1st Philippine Digital Publishing Conference Revolutionalizes Reading
“As we shift towards new ways of sharing ideas, many are asking this major major question - What will happen to the book as we know it?” asked master of ceremonies Toots Policarpio.
A rising demand for e-books and e-book readers (like the Amazon Kindle, smart phones, or the Apple iPad), as well as the availability of information online, have marked a shift in the market which some say herald the end of traditional books and publishing.
Electronic books can be downloaded quickly, an entire library can be stored in a single e-book reader, and these may feature search tools, or font change. In addition, e-books remove the need for warehousing and transport of books, potentially cutting down book prices.
Keynote speaker and BDAP president Lirio Sandoval said, “The public and private sector of the Philippine book industry are very much concerned about the future of the book industry in this digital generation, and it affects publishers, book sellers and readers alike,”
“Will it benefit our local publishers or will they be eaten up?” he asked. “Will readers benefit from lower prices and wider selections, or only those who can afford to take advantage of this technology?”
“Book sellers are even more concerned,” he added. “Do they still have a role to play in the book industry?”
“This conference is the latest in many such conferences around the world, asking what the future might hold for [books and traditional publishing],” he said. “Some say the digital age will be the end of the book, others say it will be another chapter in the long and illustrious history of the book.”
NBDB chairman Dennis Gonzales said that Filipinos should see the widespread changes caused by the digital age as a challenge and opportunity rather than a threat.
“[We] help market develop to ensure the Philippine public will be life-long learners and book lovers, not just readers,” he said.
“We publishers as authentic entrepreneurs should be risk-takers in the midst of new development,” Gonzales added. “It will sometimes hurt, but risk-takers who will take calculated risks are the ones who eventually succeed.”