Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Future of Books...

Our world & technology changes at a frightening pace! Consider how fast it changed from VHS to DVD. Or from records to CDs. (And now everyone has an MP3 player and it's all about the downloads...)

This article is from Time Magazine - Carolyn Howard-Johnson posted it at her blog yesterday. It's a fascinating look at how fast the book industry is changing:,9171,1873122,00.html

Obviously the concept of the E-book has caught on - there's even a week to celebrate the format:
E Book Week

Read the Time article. Do you agree? Are the big publishers just creaking dinosaurs? Is self-publishing through a vanity press really a viable option? Will free reading material online really become the norm...?

And in other news, the CPSC grants a year stay in lead testing:


Anonymous said...

GREAT Time article. Thanks for the link!

While I don't think the big publishers are dinosaurs, I do like the independent publishers considerably more, and my faith is growing in self-publishing. I know too many folks who've produced a great product to be blind to the merits of self-publishing.

I've enjoyed reading your blog over this past month! Though the challenge is over, I'll be sticking around and posting comments when I can. It was a pleasure to get to know you and your work through your blog!

Nancy J. Parra said...

I don't think big publishers are dinosaurs, either. It's kind of like when cable started- everyone predicted that the big three channels would go away. But we simply have more porgramming choices. And lucky for viewers some great cable shows. :)

Morgan Mandel said...

It will be hard to get the major publishers to change their ways. Of course, if they start losing a lot of money, that might be the catalyst.

I know they are getting on the ebook bandwagon along with their print additions. That's good and bad, since many readers may look for the big name authors who have ebooks and overlook the midstream authors with small presses.

Morgan Mandel

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I think the music industry is way ahead of the book industry in terms of adapting to changes and smaller companies gaining much bigger notice for their clients.
I liked the article's analogy that traditonal publishing would be the tip of the pyramid with a lot below for the base. The old way of publishing will not vanish, but it must adapt to survive ans will most certainly dwindle.

Helen Ginger said...

I don't think the big publishers will die out, but they're going to have to play catch-up on making the changes to stay alive. They're making moves toward that now. But the small pubs seem to be moving more quickly.

Helen Ginger

Prill Boyle said...

So glad that you're bringing up this topic. Here's what I said about it yesterday in response to Carolyn's posting (plus some additional thoughts):

"I saw that article as well. Very interesting. As with the recording business, I believe the future of publishing is in going digital. The Kindle, for instance, is an amazing first foray into the digital age of book reading. I never would have believed I'd be a supporter of digital readers--I have entire walls of my house lined with books--but these devices are an incredible innovation. People ARE still reading; they're just reading new ways."

To this I would add that I was sitting next to a guy reading on a Kindle (is that the right terminology?) at an airport recently and asked him if I could try it out. I swear it felt almost like reading a book, though in some ways easier. I love the idea of taking the device with me when I'm on the road and downloading whatever I want to read. Much less cumbersome than taking along 4 or 5 books.

FYI: My agent tells me that his agency is starting to have authors upload all manuscripts directly to the agents' Kindles. (Supposedly, every agent in his office has one.) I'm not sure how one does this, or even if I heard correctly, but I've got the gist right if not the details.

Prill Boyle
Author of Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women

Anonymous said...

Small pubs are more mobile and easier to change with the times than the large traditional pubs. And Ebooks ARE here to stay and definitely the wave of the future. Whenever I pub a book I offer it in traditional paperback, ebook and Kindle.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Glad to see you've been coming by to see what's up, Diane. And thank you for the mention in your blog. You have a faithful group of readers!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Blogging at Writer's Digest 101 Best Website,