Lifestyle Bundles & High Speed Printing: The Future of Book Publishing Roundtable

By Jason Boog Comment

Today we joined a small group of industry leaders and  journalists at the Future of Book Publishing Roundtable at the New York Public Library. The guest list ranged from publishing executives to bookstore professionals to self-publishing experts to authors.

Hosted by Chris Verlander, Kodak’s director of book segment marketing (pictured), the panel discussion was moderated by Jim Milliot, the editorial director at Publisher’s Weekly. Here are some highlights from the wide-ranging discussion.

Liz Scheier, the editorial director of digital content at Barnes & Noble, talked about success stories with eBook bundles. She said one unnamed publisher saw a massive increase in an author’s sales when they gave away the first book of a series for free. She also suggested publishers try “lifestyle bundles,” selling related eBooks together (like a pregnancy guide and a parenting handbook).

A number of the panelists suggested that high speed ink jet printing would revolutionize the industry, dramatically lowering printing costs and allowing publishers to produce flexible print runs faster.

When asked to predict what business would look like over the next three years, Jim Robinson, VP Operations and Administration at Harlequin Enterprises, had this cautious quote: “We would be happy if sales were flat three years from now.”