Future of Books

Excerpt:  Read the entire article at   The Independent: 

…He adds: “If the bookshop lets you have both and has a product every bit as good as the Amazon one, why wouldn’t you do it with a bookshop?”

Daunt makes no bones about his dislike of Amazon. “They never struck me as being a sort of business in the consumer’s interest. They’re a ruthless, money-making devil.” He dreads the physical bookshop disappearing altogether in the digital tsunami.

“The computer screen is a terrible environment in which to select books. All that ‘If you read this, you’ll like that’ – it’s a dismal way to recommend books. A physical bookshop in which you browse, see, hold, touch and feel books is the environment you want.”

As to the books-industry Cassandras who predict that publishers, agents and booksellers may all disappear in the next five years, “I wouldn’t bet against publishers,” he said. “The editorial process and the marketing – someone has to do it. I don’t think agents are the best people to do it.  Authors certainly aren’t – they need editing. I think either all three will survive or they’ll all disappear, swept away, replaced by one big fat Amazon, getting his way. And if the bookshops go, they will never come back.” His combative eyes glitter.

“So I have a responsibility.”

James Daunt: The CV 


ME:  I’ve got to admit that Mr. Daunt makes some good points.  There’s no denying that trying to write, edit, publish and market is too much for one person.  On the other hand–those publishing gates seem to be locked tight.

If the big boy publishers jump into the digital market, I think they’re going to have to expand their selections.  Most publishers only put out a certain genre by a few select writers.  I can’t really see them taking away from Amazon unless they broaden their horizons.

Maybe they could break into genres.  Say, one online spot being the place to go for romance, another being the place to go for sci-fi.

And they’ll have to offer lower prices than Amazon.  Personally, I think it’s outrageous to ask $10.00 for a digital book.  I mean, what’s the overhead on a digital book?  Granted, marketing will add to the price, but it’s still got to be cheaper than a dead tree book.  Right?

What do you think will happen???  I can’t think that it will help the Indie author one bit.