A Look at eBooks and the Publishing Industry

by Rachel Baker on November 9, 2010

While looking for this week’s featured video (look over at the right of this page and you’ll see in the sidebar “Featured Video” – this changes weekly), I ran across the online version of Author magazine.

Browsing through the articles, I found one on a topic I’ve been thinking a lot about. The article, The Rise of the “Fearsome” e-Book – What Does It Mean for You? written by Erin Brown, is geared towards authors, but has some interesting insight into what eBooks mean to authors and publishers.  Her take: Authors, you have nothing really to worry about, and in fact you should be thrilled.

Here is an excerpt Ms. Brown uses to get her point across:

Do you remember dear reader, the fear years and years ago about boxed wine replacing traditional bottles of wine? Oh, yes, my friend, this formidable new cardboard technology could keep wine fresh for over a month after opening (!!!!) and contained much more wine that a typical glass bottle. And it was dirt cheap in comparison to most bottled wine. I know! What could be better? Why would people stick with bottles when they could have more functional, cheaper, and simply better box containers? If you don’t remember the vineyards’ fear of the encroaching “Mighty Wine Box,” you’re not alone. But it existed, and here we are, decades later, still enjoying our bottles of wine (well, unless you’re in college; then Box ’O Wine is heaven on earth—the sweet pink nectar in its space-age foil bag—but I digress). And years from now, readers will still be clutching beautiful, bound books in our grubby little hands, devouring the pages as we turn them—with our own fingers and without the help of an arrow button. Oh, and while I’m on the topic, who stopped going to movies when they bought a television? Anyway, you get the idea. The ebook does not mean the end of traditionally printed books, and even if it eventually does, which I hope it won’t, the medium will change, but not the art.

I loved the analogy of the box o’ wine in regards to the eBooks will be the death of books as we know it argument.

Here’s the link for the article.

Take some time to read it.  Its not too long and I think she makes some great points about the art of writing and how while the mediums may change, the art of storytelling will not die:

It just goes to show that brilliant writers and storytellers will always find a place for their work in this modern age and are still being celebrated for their craft and talent, no matter how their books are published, and that is what matters.


Erin Brown worked as an editor in New York City for over eight years. She recently left Manhattan to start her own freelance editorial business. To learn more about Erin, visit her website at www.erinedits.com

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