Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Changing World Of Publishing (And A Reaction)

Saw this article over at The Times Online: At The Front Of A Book Revolution. An excerpt:

The book business is facing its greatest revolution since the invention of printing, but Victoria Barnsley, chief executive of Harper Collins, says it is an exhilarating time.

“I predict that, within 10 years, 50% of all books will be read electronically. We are at the equivalent of black-and-white television now, but once the technology is perfected everything will change.”

She said the nature of books will also change.

“Consumers now want images, music, video as well as words. It is no longer enough to say to authors you have to produce text. We need things to go with that text. Our business is not just about words, but content in all its guises. Not many authors are engaging with this yet.”

A reaction to what she said is here at Conversational Reading: Yet Another Example Of What's Wrong With Corporate Publishing. An excerpt:

Despite all the insistence I keep hearing that people want all this stuff in addition to "the text"--as if "the text" was just one element of a book instead of the whole thing--I have yet to actually hear one of these executives explain why consumers want audio, video, etc. with their text.

I also have yet to hear any actual consumers ask for this.

And in addition to that, I haven't really found any authors who are dying to figure out how to incorporate audio clips and such into their text.


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