LJNDawson.com, Consulting to the Book Publishing Industry
Book Publishing Industry Consultant

Is It Really As Drastic As All That?

Following is a link roundup for Kindle, but I have to say that when Publisher's Lunch hit my inbox, I was sort of taken aback at this quote from OUP's Evan Schnittman:

The risk here isn?t just to Amazon. If Kindle fails, the ebook is over, the theory of the ?iPod model? is wrong for eBooks, and publishing must face the reality that consumers just don?t want to read immersive content on electronic screens of any sort?

You know what? No. I just don't believe it's as drastic as all that. We've been living with books for 500 years, people! To expect us to wake up one day and start reading them on screens - or it's all over, we'll NEVER read them on screens - is a little much. The comparisons/expectations regarding the music business are just not apt here - in listening to music, we've been accustomed to changing devices every generation or so - from wax cylinders to wax records to vinyl to 8 tracks to cassettes to CDs to MP3s - and the history of listening to personal music (as opposed to the history of reading, for God's sake) is a lot shorter. Innovation is expected there. But the runway for changing reading formats is a lot longer. Longer than any of us can see. To say it's now or never is...hysteria.

Which means, of course, that Bezos wins, in terms of whipping some of us up into a frenzy.





Seth Godin




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