What does the future of publishing look like? – Guest Post by Hillary Peak


What does the future of publishing look like?

Recently, my husband and I rented “The Social Network.”  One of the things that struck me about the movie was the role Shawn Fanning (of Napster fame) played in the establishment of Facebook as the social networking tool.  Then it hit me—Amazon has done for books what Napster did for music.  Napster turned music on its ear (ha ha), pun intended.  Then Apple ran with the idea and gave the music industry a choice:  You can die or change.   No longer do we buy albums, we buy songs we like—all the songs we like for just a little over a dollar.

EBooks came along and are currently saying to the industry, change or die.  Publishing has been doing things the same way for years.  “Vanity” publishing kept writers from becoming authors–the term “vanity” alone showing what the industry thought of those of us who would dare to dream about being on the New York Times bestseller list when we were not chosen by them.  Now, authors are cropping up everywhere.  Anyone with a novel can publish an eBook and just like the music industry, the fans get to decide what is good and what isn’t.  Sure, it is hard to get noticed, but it is now possible to make it.

So, what will this mean?  This weekend, I went to the book store.  Even though I read from my kindle fire, I still love to browse through a book store.  It made me sad that there might come a day when the brick and mortar store doesn’t exist.  In truth, I believe that print publishing will continue to diminish.   My prediction is that print for adults will all but disappear over the next ten to twenty years, but it will remain for children’s books.  Little hands will always want to touch the pages and turn them, but maybe I’m wrong.  After all, the new nook actually reads to children.  Does that mean that my role as parent is in danger too?

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Ritesh: So, what do you think? What does the future hold for the publishing industry? I will pitch in my thoughts in the comments too!

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 About the Author

Hillary Peak is a recovering idealist. She became a lawyer to change the world and is still somewhat shocked that didn’t occur. Now, her goal is to retire from practicing law and write novels that people love.

She is currently a practicing attorney in the District of Columbia. She lives with her family in Alexandria, VA.

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 About Wings of Hope

 The letter said he was dying, that’s all Jules Weinstein knows when she leaves her life in San Francisco and moves to New York City to be with her father.  She goes for the remarkable opportunity to really know her father. She never dreamed he had liberated a concentration camp, dealt cards to Bugsy Siegel or saved the life of a Black Panther.

Wings of Hope is a road trip through the memories of a man making peace with his life.  Little does she know that by getting to know her father, she will find herself.  While her father struggles with whether his life was meaningful, Jules discovers that her father’s last gift to her is the ability to reach for her dreams.  Her journey teacher her that “the goodbye” is sometimes the most heartbreakingly beautiful part of life.

Buy on Amazon:    Paperback    |    Kindle

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12 responses to “What does the future of publishing look like? – Guest Post by Hillary Peak

  1. I think you’re right that brick-and-mortar bookstores are on their way out. And that makes me sad, too. I’m still not over Borders — I’d always preferred them to Barnes & Noble. Anyway, I think we’ll always have *some* dead-tree books published, but eventually I think the vast majority will be e-books before very much longer. But kids? Are you kidding? Kids will be the first adopters — once e-book reader prices come down to less than $50 and parents can consider them throwaway items (another indictment on our culture, but that’s a different rant).

    • You are right, older kids will definitely adopt eBooks. I was thinking of toddlers. My toddler isn’t that interested in my kindle. She prefers her books where she can touch the fur on the animals or pull puzzle pieces out of the book! Hillary

  2. interesting article. Sadly i agree someday there may be no bookstores. I swore i would not fall into this trap and go with an ereader- but alas i did and I do love it– i do still buy books i am an avid collector. but the kindle lets me try new authors with cheap and free reads and carry my entire collection in my purse.

  3. I’ve always been a bookaholic, initially reading them and now writing them. It saddens me that the traditional book is in the decline because I can always remember fondling and stroking my first published book. But like many others I am now epublishing and I really think this is the future of books. Oh, and by the way, I adore my Kindle. Never thought I’d say that, but I do. So, Hilary, I agree wholeheartedly with everything you say.

  4. I love my ereader, but man, I love strolling through a bookstore and discovering something new.

  5. I suspect ultimately, that books in print will be a luxury item for bibliophiles. What concerns me most about eBooks is the issues of device specificity and the fact that you do not own the book–only the right to read the content on a specific platform. Even with electronic music, you can burn it to CD and have a tangible product. Until the book printers come down in price to the point that anyone can easily print the book they want in hard copy, this is not the case with reading eBooks.

  6. Yes, it is great to see your novel in physical print!

  7. Jennifer Phillips-Denny

    I agree with LJ Cohen that print books will become a collector’s item, much like certain albums. I’m recently in the process of importing all of my cds into itunes. My plan is to keep about 10% of the actual artifacts. The same will be the case with books. I’ve almost stopped buying books altogether, instead downloading the ebook to the kindle or the ipad, but there will always be some books that I will want in print on my bookshelf. I don’t worry about ownership. A file is a physical item that we own; however, that is harder for us who are “digital immigrants” to conceptualize! Interestingly, my nine-year-old isn’t jumping on the ebook wagon. I recently downloaded an ebook for him, and he read it with very little mention of the new format. I asked him several times if he was enjoying reading on the kindle, and he just said “sure, it’s good.” He has made no mention of downloading another, but he asked me to take him to Barnes and Noble to get a new book! Thanks for a thought provoking discussion, Hillary!

  8. Wonderful site. A lot of useful information here. I am sending it to some pals ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks for your effort!

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