Publishing and Technology

In a lot of ways, technology is creating a shift in how the publishing industry operates. Less than 20 years ago, if you wanted to read a book, you had to buy a print book, and if you did, the book was probably part of a print run of 1,500 to 5,000 copies, or even more. But in that short span of time, new types of technology have made it easier for publishers (and in some cases, self-publishers) to produce a product that people will enjoy and want to read. This post will talk about a few of those.

Publishing With the Internet

This one is pretty much common sense. With the advent of the World Wide Web, publishers don’t have to spend a lot of funds to get work to their reader. This is very useful for two reasons. The first is that work can now be electronically published, whether it be on a blog or another kind of website, which inevitably helps them reach to readers and potential buyers. The other thing that the internet has done is that now, publishers are able to market the work they publish online, whether it be with a blog (like stated before), or with Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms.


The Advent of the eReader

As everyone knows, the industry changed a few years ago when Amazon released the Kindle (and other companies released products a lot like it). This invention has made a lot of difference in both publishing and self-publishing alike. This is because, while a publisher must pay to have a book or publication edited, typeset, and marketed, there is zero investment once the publication is released to the public. No paper is required to print an ebook, meaning that the publisher doesn’t pay as much to produce a product. Also, ebooks show up on an ereader within minutes of being purchased. Compare that to having to hop in the car to the local bookstore.


Print on Demand

This one isn’t as digital, but it’s still an advancement that publishing has achieved in the last few years. As it’s name suggests, print on demand is when a book is ordered and then the ordered book is printed after the fact. There are no print runs, so the publisher doesn’t lose money if X amount of copies of the book don’t sell. The printer produces no more copies than what they need.


A Few Basic Questions

  1. How do you feel the technologies discussed effects the publisher’s bottom line?
  2. Do you feel the internet has made it easier for you to access the books you would like to read?
  3. Do you think the ebooks have made reading cheaper for potential buyers?
  4. Do you see social networking as a key platform that a publisher can use to market books?

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