Let me preface this post with an important declaration: I am not an expert on business, nor am I an insider on the in's and out's of publishing. The closest I come to professional experience with this subject matter is that I managed a comic book store and I worked as lead at Barnes and Noble - I am a writer and a teacher, not an editor or businessperson. However, I find the current transition taking place in the world of publishing fascinating. Ever since I first began reading about Amazon.com's Kindle I have been interested in the future of paper as the medium for books, newspapers, and magazines in an increasingly digital world. Furthermore, I am armed with two things that justify this blogs existence: I love to read and I have a point of view. Those two things I hope will make up for my lack of experience in the business side of publishing.
The goals for this blog are as follows:
- To act as a news aggregate and have links to other websites that have interesting articles, essays, etc. on the subject.
- To review books that that discuss the future roll of the printed word.
- To provide a forum for substantive discussion.
- To offer commentary and historical perspective (My graduate work was in History so this goal plays to more of my strengths).
- To have interviews with relevant authors, critics, and, hopefully, publishing insiders.
- To analyze and review the various devices that are reshaping the future of publishing such as the Kindle, the Nook, and the Ipad.
- To explore the news avenues of artistic expression and information exchange provided by e-publishing and other digital based writing.
- To examine how the changes in print-based publishing will effect similar industries such as newspapers, comic books, and book stores.
My perspective on the subject:
I personally love paper. I have owned a kindle and currently own an Ipad and a smart phone and do a lot of my reading, particularly of news, on these devices. But when it comes to books I prefer the paper. I even subscribe to the LA Times because I love reading an actual paper in the morning (and I like to do the crossword puzzle). However, my love of paper does not mean that I am opposed to the digital transition that is currently taking place - and that has really been taking place since the invention of the computer. I see the potential value of the new e-readers even as I silently lament the loss of a beloved medium. I think that it is this perspective that will help in the future of this blog. Too many of the discussions I have seen on the subject offer angry hyperbole and mocking derision from both sides of the issue. I have read tech-loving bloggers dismiss books as antiquated relics while equally hostile book loves argue that the nothing short of civilization is being lost by the changes in publishing and demand a moratorium on technologies invasion of world of the letters. My hope is that this blog will be accessible to both sides and hopefully offer a middle ground to examine and debate the future of the printed word without muddying the waters with a lot of angry rhetoric. I invite all perspectives as long as they abide by that simple doctrine.