In March of last year I published a post called Why I’m Optimistic About the Future of Books, wherein I discussed the idea that despite the then-current difficulties of the business (which have morphed into still-current difficulties), ultimately e-books and the Internet are great things for books and everything will be fine. Everyone has a shot, people have more opportunities than ever to find the books they want to read, and eliminating distribution barriers will mean that books are not sent into drawers never to be heard from again.
And in fact, I gave a speech on said subject just a few months ago at the Central Coast Writers Conference.
So. Now that I’ve jumped ship and left the publishing industry for the tech world, how do I really feel?
Um. Well. The same way.
I really think the present is good for books and the future is good for books. People love to read books, they’re not going anywhere, and the Internet is making it easier to find great books. Me leaving the business is not a sign that I think everything is heading down the tubes.
Sure, change is disruptive and this isn’t to overlook the significant challenges the industry will face as we move into the new era. And in future posts I’ll outline some of the obstacles I see coming down the pike (spoiler alert: I think agents and publishers will still be around in the new era).
But as a reader and as an author, I really do think it’s a wonderfully exciting time for books. Authors have a chance to reach out to their readers like never before, readers have an opportunity to discover books they may not have heard of before, and technology will enable books to be delivered faster and more cheaply than ever before.
And that’s still pretty great.