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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Are Books Dead? Can Authors Survive?

What do you think? Here are some interesting reads around the rise of ebooks and the effects of ebooks on writing and publishing.

Books Dead, and Can Authors Survive?

"Will books, as we know them, come to an end?Yes, absolutely, within 25 years the digital revolution will bring about the end of paper books. But more importantly, ebooks and e-publishing will mean the end of "the writer" as a profession. Ebooks, in the future, will be written by first-timers, by teams, by speciality subject enthusiasts and by those who were already established in the era of the paper book. The digital revolution will not emancipate writers or open up a new era of creativity, it will mean that writers offer up their work for next to nothing or for free. Writing, as a profession, will cease to exist."

For the rest of this article in The Guardian check out Are Books Dead, and Can Authors Survive?

The End of Authorship

Published: June 25, 2006
"Booksellers, you are the salt of the book world. You are on the front line where, while the author cowers in his opium den, you encounter — or "interface with," as we say now — the rare and mysterious Americans who are willing to plunk down $25 for a book. Bookstores are lonely forts, spilling light onto the sidewalk. They civilize their neighborhoods. At my mother's side I used to visit the two stores in downtown Reading, Pa., a city then of 100,000, and I still recall their names and locations — the Book Mart, at Sixth Street and Court, and the Berkshire News, on Fifth Street, in front of the trolley stop that would take us home to Shillington."

For the rest of the article check out article in New York Times by John Updike

We deserve a better deal from digital publishing

"Writers of the world arise! It's time to throw off the shackles of traditional publishing contracts and face a brand new digital future with a brand new set of priorities. Let's copy or, should I say, learn from our brothers and sisters in Hollywood: don't let the industry take our digital rights away! Give us our digital dues! In the shift from print to digital, writers are in danger of losing out big time.

Here in the UK, the book industry is suddenly waking up to the idea that there are many potential new platforms for content, aside from that much loved and reliable old technology, the book.

Ebook readers, such as the Kindle, which store hundreds of books at a time; ever more sophisticated phones that can handle and display content beautifully; computers we can't bear to be parted from that can morph from television portal to e-reader to web browser and back again; there will come a day when we will ask ourselves: why did I think filling up my tiny house with dusty old books was a good idea?"

For the rest of the article check out article by Kate Pullinger in The Guardian


  1. I believe the publishing world will go through massive changes. I'm anxiously awaiting the outcome. Great post. :)

  2. Lyn - what worries me the most about the first article is that us writers will simply be "content" for advertising. We hardly get paid our due as it is, and the future doesn't bode well for any improvement.
    The model is slanted agains the author. Hire bunches and bunches of authors for lots of books, they all make peanuts, but the publisher makes a lot.
    Lynne scratches head. Why do we do this again? Or for the love of writing - certainly not for the salary!
    Okay, off soapbox.

  3. Lynne - yes - I get the concern. Writing for the love of it is our salvation - I see for myself if I am writing to earn a living at it, may not happen (although can always dream of best selling which could still be big bucks). I am of two minds and like Ciara, I am awaiting outcome with the possibility of new openings for authors as well.


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