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Mike Shatzkin on bookselling's past, present, and future

June 7, 2011

Tags: Shatzkin, bookselling, book publishing, e-books, bookstores, libraries

Mike Shatzkin's predictions about what's going on in book publishing and bookselling, and his histories of the trade (from mass market paperbacks through eBooks), are both compelling and unnerving. Technology, curation, and why the era of big bookstores is coming to an end (Shatzkin Files, 6-7-11) is the most recent of a series, links to some of which are posted here, along with a couple of related stories by others:
Ebooks are making me recall the history of mass-market publishing (Shatzkin Files 3-13-11)
On Chronicling The End of the Chain Bookstore Era (Sarah Weinman, Off on a Tangent 2-17-11)
Can the chains provide us with better small bookstores? (Shatzkin Files 11-8-09)
Publishers Make a Plan: A ‘One Stop’ Book Site (Julie Bosman, NY Times, 5-6-11, on the formation of Bookish.com)
Say goodbye to your local bookstore (Mike Boone, Montreal Gazette, 4-4-11, reporting on Shatzkin's predictions)
Mike Shatzkin on Publishing's Priorities for 2011 (Edward Nawotka, Publishing Perspectives, 5-26-11). BEA Video of Mike Shatzkin discussing "the erosion of shelf space in bookstores, publishing innovation, English as a disruptive force overseas, and the two priorities publishers should be focused on over the next 6-12 months: price experimentation and improving rights databases"
It will be hard to find a public library 15 years from now (Shatzkin, 4-8-11)
And to keep up with it all (and not just with what he writes about) follow Mike Shatzkin's Twitter feed


  1. February 3, 2019 4:19 PM EST
    The Democratization of Publishing (Chip Rossetti, Publishing Perspectives, 5-20-15) Publishing is returning to its pre-industrial models in which everyone was a creator and is transforming into a network where emotions matter most, says Richard Nash. “It’s hard to see large amounts of revenue coming from digital downloads,” he says. “But what I think you’ll start to see is different ways in which the book artifact, the physical item, increases in value and becomes more expensive. Just as you see with certain kinds of clothing, designed objects, and organic foods today.”

    "Scholars have pointed to the importance of publishing — a.k.a. 'print capitalism' — to the emergence of nationalism in Europe, and to the dissemination of new political and cultural ideas.
    “Retail was invented in bookstores. Booksellers were the first retailers — in the sense that items on the shelves were available to be browsed, rather than something you had to go in and ask for, or ask them to make for you individually.”
    The emotional connection between an experience and a consumer gains in importance: “I look at how much more people spend on vacations now, or on their willingness to spend money on a T-shirt because it’s a souvenir of a concert they attended."
    - PM