How are businesses responding to global changes in markets driven by changes in technology? Whatever the industry, the trends are familiar: globalization and the rise of industrial conglomerates, mergers and acquisitions, the networking of businesses and markets, outsourcing and shifts in the distribution of resources and production, all reflected in the emergence of new players, new products and services and new forms of competition. As arguably the first knowledge-based business, book publishing provides an ideal setting for the study of challenge and opportunity. The industry is currently experiencing fierce levels of competition, extreme financial pressures, restructuring and the threat of technology-induced obsolescence. Added to these are the challenges posed by new and potential entrants to the market, the emergence of new products and services, new ways of doing business, including trading in virtual markets, and the vulnerability of traditional business models. The suitability of book publishing as a context for researching the emergence of knowledge-based business becomes all too apparent. Through combining primary research with secondary analysis drawn from the relevant literatures, Books, Bytes and Business is both a readable and informative account of business in the knowledge-based economy.
'This remarkably comprehensive and thought-provoking book provides not one road map for the future of the publishing industry, but many. This quintessential "knowledge industry" finds itself in a transformational moment in which many of its fundamental assumptions are thrown into question by the emergence of disruptive technologies and hybrid business models. This book weaves between insightful big-picture analysis of foundational shifts in technologies and business models, on the one hand, and on the other, richly grounded case studies of new paths for publishing. The challenges for publishing are great, but by the end of this book the reader can be confident that the industry has an exciting future.' Bill Cope, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA and Director, Common Ground Publishing '… Books, Bytes and Business is a smart and sharp look at publishing's past, present, and future.' Publishing Research Quarterly 'The book is very well written, clear, precise and extremely readable and is very rich in its use of secondary literature to inform the discussion, which in turn means that its bibliography is excellent. It contains a detailed index… It is a book that exactly matches the needs of its chosen audience.' Multimedia Information & Technology 'I would recommend the book to all the universities delivering publishing programmes and courses on any level. The first two parts can serve the ones on more introductory level, while the third one will suit the needs of the advanced modules and students.' Information Research ’The changes now taking place in the industry will impact on libraries, publishers and booksellers both physical and virtual. Anyone with a professional interest in books in both their new and old formats will be clearer about contemporary challenges and opportunities after reading this comprehensive volume.’ Journal of Librarianship and Information Science