where the writers are
Amazon.com Amazon.com
Powell's Books Powell's Books

Why do we resist change? Historically, big shifts in society have often produced incredible hybrids and new models advancing technology, community, and lifestyle.

When first experiencing a shift, we tend to get our thongs in a bunch, spin out of control with misguided theories and flap about with depressive bouts of unfounded angst.

Yes, the current publishing model is like a hot air balloon caught in a jet stream. But heck, maybe it's like Beta and VHS? The movie industry continued to thrive after home movies arrived on the scene. Suddenly, video stores popped up everywhere generating new streams of jobs and revenue. Entire sections of electronic retail stores are devoted to video sales.

Times are a changin'. Instead of resisting the inevitable, why not embrace the possibilities and look for innovations in the jet stream of change? Writers have the gift of creativity, so let's write a new story.

2 Comment count
Comment Bubble Tip

Will book publishing follow the music publishing?

Even Barnes & Noble now offers thousands of FREE books for those who buy their new digital reader--and you can even loan your free book to a friend!

I wonder how B&N will pay publishers for the distribution of their books at no charge.... How weird is that business model?

The music industry suffered great losses and continues to do so as digital access continues to erode its core business. How will book publishing withstand the assault?


Comment Bubble Tip

The Way I Understand Things

I've heard when a company uses the free book give-a-way they are actually paying the author royalties. Royalties are budgeted into the marketing costs. I can't confirm that it is true, but someone in marketing mentioned it to me.

Think of those free CD's they put in cereal boxes. The cost of the game or CD wasn't free to the cereal company, they paid the manufacture of those discs out of their marketing budget.

The kind of publicity that would be generated from such an association would be extremely valuable. Sign me up.

The publishing business reminds me of those great big main frame computers with the punch cards from the 70's. Fat and clunky. Look at what the 10 inch laptop can do. Compose music, edit movies, create complicated and visually stunning documents and graphics. Current computer technology is like the space shuttle compared to a balsam wood toy airplane.

Books are much more than printed words on page these days. The new author will be their own media company. A great speaker, journalist, photographer, film maker, business person, marketing expert, networker and PR agent.

Remember Ray Charles? "I want to own my own masters?" They told him it could never be done. Each time he switched genres, they told him it would fail. He succeeded brilliantly. He was his own corporation.

People will always want to read books. You can't convince me they won't. Perhaps the numbers will look different. There will be other streams of income associated with books that will more than compensate for a lower volume of sales.

There is something magical about taking a book on a plane, to the beach, curled up on the couch, or in bed that a plastic machine can never replace. The touch, the feel, the smell....