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Is The Book Industry Dying (Is The Publishing Industry Dead In The Digital Era)

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When you take a quick glance at today’s society and the digital age, everything is constantly changing. More aspects of life have been moved online, such as banking, how we communicate, and even personal hobbies. 

The digital era cannot be ignored, especially when it comes to businesses and their continued growth. With this in mind, as an author, this may leave you wondering whether or not the book industry is affected by this. 

Interestingly, the publishing industry is not as “dead” in this digital era as some sources will have you believe. If anything, the publishing industry has thrived because of it. 

In this article, I will be focusing on the direct links of the digital era to the publishing industry. I will also be discussing ways self-published authors can remain relevant through the digital era. 

Is The Book Industry Dying?

While it may seem as if the book industry would be negatively affected by the digital era, for the most part, this is untrue. As technology has grown and become more prevalent, the book industry has had to learn to adapt. Instead of falling to the wayside, publishers, and authors have begun to use technology to their advantage.

The book industry’s connection to readers has improved with technology, and now the reach of books is far better than previously. Book campaigns reach a wider audience, and more outlets can be used for advertising, rather than relying solely on traditional media. 

The Rise Of E-Books and Audiobooks

In order for publishers and authors to remain relevant, they need to align with the time, and embrace technology. E-Books are a perfect example of this. While physical books still make up the largest portion of book sales, e-book are becoming increasingly popular.

Given that e-books can be accessed on digital devices, they allow books to become more accessible. While e-books are a popular reading form, interestingly they have not taken away from physical book sales, which are still up by 10.8%, according to Publisher’s Weekly. If anything, the rise of e-books has allowed books to become more popular, as more people are choosing to read. 

The same can be said for audiobooks. While audiobooks are not a new concept, with the rise of digital audiobooks, book sales are being boosted. Subscription services, such as Audible and Scribd, are great for readers who do not have time to sit and read a book. With this in mind, people who are not “stereotypical” readers, are now having a positive impact on the publishing industry.

When you take into consideration that e-books have been around since 1998, and the book industry is not showing any signs of dying, this emphasizes how much of a positive impact the digital era has had on publishing as a whole. 

To focus on figures, IBISWorld has stated that the book industry generates over $110 billion. While the format of reading has broadened beyond just physical books, reading on the whole is still as popular as ever.

The Rise Of Self-Publishing

When looking at the publishing industry as a whole, self-publishing has been affected by the digital era, but again, this is positive. 

Before the digital era, it was difficult for authors to publish a book without using a traditional publisher. However, with access to technology, this has allowed self-published authors to thrive.

Companies, such as Amazon, allow self-published authors to publish their books directly through them, without having to worry about being approved by a publishing house. This is fantastic for authors that would prefer to publish books independently. 

Furthermore, Amazon allows authors to use Kindle Direct Publishing. This enables authors to publish their books in a digital format, without the need for a physical format. In turn, this has increased the sale of digital books as a whole. 

Keeping this in mind, the digital era has been fantastic for self-published authors. It allows their content to be read by more people, and it takes away the barrier of the traditional publishing industry. Through this, the sale of books as a whole has improved, with more people choosing to purchase self-published books online. 

Connections To The Reader

In addition to expanding how readers can consume a book, the digital era has been fantastic for reader engagement. It has allowed both authors, and publishers to reach more potential readers than ever before.

Readers are now able to use the internet to find new books they may be interested in, and to reach out to authors that have written their favorite books. The digital world, and smartphones, have been fantastic for improving engagement, and allowing authors to connect to their readers on a more personal level. 

Authors can now use social media, emails, websites, and blogs to connect to their audience. They can even take this engagement further by using text messaging services such as Author Community. 

This service is a fantastic way of using the digital era to personally connect to your readers. It enables the reader to text your unique Author Community number, and receive more information about the book. 

You can personalize messages, and encourage readers to share their thoughts and opinions on the book. In addition to this, you can send geo-targeted text to inform readers of upcoming events, and it allows them to stay connected.

It truly is a wonderful service, and given that it is free, I would highly recommend trying it out here. With the digital era constantly changing, you need to keep up to date with the best ways of engaging with your readers, and Author Community is a perfect example of this. 


The book industry is not dying because of the digital era, in fact it is performing better than ever. This is due to both publishers, and authors moving with the era, and embracing technology. As an author, this is something that is so important to do, to ensure that you remain successful in the industry.