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The Past, Present and Future of Book Publishing

A few days ago I was lucky enough to be invited to be a presenter at an ‘Authors Evening’ at the remarkable European School in Karlsruhe in Germany. The educational system abroad can be jarring in comparison to schools in the United States. Education in the States can be accused of having a more lax approach in standard and practice. Take for example the wide range of options available and even accredited college programs online, perhaps an oxymoron. So imagine my surprise when at the school I discover they teach children in five different languages I’d been invited as two of the speakers are authors with us – Paul Spiring and Hugh Cooke who between them have published nine books with us. They are listed below. Introduced by the head of the school who in previous jobs had been both a printer and run a bookshop, the evening was a fascinating mix. Paul talked about his writings on Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes [there were several senior Sherlockians in the audience] and Hugh described himself as the ‘comic turn’, reading and performing several excerpts from his Panto For Beginners book. The other authors covered a German language novel and academic writings on ancient Italy. The combination of serious subjects with lighter elements throughout [accompanied by cheese and wine] went down very well with the 70+ attendees and has already got glowing reviews from the local press. For the subject of the Past, Present and Future of Book Publishing I began by outlining how in the last few years the publishing world has changed beyond recognition. I then covered the product itself (books to eBooks), to the retail landscape (online, supermarkets), the publishers themselves and then through to some of the technology and exciting evolution in marketing with the arrival of social media. There are several author case studies featured as well.

The slides are available here through Slideshare.

[caption id="attachment_346" align="aligncenter" width="150" caption="Book Publishing Past, Present and Future"]Book Publishing Past, Present and Future[/caption] Books featured on the authors evening from Paul and Hugh: Bertram Fletcher Robinson (a biography) Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle and Devon (biography and travel guide) Pantomime for Beginners Rugby Football During the Nineteenth Century Aside Arthur Conan Doyle (twenty stories by Bertram Fletcher Robinson) On The Trail of Arthur Conan Doyle (Spanish version) Wheels of Anarchy (reprint of the original from 1900s by Max Pemberton) Bobbles and Plum (the lost playlets of PG Wodehouse) The World of Vanity Fair (colour caricatures from Victorian England) Case Studies: Bangers and Mash (battling throat cancer using NLP by Keith Hern) Watson’s Afghan Adventure (Sherlock Holmes pastiche fiction by Kieran McMullen)