Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Future of Publishing Again

Someone asked my view on e-books, and though I answered in depth at Debbi Mack's place, here's a new summary:

1. Paper books will be around for the rest of our lifetimes, but bookstores will be weird and rare little shops in big cities.

2. Ebooks (and the Internet) will be how most people do their reading by 2020.

3. Reading will continue to decline and books will change as technology evolves, just like everything else about our lives changes.

4. The people who love to smell books and hold books? It's purely nostalgia, which doesn't minimize it, but that's all it is. Some people still love vinyl albums because they think they sound "warmer" and more "authentic." Some people said that about the old wax recording cylinders. People said CDs sounded "sterile." Yet how does almost everyone listen to music? How many home videos are on 8 mm film strips? The essential core of the information and story and entertainment won't change, but the structure will change. Even books themselves have evolved. Don't forget, this all started with sticks in the mud and berry juice on cave walls.

BTW Smashwords just announced an increase of royalties for Kobo, B&N, and the other tiny e-book outlets and also an agency pricing agreement that means those outlets won't be reducing prices anymore.

Also selected winners for Overbite: Blood Lite 2 (congratulations, Vicki Tyley) and for the Pandora's Box of e-books on Twitter. The DM was deleted so I assume that winner does NOT want the 100 free ebooks but I will wait five days before I announce another winner.

I still have some space for free Red Church Kindle copies on my list so please email me if you want a freebie tomorrow sent as a gift via Amazon. I have 26 more copies to give away in thanks for your support on the blog tour.


Weston said...

I pretty much agree with your assessment, as I have said before. I certainly hope this blog tour has helped your writing career and sales. Good luck in the future Scott.

Wakincade AT gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

Very good points. I think as the e-publishing industry grows it will gain more respect and acceptance.
Best of luck with your sales.

author Christa Polkinhorn said...

Good points, except for "people who love to hold and smell books. It's purely nostalgia." It's appreciating the written word in a different way. Call it what you want, but it's real. I wrote something about this on my blog, in case you're interested.

author Scott Nicholson said...

OK Christa, I made the mistake of turning a personal truth into a universal truth! Good blog.

Pat, Weston, I think the people who use e-readers have already accepted them. Very rarely have I heard about someone giving up and going back to paper.


author Christa Polkinhorn said...

Hey, Scott, you have every right to turn a personal truth into a universal one. I may not agree with it, but that's my rebellious nature. Ha.

Cici said...

It is somewhat sad but true. I guess it will be very interesting to see what Borders and B&N will incorporate into their franchise to keep it alive and evolving. I am sure they don't want to end up like many of the small book shops they squashed. I said it before on your tour, I love the actual book. The feel, the cover, the smell, but I will be reading e-books as well. I am sure I will always have on hand the good ole favorites. It will be nice to e-read a book and if it isn't good I won't have the clutter! Just the e-clutter!
Great blog Scott,

Michelle D said...

I don't expect paper books to totally go away in my lifetime. How do you wrap an e-book to go under the Christmas tree? I think there will alway be a market for them, though it will be smaller. As a writer, if I read a good book, I may want to refer back to it one day, so the library is ever expanding. Culling it is painful, and sometimes regretful. I blame it on the genetics of book-loving parents :)