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Top Trends: What Publishers Should Expect in 2017

When book industry experts discuss trends for the book market, it becomes clear that printed books remain alive and well. Authors, publishers, and book manufacturers are certainly experimenting with new forms of storytelling as we move into 2017, but print is still a cornerstone of reading distribution. Although e-books continue to evolve, many consumers consider printed books more pleasant to read.

The most talked-about trend among publishers and industry experts is the shift toward digital printing.

Although e-books continue to evolve, many consumers consider printed books more pleasant to read. This year, the conversation isn’t about e-books anymore—the most talked-about trend among publishers and industry experts is the shift toward digital printing and the focus on the supply chain. The most recent Canon Solutions America sponsored Webinar “Top Trends: What Publishers Should Expect in 2017” presented by Printing Impressions and Book Business magazines takes a deep dive into the numerous trends that publishers will face in the year ahead.

According to Barb Pellow, Group Director at InfoTrends (a division of Keypoint Intelligence) and the moderator of this Webinar, “Americans are still reading books. In fact, according to Pew Research, 73% of Americans have read a book in the past year and 65% of them read a printed book. Print remains alive and well, but there can be no denying that it is changing. More and more books are being produced digitally with inkjet printing technologies, yielding a greater number of color books and more efficient supply chain management.”

According to research from InfoTrends, printed book pages are quickly migrating from traditional to digital (on-demand) printing methods. Tracking the volume of print, InfoTrends forecasts that more than 50 billion pages of book printing will be produced on digital printing devices by 2020, most notably from inkjet printing technology. Pellow continues, “Inkjet technology opens up the opportunity for even more color books. Within the book market, color page volume is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.6%.”

Joining Pellow in this Webinar replay is a panel of industry leaders, including:

  • Angela Bole, CEO of the Independent Book Publishers Association
  • Brian O’Leary, Executive Director at The Book Industry Study Group
  • Jim Fetherston, CEO of Worzalla Publishing and a member of the Book Manufacturers Institute (BMI) Board of Directors

During the session, the panel echoes the case for print on demand books, an efficient supply chain, and a number of other fascinating trends that are impacting authors, printers, and publishers in the book market.

Following Pellow’s introduction, Angela Bole discusses the benefits that digital printing offers for today’s independent book publishers. Thanks to digital printing technology and professional standards for production (as well as content creation and promotion), independent authors and small/medium-sized publishers can now produce titles that are on par with those of larger publishers. During this Webinar, Bole boils down the future of book publishing into three top trends, namely shifting business models, content, and formats.

Next, Brian O’Leary expands on these trends from the BISG standpoint—geared most notably for its intention to solve problems through the publishing supply chain. Specifically, O’Leary covers the following trends for the year:

  • The efficiency, effectiveness, and stability of the supply chain for physical books
  • The impact of the IDPF/w3c combination on the publishing standard for digital books (EPUB)
  • Managing publishing workflows to support the creation of print and digital formats
  • Developing rights management use cases and mapping them against vendors’ capabilities

More than 50 billion pages of book printing will be produced on digital printing devices by 2020.

Finally, Jim Fetherston circles back to how digital printing technology is transforming the way that many publishers are doing business today. He uncovers four trends that he is seeing in the book market through the eyes of a publishing business owner and a member of BMI, including how the publisher’s role continues to evolve, the technology train, the changing retail landscape, and the rise of the production supply chain.

This Webinar provides a clear picture of the transformation that is occurring in the book market, implications for the growth of digital printing, the importance of inventory management, and how the role of the publishers will continue to evolve in 2017 and beyond.