njlauren is online now
Join Date: Dec 2011
It is an interesting article, and one with a lot of food for thought. I think that traditional publishers are going to be there, in part because for print books they still control things, in terms of distribution and such, and that isn't that easy to replace. I don't think e-books are going to replace print books any time soon, in a sense it has developed its own space. Among other things, it has allowed a lot of authors to get published and become successful that likely would never get out of the bone pile at a traditional publisher, there are all kinds of urban fantasies and erotic romances that the ex English majors who work at publishers would sneer at likely.
Likewise, publishers are either trying to push the 'great books', like Don Delilo, or are pushing the books of known brands, like Stephen King or someone like him and they want to play it as safe as possible, so e-books kind of act as a farm system for them, to find and develop new authors without them having to do anything, other then sign them once they are successful.
I have to be honest, I have little love for the traditional publishing industry, it is inbred, it to me has a lot of people running them that either are publishing the same old swill from the same authors, and where like most behemoths are afraid of the new, or they are busy trying to tell us to read stuff that is 'good for us', you know, the kinds of books only English majors read (me, I take great books with a pound of salt, remembering Mark Twain's words, that the great books are books people think they should read, but don't want to *lol*), but it does have a place, as traditional books will and yes, so will bookstores.
Barnes and Noble screwed up because they created the bookstore equivalent of TV news, it is this bland, homogenized, space pretending to be hip, so they have the cafe, mimicking what independent bookstores once did, they have book groups, they have authors circles, but somehow it is a pale imitation. Borders tried to be different but in the end they became a shell, too.
I think what eventually will happen is it will reach some sort of dynamic equilibrium, where all the forms will find their place. About the only thing I think that is gonna change is pricing on e-books, I would love someone to explain to me how an e-book sells for more than the paperback, and do so with a straight face. They can't argue it is the cost of advertising and promoting the book, or editing it, since it is the same book, and if they try to tell me the expense of keeping it on the server and having you download it, I'll be the one choking to death laughing at that one....the one factor the article doesn't address is that standard publishers with e-books are playing a game with them, and that that may be why e-books don't necessarily sell more, you make it economically unattractive, and people won't buy it.