book industry

How Technology is Reshaping the Book Industry: A Closer Look at Reading Apps

Technology has breathed new life into publishing.

Since its inception, the book industry has undergone significant transformations. From the invention of the papyrus scroll to the emergence of e-books, the way people perceive and engage with literature has been constantly influenced by new technologies. With the rise of digital media, traditional publishing sectors, including the book industry, have had to adapt and find innovative approaches. Concerns about the industry’s demise coexist with beliefs that it can benefit from these advancements. Nevertheless, it is evident that digital technology will reshape the publishing industry as we currently understand it.

#1 Audiobooks

Books have been significantly impacted by technology, particularly in the realm of publishing. Ebooks have gained immense popularity, with Amazon surpassing physical book sales with ebook sales in 2012. Audiobooks have also experienced a surge in demand, as evidenced by U.K. audiobook sales more than doubling since 2013. Although people still appreciate good books, their preferred formats have evolved.

Despite contributing to improved literacy on a national scale, technology has yet to fully support the industry. What’s New In Publishing recently conducted a study revealing that voice assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Samsung’s Bixby — found on over a billion devices worldwide — were only able to recognize 43.2% of basic queries related to The New York Times bestseller list. The study recommends that publishers perform a voice audit of their inventory and collaborate with tech companies to tackle this issue.

#2 Ebooks

Consumers find print books and ebooks equally appealing, with the latter experiencing growing demand. Projections indicate that ebook sales will rise by an average of 7% from 2020 to 2025. This trend has significant implications for us. Firstly, books will become more accessible than ever before, with a wide selection available at affordable prices and delivered promptly.

Many publishing technologies are refocusing on the electronic sphere. It’s time for many of us to switch to the best novels app, FictionMe, to read books freely anywhere. No, the book industry is not dying out and it’s not necessary to convert to exclusively using apps to read books. The most important thing is the essence of the book, not switching to one specific format option. You can use FictionMe on the road, while traveling abroad, during occasional moments of downtime or long queues. At home, you can continue to enjoy the unique aroma of printed books.

#3 Digitizing Libraries

Since the early years of the Internet, the concept of a digitized library has persisted. A digital library stores its materials in a digital format, accessible from computers or other devices. Some digital libraries can be accessed locally, while others can be accessed remotely through a computer network. In 1971, three years before the Internet went live, Michael Hart founded Project Gutenberg, the oldest digital library. Hart’s initial goal was to make the 10,000 most-consulted books publicly available and free by the end of the century.

Fast-forward to 2010 and Project Gutenberg’s free online library included over 30,000 public domain works for free download. Stanford University collaborated with Google Books to digitize books using a robotic page-turning scanner machine, scanning 1,000 pages an hour. Google Books, which began in 2004, has already scanned over 10 million books. Additionally, a Chinese company claims to have digitized more than half of all books published in Chinese since 1949. Considering that humans have published at least 32 million books throughout history, according to The New York Times in 2006, the significant effort towards book digitization suggests that virtually all known books could be digitized within 50 years.

#4 Cloud Computing Technology

Hardware and software applications benefit from cloud computing technology, revolutionizing the publishing industry. This technology enables efficient analysis and multi-tasking of publishing functions, including design work, proofreading and copy editing across different time zones. Deanta’s digital asset management system, Lanstad, offers a cloud-based solution that simplifies secure storage, retrieval and sharing of publishing projects, fostering collaboration and cost-effective work in the publishing business.

#5 Content Personalization

The publishing industry has been greatly transformed by content personalization, which utilizes reader data to understand individual preferences and deliver customized content. Digital platforms and algorithms have contributed to the enhancement of reader engagement through targeted advertising and personalized recommendations. Additionally, personalization has commanded the self-publishing and niche publication sectors.

#6 Print-on-Demand and Self-Publishing

The industry in the 21st century may experience a transformation due to print-on-demand, a system that prints books upon receiving orders, and the growing trend of self-publishing.

Self-publishing, wherein authors take charge of producing and publishing their works instead of relying on third-party companies, is not a novel concept. Several renowned authors, including Virginia Woolf and Oscar Wilde, self-published their works during their lifetimes. Popular books like The Joy of Cooking and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series originated from self-publishing.

Many authors resort to self-publishing when traditional publishing fails to offer support, as exemplified by Daniel Suarez, who self-published his techno-thriller Daemon after facing rejections from 48 agents. After generating interest through blogs, Suarez eventually secured a two-book deal with Dutton, an imprint of Random House (McHugh, 2008). Additionally, self-publishing appeals to authors seeking control over their content. By taking charge of editing, designing and marketing, authors can independently make decisions instead of relying on publishers.


Technology has not replaced books; on the contrary, it has breathed new life into publishing. Now books can be augmented with AR, personalized, digitized and voiced, offering readers myriad ways to take advantage of all the advances in the field of book publishing.

This article was produced in partnership with FictionMe.

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