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Archive for September, 2011

The Economist has published an interesting article The transformation of the book industry: Disappearing ink | The Economist. In it they point out the inevitability of the shift from print to digital. Already, in the U.S. about one-fifth of publisher’s book sales are digital and that number is only trending upward. E-readers are going down in price. The Kindle is inexpensive enough that people don’t hesitate to take it to the beach.  Still, they show hope for publishers:

Yet there are still two important jobs for publishers. They act as the venture capitalists of the words business, advancing money to authors of worthwhile books that might not be written otherwise. And they are editors, picking good books and improving them. So it would be good, not just for their shareholders but also for intellectual life, if they survived.

If publishers are going to survive they should copy some tricks learned from the music industry, like bundling print with digital and eliminating territories where books can be sold and instead take a more global approach. I have found articles on the future of the book fascinating and will continue to monitor progress. Although I agree with what The Economist has to say, I’m still rooting for independent booksellers. They provide the community we all so desperately need.

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Josh Rolnick posted a great article on “The Millions” advising new writers on how to send out their stories. He writes with humility (hard not to when the rejections pile up) and practicality. Most interesting were these statistics: He sent out 225 submissions, received 219 rejections, but he received some kind of note of encouragement from 1/3. This inspires me to start licking those stamps!  The Millions : Ten Things I’ve Learned over 12 Years of Sending Out Stories

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