Arts Research Monitor notes two recent reports relevant to authors and publishers. The research is from the Canadian industry but is of general interest.

Book publishing industry
Statistics Canada has released its most recent summary of the Canadian book publishing industry, noting that total revenues were $2.1 billion in 2006, down 1.2% from the previous year.

The Impact of Digitization on the Book Industry
The title of this report is self-explanatory. Commissioned by the Association of Canadian Publishers, the report recommends strategies for Canadian publishers to stay abreast of the changes wrought by digitization and adopting emergent best practice.

There are some strong recommendations, not all of which I agree with, but then I’m more author than publisher. There is some quite detailed discussion about rights, acquisition and ownership of digital files, as well as some interesting thoughts about the challenges of contract negotiations and balancing the needs of publishers and creators.

I think it’s odd that the ACP report doesn’t touch on DRM at all, nor Creative Commons. It is telling that the report is made available for free only in a web-based PDF viewer (one that you can’t search), yet can be purchased on the ACP’s website for $75. Definitely worth a read, especially by authors and agents looking for clues about what publishers are thinking about rights.

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