But there’s a reason that I’m highlighting this end-of-publishing article out of so many, rather than just slipping it into This Week in Publishing: it’s actually pretty good. It’s dishy and trenchant. Of the articles in this extremely crowded genre, there’s some good information that everyone should definitely check out.
Now, I have confirmed with people who have been in the business longer than me that the “end of publishing as we know it” sentiment has been around as long as they’ve been in the business, with everything from the publishing mergers back in the ’80s and ’90s to that one time Maxwell Perkins ran out of gin being viewed as a harbinger of the publishing apocalypse. So I’m not by any means endorsing the view that we should all just give up and go sell steak knives.
My reaction to the article can be summed up as so: the coming years are indeed going to be tough for publishers as Amazon, Sony and other tech companies muscle in on the publishers’ traditional sphere of distribution. And you can see in the article the pressure to come up with some new means of making books that can deliver consistent margins. But at the same time, this is a time of tremendous opportunity for authors, especially those who can deliver an audience consistently.
But what do you think?