Monday, October 29, 2007

The Future of Books

More news about the death of traditional books. This time it’s from Great Britain. The article doesn’t go so far as to ring the death bell, but you can imagine their hands reaching for the pull rope since the title of the article is: Electronic Books the Future of Publishing.

“…publishers are turning to digital books in an attempt to attract younger audiences.”

True enough. Young people are much more likely to use digital books or books downloaded to their laptops than are older folks.

“HarperCollins is leading the digital revolution with the launch of a service that allows people to download the first 10 pages of the first two chapters of forthcoming books onto the Apple iPhone.”

That doesn’t sound like wrenching people away from print books. Sounds more like luring people into buying the hard copy.

"Far from causing the book industry's downfall, free access to electronic versions of novels has the potential to be its saviour. And to publishers, struggling for relevance in a digital age, that should be music to their ears."

Agreed. There’s no going back to the dark ages before computers. The digital age is here to stay. But while it may save publishers, I’m not totally convinced it’s good for writers. I think there is still work to be done to protect writers’ rights.


  1. I read e-books almost exclusively because my poor vision makes reading print extremely difficult. I don't think e-books will replace p-books but will just create another alternative, one more choice among hardcover, paperback, audio, electronic.

  2. Caroline- UNCW student10/30/2007 9:08 AM

    I think it's true that younger people are more likely to use electronic books, because they are on electronics more. And the point about the iphone is convenient. However, I feel like no one, not even the younger generation, would rather read a book than a screen. I'm 21, and I'm sitting in my publishing class and we're all looking for publishing blogs. I read yours to them and asked them what they thought. They said that they only read online books, when it's free and hard to find otherwise. They are convenient. I think they help, but are not a substitute. I don't think there can be a substitute. Electronic books will work with our traditional books but not take over... Hopefully.

  3. Thanks Lillie. Do you read your e-books on your computer or with a handheld reader? I've never read an e-book but I can see it as an alternative. Another way to get or keep people reading!

  4. I agree with you Caroline. No way to turn back the clock and there are people who prefer e-books (Lillie, for example). I prefer printed books. But sometimes I wonder if even I will change. I used to think I couldn't write unless I had a pen and notepad. Now I prefer the computer. I used to do research in the library, now I go online. Right now I like printed or audio books, but will I change to only e-books? I hesitate to predict, but I hope not.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...