The Illusion of Control: The Dying Book Industry

Competitive survival begins with the recognition that you cannot control the competitive environment no matter how much of that environment you control. The illusion of control is the most deadly for the biggest companies who lack active competitors. As a book publisher, I have been trying to tell people in this retail book channel how their slow cycle times and costly outdated practices were deadly. But, because the business is dominated by a few large retailers, large wholesalers, large distributors and large publishers, they all felt safe and in control of their markets. They have stuck with planning practices designed to suit their internal organizations rather than the external market. The predictable result is that every large organization in the industry is now failing, even though the book business itself is bigger than ever. From the large retail chains like Barnes and Noble to the large publishers like HarperCollins , it is an industry of aging dinosaurs.