Skip to Content

Four wars

1 January 2008

'The publishing industry today is in a position rarely, if ever, experienced before: we suddenly have the upper hand. To wit, there are four wars raging today that are changing the nature of publishing and putting us in the driver's seat: discoverability, print on demand (PoD), repositories, and e-ink readers.

All of these wars revolve around the notion of long tail, the theory that the optimized search capabilities provide almost endless access to otherwise obscure products and that the demand for these obscure products exceeds demand for bestsellers. Long tail is in effect the Holy Grail of an industry which pushes out more content every year, backlist growing exponentially with each new season of frontlist. Longtail in book publishing is about selling books we no longer actively promote.'

Evan Schnittman, Vice-President of Business Development and Rights for the Academic and USA divisions of OUP in Publishing News