So, this seems to be a hot button topic around the camp fires of Facebook and Twitter. Bloggers and writers all over the place are throwing in their two cents, both professional and unpublished. Publishers, editors and agents have also said their piece regarding the matter. But, still, I see people running around the internet like chickens with their heads cut off, crying that the sky of publishing is falling, and eBooks are going to tear down book stores brick by brick.
So, given all that, I figured why not throw in my two cents as well? Likely, they’ll just get lost amidst the rest of the change out there, but hey, this is my blog, so what the hell.
If this all sounds a little skewed in the direction that I don’t buy the hype that traditional publishing is going away, that would be essentially the truth. But not all of it. Let me start with something simple.
Traditional publishing IS going to go away. The same way that horse and buggies were driven out of business by the automobile. But, it’s not going to happen tomorrow. Or even in the next few years. And the publishing industry is not just going to fold up and die, not all of it anyway. They’re going to adapt to new technology, and switch their model of business to accept it. Those houses that don’t, those are the ones that will die.
But, here’s something that I think a lot of people look over. The real reason that traditional, paper books are not going to disappear the way of the 8-track. People like books. A lot of people like books. Different kinds of people like books, for different reasons. And here’s one that I think a lot of us that are on the internet regularly forget.
eBook Readers are expensive.
That’s right. That Kindle I have sitting next to me as I write this? $130. That’s a lot of money, when you consider that a book is around $10. Sure, I know the argument, it’s a one time payment and then all your books are only $4. But, most people can’t put up that $130 investment. They won’t. It’s a lot of money. $10 isn’t so bad, so they’ll spend that on the book they want. Plus, books can be traded at a used book store for more books. An eReader can’t.
Now, that said, I do believe that eReaders are the eventual future of this industry. And yes, there were be new avenues for up and coming authors to publish in. But, the publishing industry will continue to be what they are now. Protectors of good books. They are the ones that filter through all the crap to find the good stuff and then put it out there for our consumption. They will continue to do that in the eBook era.
Yes, I have no doubt that there will be lots of self publishing options available, but at some point, most people will realize that if they don’t want to spend the time to filter through crap to find the good stuff, here’s a publishing house that does it for them.
And this, my friends, is why the book and the publishing industry are not going to go away.
At least, in my opinion.