From Digital Book World:
The publishing industry is more than 400 years old. To put that timeframe into context, in the UK, when the first printing press was developed, in 1634, Charles I was king shortly before being overthrown. Much has happened since then, and there is much to be proud of in what this key industry has achieved over that time.
Over just the last decade, there has been an unmistakeable growth of other creative sectors, such as gaming, which is a mere 40 years old. While there is no doubt the gaming industry can learn from publishing’s history, it would be hard to argue that there is presently more to learn for publishing from this dynamic, slick and rapidly growing sector. And furthermore, there are the not-quite-as-spritely but newer advertising and design industries, as well as the older-but-now-hugely-evolved sectors of arts and music that also have much to offer.
Going back to gaming, though, it quickly becomes clear how slick—if not ruthless—its ordering is. Publishing, by comparison, is over-complicated, with a winding and circling chain of authors, publishers, agents, sub-agents, distributors, retailers, wholesalers—the list goes on. It has been apparent for some time that as the book market has fallen out of its bubble and is competed with on all sides, it needs to become simpler and more efficient. Intermediaries in particular are having to increasingly justify their role.
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When we look at what these other sectors are doing, the key lesson starts to shine through: most of the above examples demonstrate a move away from product and toward content. We are not referring to games, CDs, DVDs and pictures; we are talking about licensing, subscriptions, permissions and re-use.
Link to the rest at Digital Book World