19 January 2014

Looking Into The Crystal Ball

imageOur theme, where publishing is going, is pretty much anybody's guess. Back when I started writing, paper books and magazines were the only way to go. Okay, I admit I still love the feel and smell of a paper book. But things have changed rapidly in the last few years, and not only with publishing. Remember Superman ducking into a phone booth to change? No matter how smart a phone is, it won't offer cover for costume donning. Now almost everybody has a cell phone—and they can be life saving in an emergency. Which is why I got my, not smart, cell in the first place.
I have to be honest, I was dragged into the computer age kicking and screaming. My first encounter with a computer terrified me. I was sure I'd push the wrong button and blow the entire building to smithereens. Slowly I learned to use the thing, and then I began to like the thing. Today, my laptop and I have a love-hate relationship. I love what it does, but sometimes I want to throw it out the window.
The same is true of electronic publishing. Yes, I was once one of those paper snobs who believed e-publishing wasn't REAL publishing. Once  again, time proved me wrong. Today I've had short stories, novellas, and novels published electronically. And I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. Electronic is the way to go.
Does that mean I believe the future will be paperless? That all reading material will be electronic? Let me look into my crystal ball and tell you.
I see electronic publishing growing and changing in ways we can't imagine right now, and in many ways staying the same—a different version of paper books and magazines. Paper isn't going anywhere, at least not anytime soon. There are too many people who prefer paper, and who dislike or even hate computers and spinoffs like tablets and e-readers. Still, e-books are going to be a bigger and bigger part of the publishing pie. I have two books available in both paper and electronic formats. The e-books outsell the paper by a huge margin, and I hear the same from my writer friends.
It's hard to believe, but electronic reading material is only a few years old. Try to remember that when you see typos and format issues in e-books. We as authors, and our publishers, are still learning. And besides, NY Times bestselling hardcovers have typos too.
It's true, you know, sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Have a great week!
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