Archive for April, 2013

Scott Turow and Books

April 10, 2013

Scott and the writer’s guild rants

Years ago, the publishing industry embraced offshore publishing to global markets, presumably because they could broaden their audience and still profit on lower cost books.  Now, Scott seems dismayed by the emergence of new sales channels, with competitive forces on the rise, with book buyers who can now purchase from many sources, and the recent decision to ‘normalize’ the book market by allowing books from anywhere to be sold anywhere.

Globalization gives and it takes away.  The internet and globalization act as the great democratizer, normalizing prices and purchasing behaviors.   The cost of media is driven up in emerging markets and down in the US(, but equilibrium is much closer to a long tail asymptote than an average between the two).  This is the normal course, especially with digital media which is almost free to distribute. There is some natural time propagation delay, but established markets will see this adjustment when prices are divergent globally.

Like the recording industry, the incumbents are being disrupted daily.  They yearn for growing markets at yesterday’s prices, which is unlikely when ecommerce COGS are so much cheaper.  The sooner they wake up and get competitive instead of attempting to control their moat via legal process and suing their customers, the better and more vigorous their business will become.