Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Future of Book Publishing

I've been noticing a large trend in mainstream entertainment whether it's movies, books and even music. But mainly books since it's my stock and trade. ;-)

The entertainment industry needs a jumpstart. It's in a rut and it's seriously on life support.

The numbers even support this with the amount of losses big publishers and bookstores are taking from Harlequin to Borders. Lines are being cut, long time editors are being replaced by cheaper freelance editors just out the gate and pubs are scrambling to make niches to bring in more readers from introducing free ebooks while trying to bring in new authors. I'm all for new authors being given a chance and that's always a plus. But there is still a hold on focusing on the big time authors who always rake in the cash with their readership. Big publishers love to throw money their way for big promotions while newer authors are left to dig in their own pockets for promo money.

But hopefully this is changing.

With the advent of new technology enough to excite a long time sci-fi geek (yours truly included ;-)), the publishing industry is getting some ideas from the small press which is causing the bigger guys to sit up and make some major changes. What does this mean about the future of publishing?

Well, in my brave new world I'd love to see the espresso book machine take off. Borders stores are already getting a similar idea by using Lulu as a book broker to print customers books from instore. Not to mention the big chain has also mentioned their venture into ebooks by coupling with Sony to sell prepaid cards for the Sony CONNECT service that allows users to download eBooks for their Sony Reader.

The industry is definitely in a process of change and it's only a matter of time when we see how much ebooks and small presses will have an effect on mainstream publishing. A lot of publishers are opting to "go greener" by only taking electronic submissions. Many print books are also offered in e-format (some with the same price as the print books which is highway robbery in itself, but I digress). The future of publishing looks pretty bright.

I can't wait to see what they will come up with next. ;-)
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