Get out of the way

A few words on the publishing industry, inspired Alan Rusbridger’s [Editor in Chief, Guardian Media] recent comment that “These are the last printing presses we’ll ever buy”; and by an email I just received which included the quote “I would never read a book if I could talk half an hour with the person who wrote it”.

Decline factors…

- Inefficient many‐to‐many supply chain = high levels of wastage

- Risk adverse publishers hamper the emergence of new authors

- Entry to distribution channels is a fundamental barrier to new publishers setting up

- Market data isn’t successfully harnessed to allow better decision making on which titles to produce

- Publishers place more emphasis on fulfilling orders than on understanding customer needs

- ICT adoption is only as fast as the slowest adopter in the supply chain, so uneven skills levels between companies hampers innovation

Given that individuals now have the power to organise without organisations, it’s time to get out of the way and enable readers and authors to interact. We need to strip away copyright hang-ups and enter into the Web 2.0 spirit of sharing and co-creation (it’s going to happen whether those with the sand slipping between their fingers like it or not, so everyone might as well admit it and leverage all things ‘free’ in lucrative new business models instead of clutching at straws while they die a slow death). While we’re at it, how’s about stripping away all the supply chain complexity and providing tools and environments where authors and readers can communicate directly; and gain all the benefits of doing so in a mutual value exchange.

Publishing, music, film… very similar problems, very similar solutions. Armies of fanatics aplenty. Massive opportunities.

Check out The Music Industry Manifesto for a good dose of common sense.

Reading is a means of learning, self‐educating, exploring and broadening horizons. Ultimately, it’s all about DISCOVERY. Think for a sec how we’d advance loads of fundamental human endeavors if we stopped putting up barriers to discovery, for misguided (non)commercial gains.

If discovery is the action, the state required to achieve it is RESONANCE.

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