There is a lot of talk about the future of publishing, and acknowledgement that the world of publishing is at the theshold of something new, but no one as yet knows what that ‘something new’ is going to encompass. I had some thoughts about this last night.
1. I don’t think paper books are ever going to go away. I think the way of the future will be a world where be buy paper books and ebooks.
2. I think the ebook outlet is extremely suitable to mid-length fiction (i.e. novellas). Since it seems that a lot of people read ebooks when they’re commuting, I feel that the trend will be towards shorter ebooks and even short stories.
3. I think that ereaders will very soon be overlapped by the iphone. I won’t bother getting an ereader when they (finally!) become freely available in Australia. I will probably end up getting an iphone, though.
4. I don’t understand why there aren’t a lot of publishers taking on lots & lots of writers and banging out lots of different titles as POD books. It’s the perfect way to expand a publisher’s list, *and* keep the titles in print. I’ve been on the verge of going this way myself, but I have published and sold books, and at the moment I just want to write and promote my own stuff. I just wish there was someone locally diving into a project like this.
5. Self-publishing is all very well, but I feel there needs to be a stamp-of-approval system to make sure readers don’t buy poorly edited books (and come away from the experience disappointed).
6. The above minimum-cost publisher could provide such a service (at no cost to the author).
7. I believe POD and ebooks combined is the way of the future.
8. The losers in this process are going to be: literary agents, large publishers and all the large printing companies in Hong Kong and India, whose spam I get in my inbox every day.