End of 31-year story as competition from e-books leads to DB Publishing's demise
A BOOK publisher has shut after more than 30 years because of the growing popularity of e-books.
DB Publishing, which was based at The Parker Centre, in Mansfield Road, Derby, has closed with the loss of six jobs.
The company, which was founded in 1982 as Breedon Books, published local interest, social history and sports books.
But its print titles have faced increasing competition from e-books, which can be downloaded on to a range of devices, including the Kindle, iPad, Kobo and PCs.
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In recent years, the firm looked to address this by transferring hundreds of its titles to e-books.
Managing director Steve Caron said it was a "very difficult decision" to shut DB Publishing.
He said: "Our intention had been to sell e-books alongside our printed publications. But the e-book market has grown so much that it got to a point where it was affecting demand for conventional books.
"It is a shame. Many people buy our books to give as presents. Giving vouchers to download a book is not the same as unwrapping a book at Christmas. But that is the way the market has gone."
Mr Caron said he would now concentrate on his other business, JMD Media, which was DB Publishing's digital offshoot.
JMD, which will operate from Nottingham, deals solely with e-books and will sell titles that have been transferred from the printed books sold by DB Publishing.
Mr Caron said: "Transferring all the titles takes a long time. We are still in the process of transferring some of the titles. We will eventually be inviting ideas from authors for new books."
In the past, DB Publishing's biggest successes have come from football books.
Its flagship product was The Complete Record series – exhaustive volumes that contain the complete history, results, scorers, line-up and attendance of every game for football league clubs.
Mr Caron said there were plans to continue the series but in the e-book format.
He would not rule out printed versions of The Complete Record series being produced again in the future – but said there would need to be a demand for them to justify the costs of printing.
Breedon Books was originally set up by local author and Derby Telegraph columnist Anton Rippon, who sold the business in 2003.
But in 2009, Breedon found itself overstretched and its owners decided to place it into administration.
DB Publishing, a new company under the same ownership, immediately emerged from the financial mire in November that year.
It went on to publish books about motor sport, cricket, rugby, true crime, biographies, tourist attractions and ghosts.
Mr Rippon said: "When I started Breedon, I don't think anyone had ever heard of fax machines, never mind e-books.
"The publishing industry has changed enormously in the past few years but there are still plenty of thriving traditional print publishers.
"It's easy to say that e-books have ruined the publishing business but I believe there is room for both. There will always be a place for a hardback or a paperback. Not everyone wants a Kindle."