Oh Look, The Publishing Industry Is Growing In The Digital Age As Well

from the not-so-shocking dept

For all the stories of doom and gloom in various entertainment industry segments due to “piracy,” the deeper you look, the more you realize that each of these areas seems to be growing quite nicely, contrary to what’s being claimed. Remember last week, when we showed the US Chamber of Commerce’s propaganda video in favor of the PROTECT IP Act, in which various artists claimed that their industries were being “hurt” by internet piracy? It included clips of the author Tracy Deebs (who also goes by the name Tracy Wolff), claiming that “piracy” had hurt the publishing industry badly and suggesting that she might lose her deal because book publishers don’t believe she can sell enough books.

Well, tragically for Deebs/Wolff, the actual data suggests she and the US Chamber of Commerce are totally full of it. FormerAC points us to some new reports showing that the publishing industry is growing thanks to the rise of digital:

BookStats, a comprehensive survey conducted by two major trade groups that was released early Tuesday, revealed that in 2010 publishers generated net revenue of $27.9 billion, a 5.6 percent increase over 2008. Publishers sold 2.57 billion books in all formats in 2010, a 4.1 percent increase since 2008.

Deebs, who it should be noted, writes young adult fiction, and who markets her own young adult fiction book as “a paranormal romance,” might be most interested in this particular line:

Juvenile books, which include the current young-adult craze for paranormal and dystopian fiction, grew 6.6 percent over three years.

Deebs uses the name Tracy Wolff when publishing “adult fiction.” And thus, I’m sure she’s also interested in the following line:

One of the strongest growth areas was adult fiction, which had a revenue increase of 8.8 percent over three years.

So, once again, we have to ask both Deebs and the US Chamber of Commerce who is exploiting her apparently false claims, exactly how was she a “victim”? It certainly looks like the market is thriving. If Deebs isn’t capitalizing on that, it’s probably because either her book is no good or she’s not doing a very good job selling it. Perhaps the Chamber of Commerce can help her with that, rather than having her appear in ridiculous videos in support of a bad law that promotes internet censorship.

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Companies: us chamber of commerce

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Comments on “Oh Look, The Publishing Industry Is Growing In The Digital Age As Well”

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Anonymous Coward says:

I suspect if you segmented the markets out a bit, you would find that very narrow areas have seen increased, and significant other areas have seen losses.

That said, it should also be pointed out that the amount of e-book piracy (and number of e-books available without protection schemes, and the number of e-book readers that can handle un-encoded files) is still relatively small but growing. Books still don’t face the same piracy issues as music or movies, in part because they are late to the digital party, in part because many people are still not comfortable reading a book on a screen.

It isn’t exactly a great way to show the positive side of piracy, is it?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I suspect if you look at the quality of the books published, you would find increased sales in the superior offerings and decreased sales in the inferior regardless of other categorical boxes you could put the works into.

Write a good book and it will sell itself, but if you write a shitty book, please don’t confuse “piracy” with your inability to connect with people you are supposedly writing for.

Khory (profile) says:

Work harder

This is what I hate about the anti-piracy crusade. It is easier for those that don’t produce a quality product to blame “piracy” than take responsibility for their shortcomings.

Is my book any good? Should I evaluate the product, find its weak points and work hard to improve them and earn more sales? Nah, must be piracy holding sales back.

Too bad writers/artists get that attitude and do these types of PR gigs. It hurts them more because now I’ll NEVER buy any of her works and I bet there are others with the same mindset..

PrometheeFeu (profile) says:

Let’s talk reasonably to these people. Maybe we can have a positive conversation with them and maybe they will change their mind… Wait no. I forgot the CoC doesn’t like people talking with their puppets.

So let’s change the tone a bit: The people in that video are supporting theft. They are supporting theft of domain names, censorship and spying on productive businesses. And in addition, they are doing that with lies. They are deserving of nothing but scorn and disgust.

Let me know if the CoC prefers that comment Mike.

CompuSmart (user link) says:

Media is growing to an exponential rate, and Is always going to be the game of Cat and Mouse with the media, Called Books, Software, Music you name it, so instead of fighting with the piracy the should looking for new ways to publish, until they get cracked or the internet government Act be approved, until them let?s see what happen.

Ed C. says:

Re: Re:

“looking for new ways to publish, until they get cracked”

I couldn’t help but laugh. Sorry, but pirates “cracked” books years ago, long before DRM incumbered “ebooks” were sold. “Pirated” books were scans of physical pages. So, what’s the “new way” to publish books now? CAPTCHA? Every DRM scheme will eventually fail, if for no other reason other than giggles, and if you’re hanging your hat on draconian enforcement, then they’ve already failed.

Dainis Berzins (user link) says:

Spot on!

Ed, I fully agree. Anything you see, you can take a snapshot of and reproduce it. Anything you hear, you can record and republish it. DRM is pointless. What people pay for is the experience. Many people enjoy the feelings (sounds, smell etc.) of paper books. Content creators need to focus on ways to create more such experiences that they can monetise, because you can’t copy or record an experience.

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