Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Future of Book Publishing -- Maybe

BEA attendees have seen the possible future of book publishing -- maybe -- they're not all enthusiastic about it. You guessed it. Books will go electronic, and an unscanned book will be an irrelevant book.

Among those who were not happy about the digital revolution, John Updike looms large. To me, John Updike always looms large because he's one of my favorite novelists, but his quote about the possible transformation of the publishing industry is classic. in A Seattle Times article includes this observation. I'm quoting:

"As I read it," Updike said, "this is a pretty grisly scenario." He counted himself as one of the "surly hermits refusing to come out and play in the digital sunshine."

Well, I wonder how many book publicists are excited about the prospect of "playing in the digital sunshine." I have some ideas about how to construct a book promotion campaign so that you don't have to send physical copies of books to the media. For example, the production wizards behind the concept of "book trailers" and "bookpresenters" certainly have my attention, and I look forward to working closely with some of those production houses in the future on digital book promotion campaigns.

Sure, there's another part of me who would love to be a "surly hermit refusing to come out and play in the digital sunshine." But there can only be one John Updike, so for now, I'll cast about the digital sunshine for future book promotion opportunities -- even if they do bring me farther into the uncharted territories of the digital book world.