Last Tuesday, Lulu attended the “Future of Book Publishing” roundtable at the New York Public Library, hosted by Kodak. Lulu’s own Paul M., along with Lulu author Melinda Roberts, were there to discuss the top technological and economic challenges facing the publishing industry today.
The panel provided a unique opportunity to gain first hand insights and perspectives from publishing insiders including authors, printers, and traditional publishers.
“One of the main topics was of course eBooks,” said Paul. “The convergence of e-sales and POD technology are exerting pressure on both ends of the supply chain. Everyone wants to know how this effects each industry stakeholder’s overall strategy.”
As customers continue to discover a myriad of new devices to purchase and read books with, eBooks are definitely worth keeping an eye on. What is perhaps more interesting is the fact that out of last December’s total eBook sales, many of the top sellers were self-published authors, according to research done by authors Derek Canyon and Robin Sullivan.
“Many of these authors don’t have a traditionally published book under their belt,” said Paul. “It’s not just people that are already famous, going out on their own and selling a bunch anymore. Some of them are Lulu authors and they are selling hundreds of thousands of copies.”
In the past, it could take upwards of 18 months before an author’s work would be available for sale. Now authors can easily create a book and have it out for sale in a matter of minutes, either electronically or in print. Either way, books are evolving to a point to where they aren’t made until they’re bought and paid for. The days where a publishing house had to guess how many books they thought an author would sell and then “print and pray” based off that estimate are numbered.
“Lulu is empowering people to create self-sustaining businesses with their print and electronic books,” Paul says. “Authors can sell their work in the format their customers prefer, and with our global print network, authors literally have the world at their fingertips.”
Visit the Kodak roundtable site to learn more about the event and the future of publishing. And be sure to keep checking lulu.com to see what exciting new ways we’re helping authors and publishers profit by enabling them to bring their knowledge and expertise to their customers more easily than ever before.