By Barbara Meyers Ford
Thad McIlroy, President, The Future of Publishing and keynote speaker at the Cadmus 2010 Executive Management Retreat, gave these ten guidelines for publishers looking to survive the current climate of publishing.
- Don’t Think “Either/Or.” Think “AND” where and = evolution.
- Trends are not linear. There is no evidence that print will die, but there is tons of evidence that its decline will continue. What we haven’t determined is the extent of that decline.
- Data formats remain a problem. Why didn’t XML go mass media? Its growth is happening in a non-algorithmic fashion.
- iPhone, iPads, and Notebooks can not all survive. There is a limit to the number of separate digital devices that people want to carry and that limit = ONE.
- People won’t deal with complexity. They would rather have a simple answer that is inaccurate than a complex one that’s true.
- Digital sales are gross. They don’t bring about the same unit revenues as print so there must be a change in the business model to create a tighter cost structure.
- Free is overrated. Most people will pay a reasonable amount for content. DRM increases the attractiveness of providing free samples, however, which are good.
- Traditional educational institutions are KAPUT; they are on a road to change in spite of their conservative nature.
- Don’t be defensive or you’ll attract predators.
- When there is a level playing field, GOOD content always wins. Problem: the field is rarely level.
Event Date: October 27, 2010, Baltimore, MD
During her 35+ year career, Barbara M. Ford worked for societies and consulting companies before establishing Meyers Consulting Services (MCS), specializing in society management and scholarly publishing. Since starting MCS, Barbara’s work with commercial and non-profit publishers (as well as organizations in allied industries) ranges from a day of advice to months or years of service as adjunct staff in senior positions.
A co-founder of the Society for Scholarly Publishing and a past President of the Council of Science Editors, she has devoted considerable time to all the organizations serving our industry and continues to do so. Her most recent contributions are as adjunct faculty in the Masters in Publishing Program, George Washington University. More information can be found at www.bmeyersconsulting.com.