The future of books has faced uncertainty with the publishing industry undergoing a tumultuous time. The originally Big Five publishing houses became the Big Four, and Borders, one of the largest international book retailers, filed for bankruptcy. This can in part be traced back to the introduction of e-books, which have led to a 37% decline in the print sales market. So how can booksellers thrive in the e-book era?
Inspiration for the future of books through innovation
That is exactly what Future Forum (Forum Zukunft), the experimental laboratory of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association (Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels) set out to discover with the help of jovoto. Book lovers and creatives were challenged in a public crowdstorm to create versatile and transportable solutions to display digital content in a variety of real-world scenarios. The ideas submitted during a 7-week period were then reviewed by a multidisciplinary jury.
Rendering the digital tangible
“From the abundance of 132 submitted ideas, the jury chose a concept that combines traditional book shopping and digital technology in a simple and visually appealing way.”
– Matthias Wagner, Director, Frankfurt Museum of Applied Arts
The crowdstorm generated a wealth of prototypes that acknowledged the changing role of retail space and the ongoing importance of human interaction, and the jury’s choice was presented at the 2014 Frankfurt Book Fair. Future Forum so made significant steps towards their goal to inspire all stakeholders to get involved in uncovering new innovations and opportunities for the publishing industry in the digital age.