Sunday, March 21, 2010

End of Publishing?

Times are changing and with it, so is the publishing business. For some people this is an exciting time. Others worry.

This discussion came up in our latest SCBWI meeting. We talked about how the music industry made the change, but really struggled and resisted it at first. It was I-Tunes who found a way and changed it all.

One of the guys in our group said the key for the book industry is similar. Publishing houses need to provide what I-Tunes does for the music and film industry, which he thought would be to charge less for an e-book than the real book. Get people to take the impulse buy. If it's affordable, people will buy them.

Interesting. Because the reality is, things are changing. The question is, how will it change and can we evolve to make the business even better. I really believe that those who take the plunge will be successful like Apple has been with I-Tunes.

Yet admist all that, DK has put together an awesome video. If you have 2 minutes, watch it! But don't stop halfway, you'll see why because it's a great twist midway through.

What do you think? What will make the publishing business more successful? What can we do as authors to be cutting edge?

Picture by: Kenneth Sponsler


Bish Denham said...

I saw this recently. It's great! I'm not sure what I think about e-books, although no doubt in time they will be the norm. However authors should get a nice royaltiy since they are cheaper to produce.

Unknown said...

I know times are changing but I still love buying books in the store, I don't think I'll ever change, ebooks personally are not for me, I love flipping through the pages and the smell of new books.

I think as long as the authors are happy with their royalties there is no reason to be upset.

Unknown said...

OMG! Irony! This is the subject of all my posts next week!!!

Tabitha said...

I am on vacation and typing this from my phone, so this will be brief. But I had to say that I completely agree. I know it costs more to produce an e-book than what most people think, and the problem is that most people aren't willing to pay that. I'm not, because I have to buy an expensive reader on top of it. And what happens if that reader is broken? I'm out the cost of the reader, plus all my books (unless there is now a backup method). So, to me and many others, it's not worth it.

But if there was a cheap avenue to e-books, like iTunes, I'd be all over it.

Marcia said...

Technology moves so fast, so it's hard to predict just what we'll be doing five little years from now. But I agree that there'll have to be some breakthrough invention/concept. Real book lovers aren't yet ready to trust everything to an expensive piece of equipment with questionable screen quality that may or may not be readable while resting on the lap and can go on the fritz or be lost or stolen and there goes your whole LIBRARY. And people don't realize ebooks can't be sold as cheaply as they want them -- not yet, anyway. I'm pretty adaptable, but when the day comes that we do EVERYTHING on a screen...I hope I'm no longer here.

Kelly Polark said...

I can see the appeal of ebooks, but staring at a computer type screen to read seems more like work than relaxing to me. I'll be buying books I can hold in my hand for a while.
Great video!

Rena Jones said...

The only e-book I've bought is curriculum for school. And for that, I LOVE it! I was able to buy one book and print up three copies for us, so I can see how that would benefit the education industry. I've seen some picture books as e-books and as a parent, I just can't get into those yet. Maybe I will ... someday.

Christina Farley said...

Yes, it's all so interesting. But I don't think actual books will ever go away. We'll always have those I hope! But I think limiting ourselves to just having hard copies is limiting ourselvers.

I'm like you Jen and love the feel of the pages between my fingers and holding it in my hands. But I have to realize that not everyone is like that or that I might be in the airport, bored and I'd like to read something.

Having my i-pad and being able to pick any book out there at a low cost is so handy.

Christina Farley said...

Beth- I can't wait to read it!
Tabitha- have an awesome vacation. I'm on spring break right now. Love breaks!
Kelly- glad you liked the video
Bish- you are so right. There needs to be a way to make it worthwhile for all.
Marcia- yes, technology is changing fast. We just are waiting for the right person to find a way to make it happen like apple did with I-Tunes!

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MG Higgins said...

The video never came up for me (I think it's on my end--my computer is hiccuping today). I'm comfortable with the new technology--in fact I'm excited by it, since I do almost all my reading electronically. Buying books this way is sooo easy. There really is an impulse element to it, which can't be a bad thing.