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Amazon has reported that digital book sales have outstripped traditional print sales in the UK for the first time. But what does this mean for professionals working in publishing?

Posted on 10/06/2010 by Emma Dadswell

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It hardly seems possible that the Kindle was released just two years ago - and this week it was announced that there are now 114 ebooks sold by Amazon for every 100 hardbacks and paperbacks combined.

Publishing in the UK is changing at an alarming speed, and job roles and skill-sets are developing at a rate to accommodate this across the profession. Publishing houses require the expertise of digitally aware professionals to drive and steer marketing strategy within the digital arena. And in the era of self-publishing - where the public become the gatekeepers of literary success – publishers have to work harder to source and develop star talent.

Three of the top 10 most popular Kindle authors of 2012 – Nick SpaldingKatia Lief and Kerry Wilkinson – were published by Amazon's own Kindle Direct Publishing – a case in point that the role of literary agents is evolving. Becoming a published author is no longer the holy grail of a career as a writer; it’s the quality, reach and acceptance of the work which is now used to judge success. And those in the industry must employ ever-more sophisticated strategies to propel talented writers above the noise and into the public concisions.

Creatively, financially and systematically the publishing arena has changed beyond recognition in recent years, but Kindle users are buying four times as many books than prior to owning the device - which is surely good news for the industry. This renaissance of reading is creating new and exciting opportunities in the field - and established publishing houses need to keep abreast of changes to avoid being left behind. What skill-sets do you think are essential in the industry today? Let us know by commenting below.