Sorry, we could not find the combination you entered »
Please enter your email and we will send you an email where you can pick a new password.
Reset password:


Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal - February 2012

The Future Role of Publishing: Think VC for Authors

Two choices: You can either be the influencer of a community, or help those who are. You cannot be a random distributor of books for a mass-market.

Amazon pulled several ebooks from their store when they couldn't come to an agreement with 'Independent Publishers Group' about ebook prices. Amazon wanted to lower it to a point that simply wasn't sustainable for the distributer, so when IPG said no, Amazon responded by removing all their books from the store.

This, as you can imagine, created quite an uproar in the book distribution world, with claims like "Amazon is out to kill us" and "Amazon is trying to take over everything!"

Is Amazon trying to get rid of the book distributers and partly the publishers? Oh yes, absolutely! And here is why:

The mess in the middle

When we think of the book industry, we usually see it like the illustration below. We have an author who is working with a publisher to write a book. The book is then being distributed by a number of distributers to the book stores - one of which is Amazon.

It seems like a very suitable system, and each party is doing what they are good at. The author is good at writing the book. The publisher is good at shipping the product, the distributer is good at spreading it to as many markets as possible, and Amazon is really good at selling.

But, It isn't as simple as this. In the disconnected world, the most efficient way to spread a product is to have distributors in every market. It's very hard for just one company to distribute a book outside their region.

In the connected world, with no geographic boundaries, this model no longer works. On the internet, you have 'local presence' by default. It doesn't matter if a person is living in the US, Canada or South Africa. How you engage with that person is the same.

The problem is that the publishers aren't changing their distribution paths to fit the connected world. They are still insisting on sub-licensing and regional distribution deals.

This 17 page report is exclusive for subscribers. (login)

Subscribe now to get full access to this Baekdal/Executive report

This Baekdal/Executive article can only accessed bysubscribing to Baekdal/Executive (which also gives you full access to our full archieve of executive reports)

What is Baekdal?

Baekdal is a magazine for media professionals, focusing on media analysis, trends, patterns, strategy, journalistic focus, and newsroom optimization. Since 2010, it has helped publishers in more than 40 countries, including big and small publishers like Condé Nast, Bonnier, Schibsted, NRC, and others, as well as companies like Google and Microsoft.

Baekdal comes in three tiers:


Free weekly newsletters for media professionals, focusing on news, trends, and quick insights.


Weekly media insights and analysis for journalists, editors, and business managers, helping you focus and optimize your newsroom and audience engagement.


In-depth media reports for editors-in-chief, executives, and other decision makers, helping you understand the future of media, trends, patterns, monetization, data, and strategies.


The Baekdal/Basic Newsletter is the best way to be notified about the latest media reports, but it also comes with extra insights.

Get the newsletter

Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


—   trends   —


The trend and future outlook for "brand+publisher", and how to make that work


How scared should we be of AIs taking our jobs?


What is the role of print in 2023?


Advertising ... 10 years from now


Advertising will always be a struggle unless we think like brands


The trends currently favor media innovation