The Economic Forces Against Paper
James McQuivey of Forrester Research makes a compelling economic argument for the rapid acceleration of digital media in his November 16th post: On The Certain Economics Of Relegating Paper Books To The Margins Of The Business.
When the dust settles, publishers will think of their eBook strategy first. Paper decisions will be made as an adjunct to digital decisions. Many, many books will be published without paper versions at all, at least until they get enough critical mass to justify going to paper. Bestsellers from proven authors will always get both, launched simultaneously, and certain niches (travel, cookbooks, etc.) will always have heirloom paper editions. Subject to such reduced fortunes, books will no longer dictate industry process or outcomes. We’ll only get to this point once publishers start losing print revenues and are forced to scale back their operations to focus on the more efficient digital market. They’ll edit less, promote less, and generally reduce the luxurious time they used to feel was necessary between when a book was written and when it was released.
(via Digital Book World)