Changes threatening the textbook industry

The demands of the future job market and the resultant calls for change in education, the falling value of certain markets and the expectation that digital = cheap and the growth in the number of free resources will make the traditional textbook and its digital counterpart increasingly less attractive and relevant.

Publishing houses have not realised that ‘software is eating the world’ and that the incumbency they have enjoyed for so many years is their own death sentence. Change will come, and when it does, will be ‘nasty, brutish and short‘.

The ‘title’ model of publishing does not adapt to future forms of delivery whereby publishers’ content will need to be disaggregated in order to adapt to future sales models: subscriptions, sales to third parties etc. Furthermore disaggregation will allow publishers to keep their content more up-to-date: essential if it is to combat offers from new players with no print baggage