With the rise of e-books and alternative entertainment, traditional publishing is facing new headwinds around the world. But in China, the demand for books is still strong, including foreign-language books—opening up one of the world’s largest consumer markets to publishers. 

A new chapter for publishers is starting in China. Back in 2005, Jo Lusby guided Penguin’s entry into the market. Now, that investment is paying off—with a growing demand for foreign books.

Anthony-HorowitzAt last year’s Digital Minds conference, author Neil Gaiman encouraged publishers to “try everything,” advice that was echoed at this year’s event, as a morning of keynote speakers kicked off the London Book Fair by urging publishers to look beyond the book.

“I do not believe that books will ever die,” said Anthony Horowitz, author of the bestselling Alex Rider books, in his opening talk. “At the same time, we cannot deny we are in an extraordinary transition, and it does seem to me sometimes that publishers are not grabbing the nettle because they are too afraid of getting stung.”

The publishing industry is in the midst of a rapid, tech-fueled period of change, but what does that change mean for the future of the business? A report by PW

At this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, an opening panel asked the question: What Is a Publisher Now?

“I think it is fair to say that about 5-10 years ago the publishing industry was well-defined: Retailers retailed, publishers published, distributors distributed, printers printed, and editors edited,” said moderator Karina Luke, executive director of the U.K.-based based Book Industry Communication (BIC), teeing up the question for the panel. “How does that compare to the publishers role and to the content industry of today?”