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'The onrushing digital revolution'

13 December 2010

'The idea that publishers 'now appear frozen in the headlights of the onrushing digital revolution' is simply untrue. Long before the digital revolution had become a reality for readers, most major publishing houses have been planning and investing in their digital divisions in addition to 'doing the day job', publishing and selling their authors in all formats and in all markets.

Digital publishing programmes are firmly embedded in all publishing businesses: these range from simultaneous e-book editions of new titles, republishing backlists digitally, revitalising old formats with new digital content, and creating title-specific apps on the latest devices. Publishers are absolutely aware that it is in their interests, and the interests of their authors, to embrace change in the industry...

Protecting copyright and ensuring authors are properly paid is a key function of every publisher:
publishers have created and manage anti-piracy schemes and contractual rights for e-books, often taking legal action where an author's copyright is breached... a good publisher knows their market whether they are publishing in print or digitally.

Many readers like knowing the book they are going to be spending their valuable time reading has been filtered through a selection process by people whose job is to guide the reader to what they want and ensure that they spend their time - and money - wisely.'

Ursula Mackenzie, CEO of Little Brown UK, on the Guardian website