Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Satisfying Both Sides

Science Fiction./Thriller author William Gibson has an idea that I agree with. (In fact, he probably stole it from me since I’ve already put forth the idea. That is, if he even knew I existed.) Anywho…

I was online reading an interview with him in the Wall Street Journal. WSJ asked him about the future of publishing. He said:
 … the ecological impact of book manufacture and traditional book marketing –- I think that should really be considered. We have this industry in which we cut down trees to make the paper that we then use enormous amounts of electricity to turn into books that weigh a great deal and are then shipped enormous distances to point-of-sale retail. Often times they are remained or returned, using double the carbon footprint. And more electricity is used to pulp them and turn them into more books. If you look at it from a purely ecological point of view, it’s crazy.
When asked how he would do things differently, he said:
My dream scenario would be that you could go into a bookshop, examine copies of every book in print that they’re able to offer, then for a fee have them produce in a minute or two a beautiful finished copy in a dust jacket that you would pay for and take home. Book making machines exist and they’re remarkably sophisticated.
And there you have it. The best of both the print and the E world. I like the idea, even if he did steal it from me. So what do you think?

25 comments:

  1. POD @ the bookstore ~ I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. If they can do it now, why not?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm sure he reads your blog, Helen. Who wouldn't? :)

    Like you say, the POD machine already exists and it should be used. There would be more room in the store to display many more titles too.

    What gripes me the most is the tremendous waste of unsold books destroyed because they didn't sell inside of a short time period.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That would really be the perfect solution, wouldn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like any idea that doesn’t totally get rid of the printed version of books!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I agree with Laura - Gibson must read your blog, who wouldn't?? :):)

    And I agree with Alex too - if they can do it now, why not?
    Judy

    ReplyDelete
  7. I agree with Laura - Gibson must read your blog, who wouldn't?? :):)

    And I agree with Alex too - if they can do it now, why not?
    Judy

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yup. I've been saying all along, that with the critical focus on all that is green, books will go away...but I like this idea. We can still protect the environment and hold our hard covers too! Yea!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I like it and I remember you posting on it. I also like Gibson - he's a smart cookie - but then he'd have to be to come up with such a swell idea. It is obviously a meme and is out there! Yay for memes.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Good ideas, I agree >:)

    BTW, the electronics industry produce an incredible amount of garbage too, with all the gadgets that we replace by new and more sophisticated gadgets after a year or two.

    Cold As Heaven

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sounds like an ideal scenario. Hope it happens.
    karen

    ReplyDelete
  12. The Solution ... and we read it here first. Pre-Gibson :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lolol! Yep you've said it too.

    The machine is in existence but it still needs fine tuning but I do believe it is a way of the future. Book stores are very diversified places of business today anyway. They rarely just sell books. Having the expresso type machine would also offer instant gratification. No waiting for the book to come in, just pick it out, and walk out with it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I agree, Laura.

    That's true, Sia. More and more bookstores sell so much more than books. With the expresso, they could have a wide selection of books. Can you imagine a bookstore with, instead of 300 mysteries (or romance or YA, etc.) a 1,000 to choose from?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Say... I've said this TOO! He's awfully smart for copying us! I think a small initial print run is reasonable--when there is a new release of an anticipated best seller, then having several copies, so a bunch of people can buy it at once makes some sense, but after what is expected to sell ON the day of release, this model makes so much more sense. Stores could offer better variety because they don't have to have tables full of just one book. If something was OUT, you could order it ANYWAY (books would never have to go out of print!!!)

    But that ecological argument is FABULOUS, not to mention the saved MONEY could support investment in more unknown authors.

    ReplyDelete
  16. We are brilliant, aren't we, Hart? And modest, too. ;-D

    ReplyDelete
  17. I agree with Jane Kennedy Sutton!

    ReplyDelete
  18. They introduced those digital book printing machines at Book Expo 2009 - more places need to get them!

    ReplyDelete
  19. It really does make sense, though it's probably going to take awhile to catch on, if it does at all. Enough people either don't like it or haven't heard of it that it's going to be a bumpy road. Although, hey, maybe it'll surprise me and get really, really popular--who knows? Like I said, it really does make a lot of sense!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love, love, LOVE the concept, I just hope they can make the execution work someday.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I think it could work. It'd be rather like going to a huge library and being able to buy any book there, only have a brand new one printed while you browsed.

    ReplyDelete
  22. You're a genius Helen - not that this news surprises me! :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I've had many ideas stoeln from me over the years, even though the recipients probably never heard ofme or red my blog. So I can relate.

    Stephen Tremp

    ReplyDelete
  24. I think that's a brilliant idea. It makes me wonder though - is there a legitimate concern of theft or over printing if each store has the rights and capabilities of doing this? Would there be any merit to that fear? .

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...