Depressing new research by Forrester indicates that book publishers are becoming increasingly disheartened about the state of the industry: Only 28 percent of publishing executives think their company will be better off because of the transition to digital, down from 51 percent a year ago.
The survey was conducted among book publishing executives at publishers across the U.S. that represent 74 percent of U.S. publishing revenues. Forrester will present the full results of the study at Digital Book World in NYC on January 24, but the initial findings are as follows:
Â» 82 percent of respondents are optimistic about the digital transition, down from 89 percent a year ago.
Â» Sixty-one percent of respondents believe readers will be better off as a result of the digital transition, down from 74 percent in 2010.
Â» Sixty percent of respondents believe more people will read than before, down from 66 percent in 2010.
Â» Forty-seven percent of respondents believe people will read a greater number of books than before, down from 66 percent in 2010â€”a 19 percent decrease.
â€œâ€œPeople are generally optimistic still, but that optimism is waning,â€ said Forresterâ€™s James McQuivey. â€œPublishers have started to do the hard work of making the digital transition and theyâ€™re finding that it is, indeed, hard work.â€
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