With the new report “Global Trends in Publishing“, the Frankfurt Book Fair Business Club has produced an overview of current developments in the international book market. The report’s author is the well-known industry expert Rüdiger Wischenbart.

From the Introduction

This white paper presents a range of key figures and perspectives to illustrate the forces influencing the transformation of the international book business. Book publishing is undergoing a profound transformation.

Global Trends in Publishing 2014While the transition from print to digital provides the most headlines, the process of change is in fact more complex. This is because digitization, as the driving force, is being reinforced by globalization in an industry that has traditionally been very strongly subject to national and linguistic borders. The transformation of the book business is also embedded in the wider context of the digitization value chain affecting all the content industries. New, genuinely digital actors have entered the marketplace, with Google, Apple and Amazon only the most visible examples.

Meanwhile, each link in the value chain has seen the emergence of new players, the adaptation of old ones – including some in neighbouring fields – and the development of new competition between local (or regional) actors and the global players that are now making massive inroads.

The main focus of this paper is on trade publishing, with only a few references made to the professional and scientific, medical and technical (STM) sectors, or to educational publishing. At the same time, it is also important to look at book publishing within the wider context of other media and entertainment sectors, although a full comparative analysis exceeds the scope of our approach.

While the paper certainly falls short of being a map of the often turbulent waters we all need to navigate, we nevertheless hope to have provided the reader with a helpful overview – with a set of coordinates that will encourage a realistic understanding and support a meaningful debate.

Download the white paper at Global Trends in Publishing 2014.

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