I have made this point a number of times, but traditional publishing is dying. I am talking about book sales as some niche markets, like gaming books are doing okay. However, the competition from Print on Demand (POD) from places like Amazon, DriveThru RPG (DTRPG), Nook, and other POD publishers is hastening the death of the major traditional publishers.
I wish it were not so, but these publishers didn’t see the handwriting on the wall, or ignored it. Plenty of companies in other industries buried in their heads in the sand, and have joined the trash heap of history because they didn’t recognize the dangers or chose to ignore the dangers. When B. Dalton, Borders, and Waldenbooks shuttered their doors, it should have been a clue not only to Barnes and Noble, but traditional publishers that something has to change if they want to stay in business.
The main groups who haven’t figured out that traditional publishing is on life support and soon to be gone are the traditional publishing companies and the authors and writers who want to be picked up by those companies. Unless traditional publishers make drastic changes, I give them maybe five (5) years. It may be too late for most of the companies, but if it’s not, it soon will be. Amazon has moved into brick and mortar stores – https://www.forbes.com/sites/annaschaverien/2018/12/29/amazon-online-offline-store-retail/#4ea706f05128. I suspect their bookstores will mostly stock popular books with maybe a small number of trending authors or books. If traditional publishers were wise, they would send some employees into the Amazon bookstores or hire some savvy business experts for advice. There are a number of book sellers out there that are doing good, but they often aren’t the ones you might expect.
I recall when Facebook first popped up, MySpace was King. MySpace rested on its laurels and ignored the threat of Facebook. MySpace is still around, but nowhere near what it used to be. I also recall when Google Plus popped up, I had a few friends dump Facebook because they were so sure Google would dethrone Facebook. They cited MySpace as an example. I pointed out to them the big difference between MySpace and Facebook. Facebook takes any new rival as a potential threat and responds accordingly.
One day Facebook will get dethroned because they are unwilling to do certain things. I should not have to use a third party app to keep Most Recent as my preferred way to view posts. Facebook‘s biggest threat is the company’s unwillingness to listen to customers.
They should take a page from Microsoft. Microsoft owned 95% of the browser market for a long time. They ignored users who asked for all sorts of things that weren’t that hard to change. Today, the company has a low browser market share. Around 5% with Chrome at almost 64% having the most due to all the Android and Chromebook devices out there, plus those who use their Windows machines to run Chrome instead of Edge.