanguard Press, Open Road Media and HarperStudio that have challenged the way the book business has existed for the last century.

What changes will we see in the next 10 years? What will life be like for the book publishing industry in 2020? In the next series of articles, we will uncover predictions by some of the industry’s most respected and vocal advocates for change.


Our first advocate for change is Seth Godin, bestselling author of Unleashing the Virus and Linchpin.

Seth Godin: What Changes Will We See in Book Publishing in the Next 10 Years?

“This is the decade when book publishing will (finally) be transformed from a business that chops down trees and puts returnable books into bookstores… into one that finds ideas, funds the writers that need it, and uses their (authors’ and publishers’) leverage and skills to promote those ideas to people willing to pay for them, in whatever format is the most efficient way to get that transaction to occur.

If that doesn’t happen, and the industry (led by reactionary old-school CEOs) persists in defining itself as being in the book business, it will be 15% the size it is today by the end of the decade. It’s our choice.”

Photo Credit: Bodoni Design

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