The end of the holiday season is a good time to take stock; and maybe to cast a fresh eye over the book industry scene. For BIC, it means the opportunity to reassess priorities.
There are signs that the hype around digital may be dying down. That would be a good thing, provided that the industry is ready for a more sober evaluation of where it has left us. We have been swept along on the tide of digital enthusiasm, as everyone has, perhaps running the risk of taking our eye off the ball in other equally important parts of our remit; but we have held to the belief that the big challenge will be to manage the ‘mixed economy’ which will exist in the book trade will be for the next few years and maybe much longer. In that mixed economy, digital, however fast it grows, will remain just another route to market and another way in which content is distributed. Without the hype, there are some big decisions for the industry to take about future systems needs. This may well be where BIC’s attention needs to be focussed in the coming year.