Innovation in Publishing: Why it Matters

Publishing plays an extremely important role in society and it has since the days of the printing press. The traditional role of the publisher is to decide what information and stories are worth sharing. By nature, these decisions can have a profound impact on the world.

Innovation can be a daunting idea, especially for those who take pride in tradition. But the word innovation also indicates a space for opportunity. Publishing, which has always been traditionally dominated by privileged voices, has the ability to diversify and include perspectives from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. Instead of acting as a ‘gatekeeper’ of information, publishing houses can instead be home to an expansive collection of stories and knowledge that accurately reflect the world we live in. One of the key players in publishing innovation is the role of the independent publisher. As they operate on a smaller scale, these organizations have the ability and freedom to take big risks. In fact, innovation is one of the driving forces keeping the independent publisher in competition with its more established opponents.

The publishing industry is one of the oldest in history. Dating back to the 1600s, the practice of making and selling print products has had to constantly evolve in order to survive. From the industrial revolution to the rise of the internet and digitalization, technological advancements have fundamentally changed how we consume media. Without adapting to change, publishing houses would struggle to attract and retain business. This is where innovation comes in. From digital e-readers, such as the Nook and Kindle, to audiobooks, print-on-demand, and online-only publications, publishing innovations act as a response to a fundamental issue. As a society, readers have grown accustomed to an abundance of information at their fingertips for free. Content is widely available and consumers don’t like to wait for access. How publishers meet the ever-changing demands of their readers will determine how successful they are in the new digital media age.