There has been a lot of talk as of late about the book publishing industry as a whole, and where it’s headed. Certainly newspapers are in decline, but I would also argue that the conservative right is fed up with liberal reporting, having a significant affect on those numbers. And the music business is still reeling from the advent of digital downloading.
But as with all industry that has any longevity, it’s those who think outside the box–and think ahead–that stay in the game, and end up inventing new ways to do business. Some might call it the American way. I call it hard work, divine inspiration, and creativity. News companies started websites; musicians started recording, publishing, and distributing their own work; and publishers? That remains to be seen.
Is it dead? Will eBooks kill paper books? What do you think?
I was inspired by a video post Michael Hyatt put up today on his blog. Granted, he is the CEO of Thomas Nelson, so there is, without a doubt, some personal preference in his opinions. As there is in mine, as I’m a novelist who–by gum–likes to see his name on the spine of a physical book. But the more I got to thinking, the more a different vision of the future presented itself. Well, not different, just more clear than I had seen it before. Here is the comment I left on his site:
I’m a youth pastor. I’m with hundreds of teens every week. The future consumer. The present consumer.
I’m also a published novelist. While I adore physical books, I create them on my iMac, and never end up reading the physical copy.
My favorite books seem immortal, and therefore must be obtained for my library “in the flesh.” I suspect that view is shared by many. As a result, particular works will always have a viable clientele. But more informational-based reading–particularly that which I gather–is expendable, at least with regard to it’s transfer vehicle. The inconvenience of a hard copy is annoying.
So I argue that the question is not the generation, so much as it is the content. Give my epic fantasy that immerses in another realm, and I’ll pay the price to keep it beside my bed; but tell my the 10 steps to managing people and I’ll bookmark your website for free.
Do you agree or disagree? Are you excited about the advent of eBooks? Are are you dreading the day your favorite work goes out of print…forever? ch: