Publishing Talks: David Wilk interviews Joe Esposito
In this series of interviews, called Publishing Talks, I am talking to book industry professionals who have varying perspectives and thoughts about the future of publishing, books, and culture. This is a period of disruption and change for all media businesses.
Publishing has been a crucial part of human culture for as long as people have been writing and reading. How will publishing evolve as our culture is affected by technology, climate change, population density, and the ebb and flow of civilization and its economics? Publishing Talks interviews help us understand the outlines of what is happening, and how we might ourselves interact with and influence the future of publishing as it unfolds. Publishing Talks interviews give people in the book business a chance to talk about ideas and concerns in a public forum that are often only talked about “around the water cooler,” at industry conventions and events, and in emails between friends.
I hope that Publishing Talks interviews will give people inside and outside the book industry a chance to hear about some of the thoughts, ideas and concepts that are currently being discussed by engaged individuals within the industry.
I’ve been reading Joe Esposito’s writings about the book business – past, present and future – for quite some time with a great deal of admiration. He is smart, understands business, and cares deeply about books, ideas and people. Here is his “official” biography: Joseph J. Esposito is an independent consultant providing strategy assessment and interim management to the information industries. He has served as an executive at Simon & Schuster and Random House, as President of Merriam-Webster, and CEO of Encyclopaedia Britannica, where he was responsible for the launch of the first Internet service of its kind. Mr. Esposito has also served as CEO of Internet communications company Tribal Voice and SRI Consulting, both of which he led to successful exits. Among Mr. Esposito’s clients have been such technology companies as Microsoft and Hewlett Packard, various publishers of all stripes, and a growing number of not-for-profit organizations (e.g., JSTOR, the University of California Press, and the American Nationals Standards Institute). You can find his writing frequently at Scholarly Kitchen.
My interview with Joe covered alot of different subjects, including his background in publishing, current trends in digital media and e-reading, how publishing will change as it adapts to a digital marketing landscape. We spent a good deal of time talking about publishing strategy relating to e-book publishing, an issue that is important to many in the publishing industry today. His views and ideas, and his delivery of them, makes for a great conversation.