“Print is dead.”
You’ve probably heard this before. Many believe this statement is the end-all for this form of publishing. On the other hand, there are publishers everywhere breathing a sigh of relief as they read of the abatement of the eBook trend. The constant tug-of-war between these mediums points to a larger problem: the out-dated, over-complicated, and increasingly expansive system through which people publish their written work. Of course, we can point to the emergence of new technologies and industries as a primary reason for the convolutedness of the publishing industry. But what can be done?
Publishing needs to be better equipped for the future. How so? Recently, there has been an onslaught of all forms of publishing at is grows with technology. Ebooks, audiobooks, and gamified books have been increasing in sales over recent years. Keeping up with these technologies and new methods of consuming literature has been central to the growth of the publishing industry as a whole.
The industry needs to keep the format of published material up-to-date.Publishers, writers, and readers could all benefit from an industry-wide restructuring. Gaming is one sector of the many creative industries that publishing could learn a thing or two from. The industry is simple, uncluttered, and efficient. There are few intermediaries which keeps the system simple. In addition, the design industry makes use of online licensing for images. This puts content directly from the hands of creators into the hands of buyers. Perhaps as technology grows, publishing can make use of the online tools available to simplify an overly complex industry.
With an inundated market, as with any industry or any product for that matter, content and intellectual property is often more important than the format of that content. While it is true that one form might be more convenient for someone, no one is going to read a poorly-written eBook just because they can get it quickly on their phone rather than taking time to go to the library and get a print version of a best-seller. As they say, “Content is king.” There are plenty of excellent works out there today. With the internet it is easier than ever to gain access to great writing.
The future of publishing looks hopeful. With all the new forms out there, the possibilities seem endless. However, we must make use of these new technologies and opportunities to make the most of publishing in this new century. Creative minds, developers, programmers – people from all industries can work together on improving publishing for current writers and those who have yet to step foot in the publishing industry.