Will book publishing follow the path of the music and movie industries?
When people look at the future of book publishing they often draw parallels to music and video. In many ways this is instructive, but not in all cases.
Look at the history of music. With music there were 78-rpm records, cassettes, 8 tracks, vinyl records, CD, and iTunes/iPods.
Next consider the progression of video. With video there were Beta tapes, VHS tapes, video disks, DVD, and Blue Ray.
Both show a user progression of format and consumption to the digital realm. One might conclude, therefore, that printed word will give way to the digital word, that print books will cede to digital books, be it e-books or audio.
I don’t see that happening, at least not completely.E-readers and audio books will never completely replace the printed word. Click To Tweet
To say that e-readers will completely replace printed books is like saying iTunes will replace concerts or Blue Ray will replace theater. It’s not going to happen.
True, e-readers may one day dominate the reading public’s preference, but just as there will always be demand for concerts and theater, so too for the printed word. The key for authors and publishers is to embrace both options, not pick sides.
As a reader, do you prefer print or digital? As a writer should you care?
Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!