I’ve discovered two more voices warning about the digital wolf at traditional publishing’s door. Passive Guy and through him, Dave Farland. Both of these guys are measured and reasoned in their approach. They make rational arguments that don’t seem (to me, at least) to be full of hyperbole or bombast. They make powerful arguments in favor of transitioning to e-publishing sooner rather than later.
Make sure you read Farland’s post from May 11, 2011, “Weekly Kick — Perhaps the Most Important Kick You’ll Ever Read.”
I really like going into bookstores and thumbing through the books. It’s a pleasure deeply rooted in my soul. But the information I’ve been reading lately is making me quite doubtful that the publishing landscape will look familiar ten years from now. The time lags built into the industry make me question whether it makes sense to contract with a company that may not remain viable long enough to edit, produce, and distribute my work. (Not all publishers will fail, of course. Many will survive — but which ones?) Worse, the economic pressures on publishers and agents are apparently pushing some of them into ethically questionable practices.
I think a lot of us have seen ebooks as a good supplement to print publication — at least I did. The fact is, it’s a major format now, and growing.
Having grown up reading science-fiction I’ve read my share of post-apocalyptic stories. If civilization falls and the power grid fails, our only source of knowledge will be paper books. Until that happens, though, it looks like ebooks are the future.