Monday, October 5, 2009

Year One AP (After Print)

Okay. Let’s do a little think tanking. Let’s talk about year zero. We don’t know when it will be we only know its arrival is inevitable. Might be in ten years, might be in thirty, but, as stated in a recent Newsweek article, the train is on the tracks and screaming toward the print publishing industry. Year zero is the year that the last two print pubs collapse (has to be two - it takes two to Tango) under a burden of debt and a business model that is older than plane travel and automobiles.



Sure. There will still be pint books. They’ll be consigned to the same arena as cigarettes. They’ll be special order, only for those that can afford them, and rarely seen. The print industry, the one discussed in the trades, the one that the e-pubbed New York Times will still be naming the e-best sellers for, will be found in cloud networking and the world wide web.

So there it is. E-book is the norm, the standard, not the exception. Each year there will be more new books than ever. Just like YouTube and their bevy of garage (read bedroom) recorded original works and covers, anyone that wants can stick their toe into the river of electronic books and get their name out there.

And a new revolution lurks just over the horizon for e-books. Sound, movie clips, pictures, and links. Imagine turning the page on a Stephen King book, the part where the kids are sneaking into the cemetery late at night to do whatever Mr. King has bid them to such a place to do, and the soft sound of crickets, breaking branches, rustling leaves, and wind can be heard. Or the heroine is standing on the edge of a cliff watching the sunset. The waves of the Pacific pounding against the rocks below can be heard. Kids playing. Gulls windsailing just out of reach.

Links to other books, other characters in other books, covers of other books, internet ‘places of interest’ that can bring a new dimension to the reading experience…if the reader feels so inclined. A faded video, like a ghost, runs as the watermark of the page just barely visible with thirty second loops of highlights for that particular page.

Books will become multi-media events and not just words on a page.




The price of a book will be somewhere around a dollar. The pirate wars will have been fought and won through technology. Sure, just like the print pub industry, the pirates will be out there, but there will be an entire navy of industry ships sailing their seas (because the electronic book industry is now one of importance – just like movies and music) and freeing books held hostage on some ass-talk server in the Ukraine will be a priority. Maybe the publisher everyone wants to be with will be the one with the lowest pirate to sales rate.

So. Here we are. Year zero (which is actually year one as years are counted. The date may be 2009 but we’re in the twenty-first century.

Now what? What will it be like for us, the lowly of the lowliest? The wanna be writer struggling to get our books seen on Fictionwise when the likes of Brown and King have taken over the front page.

Year one could be as close or as far away as we make it.

What do you see year one AP (after print)?


Thanks for dropping by.  Leave me your thoughts.  Who knows, I might write a book about them. 



Roscoe James


Alanna Coca said...

Who will I get to voice the sounds of my love scenes? I'd better get to work interviewing.

We're on the cusp of something really great. I'm excited!

Great post RJ

Gem Sivad said...

Nice blog RJ. Sounds like the way is clear and the road open. Whooeee! I like the sound of this ride.


Roscoe James said...

Thanks for dropping by ladies. Course, this is all just speculation. Wild speculation. Flights of fancy.

I think the real bottom line will be - there will be change. Not just change, drastic change.

What then?

Christa said...

The way you describe the new technology of books makes me want to go buy one of the cool video, media, text stories RIGHT NOW.

I can even imagine how this will help students struggling through required reads like Scarlet Letter or War and Peace. Who needs Cliff's Notes when embedded video is there to help!

(Can't forget to mention the hot romance novels with some passionate exchanges!)

It will surely be interesting to see how the changes take place.

Thanks for a thought provoking blog, RJ.