The Digital Takeover of the Publishing Industry

Lizzie Case Posted by Lizzie Case, Digital Editorial Intern, Berrett-Koehler.

The Digital Takeover of the Publishing Industry

Remember when the only way to access information was by reading books? Everyone kept a library card in their wallets, and most families had memberships to Barnes & Noble.

Today, those book store memberships have been replaced with subscriptions to Audible and Amazon Prime, and people would rather do a few Google searches than read an entire book. The impact of media and technology in society has been rapidly increasing, bringing out strengths, weaknesses, and challenges to the world of nonfiction publishing.

Books still sell. The publishing industry is evolving, but we are nowhere near giving up on print. People seem to value accessibility more than anything today, and the only way to stay relevant is to adapt. People want to learn information, and more often than not they want instant access. The primary priority of publishing is about content. BK editors work hard to publish books with valuable content that goes deeper than something found on a Twitter post or a Google search. E-books and audiobooks have benefited the industry by expanding the publishing platform. When paired with strong marketing and powerful content, the digital takeover helps connect experts and ideas with consumers. allow us to benefit from the digital takeover.  

Experts can now not only write books to share their ideas, but also create video courses, share newsletters and keep updated blogs. They can build a following on Twitter or Linkedin to personalize the relationship between them and their consumers. This may require a lot of free content to start out, but these simple online interactions can eventually turn into a book purchase.

This is essentially what is guiding Berrett-Koehler into the transition from a print publishing company to a media enterprise. This decision will allow BK ample opportunities to expand and grow, giving them the ability to meet the needs of all authors and consumers. 

In my experience a digital editorial intern, I’ve gotten to see BK take a few steps towards that transition and I’m so excited to see what’s next. You can read about my internship here.