Just a few years ago, industry analysts predicted that e-books would transform the world of U.S. book publishing. The industry has indeed been upended, but the biggest change agents have turned out to be audiobooks and, especially, independent publishers. Unlike the vanity presses of previous decades that published whatever an author wanted, today’s independent publishers vet manuscripts before approving them and can produce high-quality books. Some first-time authors are able to earn higher profits by publishing through an independent than they could from a traditional publisher. Audiobooks have soared in popularity, with the number of titles increasing by one-third just in 2017. E-book readership, in contrast, has peaked and is projected to decline in the coming years.read full report
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Is its future with independents and audiobooks?
After disrupting the book business through online sales, Amazon is now opening bookstores, such as this one in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)