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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Admission: Future of Publishing Unknowable

Finally someone admits it: in this article in Resource Shelf, the author states his belief that the future of publishing is unknowable. So while some publishing analysts agonize over specifics, such as:

  • whether the B&N Nook will overtake the Amazon Kindle before Apple enters the field with one of several hypothetical devices,
  • or whether the brick and mortar stores will survive,
  • or whether *some* form of digital bookselling will win out,

the author of the article suggests that there are too many variables to make a reasonable guess. The variables include shrinking profit margins due to digital technology, the structural transformation of the publishers and sellers due to conglomeration, and rapid cultural changes that obviate serious reading.

Read the short article for more details of this issue, or go to this LA Observed article for yet more detail. The latter article is a summary of a speech given by agent/book editor Steve Wasserman, a former Los Angeles Times book editor.

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