Mike Shatzkin’s BEA talk is absolutely essential reading for anyone involved in trade publishing. He looks into the future and forecasts that “general trade publishing” will increasingly lose ground to “niches and community,” and I don’t doubt for a second that it’s true.

Change is seldom sought; it is usually forced. But in the media world, more than in most others, we are living in an era of blistering change. The future web — and even unconnected digital devices enabled by the web — are going to be more content-rich than we have ever imagined, and much of the content will be free.

That’s our biggest competitor right now in numerous markets — Free!

Tech, travel, cooking, gardening, how-to, all of these categories are eminently “nicheable.” The key will be to become involved, known, trusted, and linked-to in the online communities that you aspire to reach. Publishers and authors both will need to bring a laser-like focus to individual markets.

Via Publisher’s Lunch


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