Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Future?

No one knows the future of publishing. No matter who they are, no matter what they say, no one KNOWS what's going to happen next. Anyone who says otherwise is simply engaging in wishful thinking. Sure, they might have a few educated guesses that turn out to be accurate, but it's all prognostication.

What is certain? Ebooks aren't going anywhere. And neither is Amazon. Are they the evil empire that should be fended off with dangerous assaults in spacecraft? No. Are they doing anything questionable? Maybe.

What does that mean for the future of publishing? Really, it means that EVERYONE needs to be better educated than they used to be. Authors need to know their options. Agents need to be willing to support their clients REGARDLESS of which direction they choose to go, while giving advice that will guide those authors in the best direction for their career. More importantly, editors need to EMBRACE technology. Period. Any refusal to adapt to the ebook revolution will result in the end of their business.

Not overnight, sure, but look at the music industry. I grew up working inside the music industry, and when the digital world tried to engulf music, it ended the Big Labels' power-hold on artists. Up until that point, the labels owned EVERYTHING an artist did unless they were savvy enough to hold out for the best deal. Don't believe me? Ask Prince.

Do I like solid, printed books better? Yes. Will I ever buy an ereader? Eventually. That's where the future is headed. We can burry our heads in the sand and say, "The iPod was a perfect storm phenomenon. It could NEVER happen with books." Or, we could do what millions of authors, small-press publishers, and readers are already doing: embrace the change. Don't fear it, figure out how to work with it.

Believe what he says? Check above. This is ALL opinion on Giles' part. Educated guess, sure, but feel free to call him out on it if/when it's proven wrong. Though it probably won't be. The rocket-booted wizard is smarter than he looks.

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