HarperCollins UK c.e.o. Victoria Barnsley has predicted that half her company’s fiction revenue will come from digital sales within the next 18 months and said it was "the wrong decision" for publishers to settle with the DoJ over agency pricing.
Speaking to the Observer, Barnsley said that although e-book sales currently account for 20% of UK income, a yearly rise in digital sales of 250% will soon see them follow the US division’s lead. Barnsley said: “we can’t think of ourselves as book publishers any longer. We have to see ourselves as . . . multimedia content producers.”
Barnsley also took the chance to speak out against the decision of publishers in the US, including HarperCollins, to settle after the Department of Justice came down against agency deals. She said: “It was the wrong decision. It’s going to be bad for the industry and bad for competition, but I’m sure we’ll survive.”
Following the news that HarperCollins’ parent company will be divided into publishing and entertainment arms, placing HC alongside News International newspapers, she said that the industry was ever-changing. “In some respects,” she said, “publishing 12 years ago had more in common with publishing in the last century than it has now.”