Thursday, March 25, 2010

Books, Books, Books

I assume we all read. Reading is important to writing, it is food for our process. They inform us as to what the industry is doing, and are the best escape created.

Well, movies/shows and video games also begin to offer writers' inspiration. Suddenly books are a part of a wider venue for written media than has ever existed before. This is affecting how books are sold and even what books are. While most people--especially us bookworms--do not buy e-books, that there is a trend toward e-books is certain. They won't take over by tomorrow. But certainly as far as nonfiction goes, e-books make sense.

What about novels?

I think its a question of context, and personally I'm waiting for technology to improve/integrate a bit more before I branch out to "e-books." Yes, branch out--as a reader I do not expect to ever leave print behind. But i can see particular instances where e-books are more practical.

A colleague of mine on this blog mentioned the downfall of globalism...because of corporations' failure, and I want to expand on this idea. I will disagree slightly. I think that what is currently happening is that the consolidation of corporations feeds the globalism and forces independent publishers (who will need to include e-book editions in order to compete with the Big Six) to go global as well. It is far easier to outsource now than ever before.

As booksellers (small stores as well as big corporate ones) go online, marketing, design, etc are outsourced. With publishing, the printers may well be on another continent entirely. In order to gain that salary, and that profit, you might need to be capable of selling to Canada at the very least. We are becoming at once more localized and more global. It is the same dichotomy as our Real Life and Online existence. We are both. Understanding the paradox of our existence will be essential to understanding the future of the industry. The small publisher will, at some point, be selling their books to English speakers/readers all over the world. The resources used to create the books, and perhaps even the printers, may come from very far away. Yet, somehow, the connection of people in this manner provides a tighter global network. This is provided that the internet produces the cottage-industry success I believe is "possible."

"Possible" is different from what may actually happen... still, I think as a reader and aspiring writer that the industry will be incredibly different in a decade. All we can do right now is wait and see what direction things go in. Until then, I am buying half my books (print) from Amazon. Sorry publishers, I like the pre-order option and the fact that I can order from my house. :D



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