I ran across a fun article this week in McSweeney’s entitled “The Future of Books” which I thought I would share with you. There is no question that this is written tongue-in-cheek, but I found it particularly meaningful in a week when some big events happened that certainly are representative of the exciting things that are transpiring in our business.
First thing was that Barry Eisler decided to cancel a half-million-dollar, two-book deal with his publisher to self-publish, primarily electronically. This played out in the media and during an interesting and enlightening conversation between Eisler and our client Joe Konrath. Then, later in the week, Amanda Hocking who has been selling her young adult paranormal books very successfully online decided that she wanted to auction her new series to a traditional publisher rather than self-publish, saying that she feels that self- publishing has its limits.
This is a subject that is going to inspire debate and probably some significant change in the way publishers, agents, and authors do business over the coming months and years. Everything in this area seems to be moving very fast. In my opinion, all of this change is interesting and exciting in a business that has been more or less stagnant for many years. As I have said before, I think reading will be on the upswing as will writing—hopefully good writing.
I would love to know what you think.