Richard Nash gives “best speech about the future of books” in Canada

In What's the Buzz by Hannah Johnson

Richard Nash

By Hannah Johnson

“Assuming that the physical book is the only incarnation for the writer-reader connection is, I think, a mistake,” said Richard Nash during his presentation at the BookNet Canada conference called “Calculated Risk: Adventures in Book Publishing” on March 25 in Toronto, Canada.

The crux of Nash’s presentation was about supply and demand. The current supply chain that publishers use assumes that we control the supply side of publishing. The traditional role of publishers as gatekeepers and taste-makers works when the number of books in the marketplace is limited. However, the explosion in book production means that supply is no longer under anyone’s control. Nash argues that publishers now have to be in the business of managing demand, of owning communities that connect writers and readers in order to create demand.

Chris Anderson of Wired tweeted about Nash’s presentation: “Best speech about the future of books & publishing I’ve ever seen.”

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About the Author

Hannah Johnson


Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.