The End of Publishing… Again.
Early this week I had the pleasure of interviewing veteran literary agent and children’s book expert George Nicholson for the Children’s Book Hub. George reminisced about the time when it was thought that paperbacks would ruin the publishing industry, by bringing about the demise of hardcover trade and library books. This sentiment was so widespread that people who were in paperback publishing were treated as pariahs within industry and literary circles.
Of course, we know what happened… paperbacks only served to strengthen the industry, by providing more revenue opportunities for both authors and publishers, and by making books available to a wider audience by virtue of a more accessible price point.
The same level of panic occurred when television was invented – it was to be the end of the film industry. But now, actors, writers, directors, producers, designers and technicians have exponentially more opportunities… and all the more so since the advent of video, then DVDs, and now webcasting.
Why does this all matter? Because in George’s view, all this anxiety about e-publishing signaling the end of books is just more of the same. George is an esteemed elder in the publishing industry, with decades of experience and perspective. And he’s excited about the impact of new media and technology on publishing. He views it as yet another huge opportunity for his clients, and for everyone in the industry. And he’s looking forward to being involved. Me, too.
How about you?