I’ve finally had to really, truly and honestly admit to myself that the publishing model that we know and love is broken and there ain’t no way to fix it other than to switch off the internet. The Kindle and iPad have arrived like Caxton’s press before and we can’t go back.
Is this a terrible thing? It is if you love paper bound books and wan’t that old world to continue – do you still listen to shellac 78 records?
The “BOOK” has been seen as a holy object for so long because it was the best information storage system we had. The book’s new role will be that of souvenir, gift item or collector’s edition.
The threshold to publishing has been brought so low, there is no way an author can survive by giving away 90% or more of potential earnings to publishers – more if they employ an agent too. Publishing is something anyone can do now and many are leaping in, muddying the market and reducing quality to the very lowest common denominator. But some new media published works will rise the the surface and make a healthy profit while the rest turn into digital compost. Fear not – there will be millions trying – “There is a book in all of us” – the quote goes. Soon they will be available.
So what to do? Stop thinking about books. That’s where the vanity lies. People want to see a book – their book with their name on it – as a physical object on their bookshelf and in a bookshop window. The screen is the new delivery vehicle. Words, pictures, video, whatever are the medium. Anything is possible and those that break free of the shackles of print will probably be the winners. The book and the printed word have no God given right to be the delivery vehicle of future thought.
I’m throwing off the shackles of an old system and embracing the new – today – now – this moment :)