“Faced with these changes, traditional publishers must innovate to survive. They must reduce their dependence on the traditional ‘one-to-many’ distribution models that have sustained them in the past and must develop new ‘one-to-one’ or perhaps ‘one-to-few’ models that deliver customized and personalized experiences for their readers. They must develop enduring relationships with their final customers and enhance their knowledge of the customer to guide higher-value product development and marketing capabilities. These changes, which require significant cultural shifts in the publishing enterprise, I would characterize as ‘fundamental’.”

It’s a long way from publishing Herman Melville’s Typee in 1846 to the giant company of today. Wiley is now more than 200 years old and is a model of how an academic publisher should confront the world. Innovation is on-going. By some strange quirk I happened to be present at the meeting in 1993 when Wiley committed themselves to doing print-on-demand: the first major publisher to set off down that route.

The words at the top of this post are from an interview of Wiley CEO Stephen M. Smith by Edward Nawotka of Publishing Perspectives.

Note that over 50% of Wiley’s revenues come from digital, and only 31% of world-wide revenues come from print books.