From Publishers to Self-Publishing: The Disruptive Effects of Digitalisation on the Book Industry

50 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2017 Last revised: 8 Jan 2017

See all articles by Morten Hviid

Morten Hviid

University of East Anglia - Centre for Competition Policy (CCP); University of East Anglia (UEA) - Norwich Law School

Sofia Izquierdo Sanchez

University of Huddersfield

Sabine Jacques

University of East Anglia (UEA)/CCP/CREATe

Date Written: November 11, 2016

Abstract

This paper explores the structure of the book publishing industry postdigitalisation. We argue that the introduction of successful e-book readers has belatedly given digitalisation the characteristics of a disruptive technology by making self-publishing a serious option for authors. This has been supported by the entry of new types of intermediaries and the strengthening of others. These changes have reduced the overall complexities for an author to get a book self-published. As a result, a larger share of the surplus from the book industry is likely going to authors, explaining the significant increase in the supply of books. The potential over-supply of books has created a new problem by making consumer search more difficult. We argue that digitalisation has shifted the potential market failure from inadequate supply of books to asymmetric information about quality. It remains to be seen whether the market will provide appropriate intermediaries to solve the associated asymmetric information problem and, if not, what appropriate interventions should be contemplated.

Keywords: Book industry, Self-publishing, Traditional publishing, Retailers

JEL Classification: D22, D4, L82

Suggested Citation

Hviid, Morten and Izquierdo Sanchez, Sofia and Jacques, Sabine, From Publishers to Self-Publishing: The Disruptive Effects of Digitalisation on the Book Industry (November 11, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2893237 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2893237

Morten Hviid (Contact Author)

University of East Anglia - Centre for Competition Policy (CCP) ( email )

UEA
Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk NR47TJ
United Kingdom

University of East Anglia (UEA) - Norwich Law School ( email )

Norwich NR4 7TJ, Norfolk
United Kingdom

Sofia Izquierdo Sanchez

University of Huddersfield ( email )

Queensgate
Business School
Huddersfield, Kirklees HD1 3DH
United Kingdom

Sabine Jacques

University of East Anglia (UEA)/CCP/CREATe ( email )

Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uea.ac.uk/law/people/profile/sabine-jacques

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