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Jack Romanos on changing trends caused by the development of the e-book

6 May 2001

Jack Romanos, President of the American publisher Simon and Schuster Inc, interviewed in Red Herring on changing trends caused by the development of the e-book

'What may change radically is the way we view distribution -- whether or not in the digital world one needs to have as many middlemen in the process. You don't really need the publisher-distributor-retailer chain to reach the consumer. The day may come when we can eliminate some of the middle, including distributors and retailers. But that doesn't mean the distributors and retailers will disappear.... One of the challenges that everybody involved in this business is going to face is how to manage our traditional relationships while at the same time cultivating new relationships, often with the same people, all the while standing on ground that is constantly shifting. We are at a point in time where everybody is feeling they can test the waters as publishers. On the other hand, publishers have already figured out that going forward they will be able to have direct relationships with readers. This isn't an exercise in cutting out middlemen, and we will continue to sell through our traditional retailing partners, both electronic and brick-and-mortar...

'I think that reaching readers on the Internet is another skill set that our editors and marketing staff are going to have to add to the rest of their repertoire.'