IPA Blog

Matt Goolding

Could risk-aversion be positive for publishing in the long-run?

It's glaringly obvious that the publishing industry has undergone a seismic shift in recent times, and many of us will have experienced this upheaval first-hand. We've seen unprecedented global mergers and acquisitions, and the demise of established sector stalwarts.
Since forever, publishers have been criticised. It's all part of the job. Publishers are ripping off authors. Publishers are maltreating booksellers. Publishers publish tosh. Publishers don't take enough risks. Publishers spend too little on marketing. Publishers don't understand their market. Publishers are Luddites. In short, publishers are incompetent. What's more, they make obscenely large profits.
It is with great wistfulness that I write my final blog for The PA’s website and bid farewell to very many friends and colleagues in The PA and beyond; but because in my new role with the RELX Group I will continue to see a great deal of some people and think about many of the same issues, the subject of change versus permanence is very much in mind.
Relations between publishers and librarians tend to be cast along adversarial lines. A current example is the debate over the “right to e-read”, whereby the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA) has asked the European Commission to impose on publishers the obligation to make all their e-books available to libraries, regardless of the effect on the book market.

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