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II. Publishing & Marketing Tips > Donning the clairvoyant’s cap – Publishing five years hence

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message 1: by George (new)

George Straatman I thought it would be interesting to have other authors (readers as well) chime in with their prediction for the nature of the publishing industry in five years time...of course, this is all conjecture and speculation, but should make for a lively discussion.
I'll get the ball rolling with one possible future...inspired by the rapidly growing e-book technologies, the traditional structure of publishing house/agent driven publishing structure will see a vastly dimished role in the general publishing/book retailing matrix. These new technologies will allow both authors and retailers to circumvent the customary path to market access. Amazon's growing campaign to provide a host of alternatives to authors and smaller publishing houses could well be the death knell for many of the larger houses who seemed to hold the industry in an iron grip only a decade ago. Judging by some of the trends that have taken shape in the last eighteen months alone, it could well be that many of those who work in the traditional publishing structure could be well-advised to consider career path planning.

This is just a possible scenario and I won't pretend to have any special insight into the shape of things to come...the industry seems to be in a period of flux and the future seems rather nebulous, but it would be interesting to see how members anticipate the next five years might unfold.


message 2: by Lady (new)

Lady (bestnewfantasyseries) | 78 comments Totally agree, George. With the advent and increasing options in e-readers, I believe the public is far more willing to try a new author for $1.99 or what ever they are selling their wares for.
Recently, when visiting my niece, I caught her in the kitchen, cooking dinner with her Kindle on the counter. As she stirred, chopped, etc., she continued with her book which she was enraptured with. Made me laugh out loud, but boy sure gave me a glimpse of how things were changing. Didn't have to worry about a book flopping closed, or if food splattered, she just wiped the face of the reader..it's plastic. Very cool.


message 3: by [deleted user] (last edited Oct 04, 2011 10:56AM) (new)

Lady wrote: "Totally agree, George. With the advent and increasing options in e-readers, I believe the public is far more willing to try a new author for $1.99 or what ever they are selling their wares for.
Re..."


Ha ha. That's funny that she was reading in the kitchen on her Kindle, but I can see a lot of people doing that right now, most likely.

I agree that publishing houses will probably be in hot water in the next few years...though this kind of makes me sad, in a way. Growing up with paperbacks and hardcovers, I don't want to see them go away. I don't think they will entirely, especially with the younger generation (teens/young adults) actually wanting paper instead of e-ink, but I think they will definitely downgrade, thanks to the older adults, who are buying up the ebooks, thus making them more of a market (because most teens/young adults don't have paychecks enough to be buying paperbacks and hardcovers left and right, and thus the ebook sales outweigh the paper sales). Amazon will probably make a big impact on things, but I also think that a lot of the smaller publishing platforms (so many to count) will also take part of the reins.


message 4: by Lady (new)

Lady (bestnewfantasyseries) | 78 comments I still love a book in my hands, haven't given into a reader yet, but I can see it's use; plane travel, subway rides, lying in bed when a hardcover is too heavy, etc.

Indeed will be interesting to watch the next few years.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I love a book in my hands as well. I plan on getting a reader, but only for those books that I can't get in paperback (some self-published novels). I'll always like the smell of pages best, though.


message 6: by Sheila (new)

Sheila | 53 comments The Girl in the Box by Sheila Dalton Hi, all. I'm a librarian as well as a writer, and I sometimes work as an editor too. Interest in ebook readers is very high amongst our library patrons. I gave a workshop on them just last week. Personally, right now I have only the free Kindle for PC. I love it! My house is full of books, and I don't have a lot of room for more. Plus I have my laptop on a rolling desk I pull out in front of my armchair in my living room, so my ebooks are always handy.
I think books will also co-exist with ebooks. I love a physical book, and so do many people - young as well as old. But this may change as people get more used to ereaders. We'll see. I can't imagine a world without "real" books, though. And I think I'm not alone!


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

You are definitely not alone! I can't imagine a world without "real" books, either.


message 8: by Sheila (new)

Sheila | 53 comments Alexandra wrote: "You are definitely not alone! I can't imagine a world without "real" books, either."

I do wonder, though, what the future will bring. I already look round my crowded shelves and wish many of the book were on an ereader. Some of my books are quite old (I can't bring myself to throw a good book away) and they don't last forever. Also, some are non-fiction, and on a ereader I could search their contents so easily!
What I hope will happen is that physical books will become artforms in themselves - beautiful bindings and covers, etc., even moreso than now - something you buy less often, but with more care, as objects you will want to have around for decades.


message 9: by Sheila (new)

Sheila | 53 comments Alexandra wrote: "You are definitely not alone! I can't imagine a world without "real" books, either."

I do wonder, though, what the future will bring. I already look round my crowded shelves and wish many of the book were on an ereader. Some of my books are quite old (I can't bring myself to throw a good book away) and they don't last forever. Also, some are non-fiction, and on a ereader I could search their contents so easily!
What I hope will happen is that physical books will become artforms in themselves - beautiful bindings and covers, etc., even moreso than now - something you buy less often, but with more care, as objects you will want to have around for decades.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Sheila wrote: "Alexandra wrote: "You are definitely not alone! I can't imagine a world without "real" books, either."

I do wonder, though, what the future will bring. I already look round my crowded shelves and ..."


Hmmm...I'm not sure, but that is an interesting question. I personally like having books on my shelf, but they do tend to crowd your space. I just wonder, if books become more of an artform...how many of them will be lost? Painting is an artform, too, but you don't see as much of traditional painting anymore (sadly). Also, I worry that eventually, books may be corrupted. If it's on paper, you can't change it as easily. But with an ebook, anything can be erased.


message 11: by Sheila (new)

Sheila | 53 comments Alexandra wrote: "Sheila wrote: "Alexandra wrote: "You are definitely not alone! I can't imagine a world without "real" books, either."

I do wonder, though, what the future will bring. I already look round my crowd..."


I didn't mean I didn't want bookshelves full of books - just that I could be more choosy about what I put there. For instance, my diet books lack a certain charm and certainly don't impress guests!
Corrupted? Interesting thought. I think DRM (Digital Rights Management) protects ebooks now, but who knows how effective it is?


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Sheila wrote: "Alexandra wrote: "Sheila wrote: "Alexandra wrote: "You are definitely not alone! I can't imagine a world without "real" books, either."

I do wonder, though, what the future will bring. I already l..."


Oh! Ha ha. I get what you mean. I clear my bookshelf off every once in a while and sort through what I want and don't want.
As for DMR...well, it's not fool-proof.


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