The Future of the E-Book

Interesting column at “The Idea Logical Blog” trying to get a handle on the upcoming issues for publishing arising out of the digital revolution. The blog raises 15 issues; the commentary by readers immediately adds more. (Thanks to M. D. Benoit for pointing column out.)

I’d love to be a fly on the wall at either the Digital Book World conference or the Tools of Change Conference mentioned in the blog; I’ve wanted to attend/present at the more academic Future of the Book conferences but the conference sites have mostly been overseas and too expensive for me to get to. But no question we live in exciting times, even though I strongly believe that repeated announcements of the imminent demise of the paper-based book are premature — you and I will be reading paper books for a long time to come.

What may be under imminent threat is the current publishing model. (I almost wrote “old publishing model” but the truth is the current model of giant monopolistic corporate publishers is relatively recent — we may in fact be moving towards something that looks a lot more like the good old days of multiple small, editor-based publishing houses of fifty years ago.) The giant legacy publishers may have to rethink how they do business if they wish to survive, but the book itself is just fine.

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