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A year is a very long time in publishing

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Here is a brief section of an interview by AnnArbor.com with Borders CEO Mike Edwards about the ongoing bankruptcy, and his surprised reaction to how fast e-books and tablets have impacted the publishing industry.

AnnArbor.com: With e-books, how fast do you see the transition occurring? Are you surprised by how fast it’s occurring already?

Edwards:

Yes. I joined the company just a little over a year and a half ago. When I joined, e-books were less than 1 percent of the market. The Kindle was out but it didn’t have the traction. The Nook had just been released. The Apple product wasn’t even on the market.

Within a year it went from 1 percent to almost 10 to 11 percent of the total publishing sales. That is a radical transformation. And that comes at the expense of physical books.

That profound impact on the retail traffic puts a lot of pressure on not just our bookstore, but all bookstores. So I was surprised to see it move that fast. I don’t anticipate it slowing down any time soon.

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Content still king, children’s publishers told

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A major gathering of children’s publishers has been urged to stay focused on content despite the increasing familiarity children have with new technological advances. 

I totally agree with the view that in order to take print content to a digital platform, the wiz bang effects need to add value and enjoyment on the part of the reader, namely children interacting with books on a digital platform. I think the winners in this arena will add interactivity, animation and content in a way that results in a high quality experience.

But if you agree with the concept that “content is still king” , then I think content+interactivity is “master of the universe” 🙂

There are other lessons and thoughts for folks looking to publish or re-publish children’s books in this bookseller.com post by Graeme Neill, and an interesting thought from Matt Locke I do not quite agree with, namely that “Facebook may not mean anything in another five years”… Having just seen “the Social Network” I believe Facebook will manage and adjust to stay relevant.