Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Book Distribution Model Needs to Change for Both E-books and Physical Books

Taking a look at the book industry distribution model of the past and seeing how that model is evolving presents many options for change.  Traditionally in the book market, books were sold to distributors and the distributors sold them to book stores.  With the advent of the big-block book stores, some of those organizations went directly to the publishers to purchase books.  Then came the Internet, and a whole new selling model emerged.  Publishers in all cases were forced to give up large portions of the retail price to both distributors and book stores.  With the advent of the e-book, the possibility of this whole model could change.  Who does the marketing for a new book?  The publisher and the author do, not the distributor. Why shouldn’t the publisher just use a service to sell its downloaded books, and keep that “distribution” margin?  We see evidence of this new model in the airline industry, where airlines are now selling tickets directly off of their web sites along with other travel needs, cutting out the other “middleman” web sites.  We look forward to working through this whole book distribution model change.

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