We all remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books as kids where you suddenly time travel to the Civil War and you have to decide whether to get on the raft across the river or run away and you have to flip to page 97 to find out if you survived?
Well, should you be intrepid enough to, uh, click on a few links, you’re about to Choose Your Own E-book Adventure. Ready the time machine!
I know, I know, some of you are saying, another e-book post. Here’s the thing: some of the most common questions I receive these days are along the lines of, “What’s going to happen to authors/agents/publishers in the e-book era? Are publishers going to survive? What does it mean for authors?”
And while I try to give a reasonable answer, in the back of my mind I’m thinking, “Well, that depends on lots and lots of factors that are impossible to know at this point.” It’s really hard to look into the future when X, Y, and Z could throw the whole future into a wildly different outcome. The future might look basically like what we have now, with the major publishers distributing most of the books electronically through e-book stores, or it could look wildly different than that, with the e-book vendors or device makers or some combination being the main game in town.
So. I thought I’d turn some of those variables into a couple different guesses about what different versions of our publishing future might look like. Ready to play? Here we go:
It’s 2010. Right now e-books comprise only 3-5% of sales, but some people think e-books represent the future of the book business and will eventually comprise the majority of sales.
Do you think this will happen?