Monday, August 8, 2011
There is little a traditional publishing firm or independent bookstore can do to fight the flow of the river.
The printed book on paper is not going to burn for kindling to stay warm. Consumers will continue to purchase hardbound and paperback books.
However, it is better to learn to swim with the flow and join in the revolution. Authors need to write well, keep visible with their readers and keep all four legs in each camp. Publish on paper, digital, audio and read in person face to face.
Young readers desire content, they crave new and authors will deliver stories to satisfy. Digital will dominate the market in two years. It is cheaper, faster and more adaptable. New formats are created that include narrative, music, art and interactive qualities. My advice to fellow authors is: be yourself, take risks, and support each other.
There is not a large difference between today’s publishing industry verses the music industry’s fall. The only upside is there are multiple digital formats. When the music industry rolled out the CD they had no idea how easy it would be to copy that piece of plastic. Multiple formats in book publishing naturally slow the tide of piracy, monopolies and big business. Musicians make a living only from live performance today, not sales of records. Stealing of music copyrights seems the norm rather than a crime to teens. The music business (like publishing) was controlled by big extravagant labels that did not allow fresh talent a voice.
I do not want to see my books in Wall Mart but will learn everything about formatting, new digital advances and make my writing better. As a writer I plan to survive.
We are all in for trouble when Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos sit at a conference table and dictate pricing.