Thursday, March 15, 2012

We Once Were Book Worms

photo courtesy of Dan and
   In this day an age of electronic everything, including eBooks, are we seeing the end of the bound paper book? It has been a discussion that I have had with several people, authors and readers alike. The end for the traditional book is near. People are no longer interested in driving to the local book store for the newest release. They are perfectly happy to sit at home on their computers, or in the park, or on the subway if they wanted and click the buy now button. Their book of choice is downloaded and ready to read in seconds and they didn't waste an ounce of gas.

   What does this mean for booksellers and publishers alike? Well, unfortunately it means adapting. Some scoff at the idea that digital will be the only way you can buy books in the near future, but the trend is here to stay. Barns and Noble are putting in their fair share to the eBook revolution. Bringing out the Nook and vamping up their digital market. While their digital shelves are doing fine, their store fronts are closing in many cities across the nation.

   Publishers that won't wake up to the digital age will soon be waking up to find themselves out of a job. There have been rumors of some mid level publishers pulling books from Amazon's shelves in retaliation to Amazon's KDP service. While this speaks volumes for how publishers feel about Amazon and other companies opening the virtual publishing doors, it won't save them. In the end it's like every other revolution, you can fight it, but you probably won't win.

   For self published authors the eBook revolution has remade how we live our lives, how we write our books, and how we find the sliver of validity not from a publisher, but from our readers. To me that is the best kind of validation. Not some high nosed corporate bureaucrat telling me my work is good enough. It's the readers who decide who is worth reading, and what kind of things they want to read.

   Yes the end of the bound paper book may be at an end,(don't tell my cupboard full of treasured favorites that,) but a new and exciting era is about to begin. While most of us book worms will miss the smell of musty paper and fresh pressed bindings, we also revel in the fact that what we want is at the tip of our fingers anytime we want it.Until next time,

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