Forrester Research Reports on E-Books

Article excerpt

Forrester Research, an independent Internet research firm, has issued a report that forecasts slow growth for both e-books and e-book reader devices. However, the report states that strong projected sales of custom-printed trade books and digitized textbooks will force publishers to dramatically restructure their processes and technologies.

According to Forrester, digital delivery of custom-printed books, textbooks, and e-books will account for revenues of $7.8 billion (17.5 percent of publishing industry revenues) in 5 years. Of this amount, only $251 million will come from e-books for e-book devices.

Forrester reports that taken together, custom printing, digital textbooks, and e-books will pressure publishers to offer greater consumer choice, variable presentation and delivery, and new ways to purchase--none of which authors can do themselves. The result is a new model that Forrester calls "multichannel publishing." Successful publishers will manage content from a single, comprehensive storehouse--a repository containing modular book content and structure.

Forrester predicts that multichannel publishers will develop current business practices to match the Internet's speed and convenience. Negotiations between publishers' editors and authors' agents must begin to incorporate online research, communities of interest, Net promotional plans, and product variants. …