Out with the Old, in with the New ; Shift to Digital Rattles Book Publishing Industry, but Offers Writers Many More Options

By Langan, Michael D. | The Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY), January 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

Out with the Old, in with the New ; Shift to Digital Rattles Book Publishing Industry, but Offers Writers Many More Options


Langan, Michael D., The Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY)


Over the past 10 years, we have seen a revolution in the book publishing industry as significant as the Gutenberg press in the 15th century.

Digital publishing is threatening to be the new normal. This breakthrough and the digital reader have hit the staid book publishing industry like an earthquake. Aftershocks throughout the book business are still taking place as publishers search for safe ground.

Think about this monumental shift: Until 2000, publishers stored books in warehouses waiting to be sold. If books were overstocked, they sold as "remainders" for a pittance. For the most part, unless you were an accomplished writer, publishers took few chances with newcomers.

Now, prospective writers have a real chance to be published. A mom or dad interested in doing a family history; a fledgling poet who would like to publish her verses; a veteran home from Afghanistan or Iraq who wants to write about it; a grandfather or grandmother considering a memoir; a person who has found God after a long search; all are now able to publish a digital book without the old-time publisher giving approval.

New authors are able to be published on demand, one book at a time or 1,000 at a time and ready in a matter of days. The demand for digital books has skyrocketed because electronic readers, like Amazon's Kindle, Barnes & Noble's Nook, the Sony reader and others now offer a quality reading experience. Color will soon be available on almost all readers.

E-book readers hold up to 1,400 books. These readers fit into people's pockets everywhere they travel: on trains, planes and buses. You can sit at home and shop in the Kindle store with your reader, for example, and download a book in seconds. In fact, Amazon.com is now selling more e-books than physical books on its website. It is offering close to a million books. And although the company doesn't give any figures, the number of sales is said to be in the millions.

As if to punctuate this point, Publishing Perspectives indicated in its October 2011 newsletter that "both Nielsen BookScan and the Association of American Publishers reported that print sales in the USA continue to fall as e-book sales are rising. The AAP figures showed that print sales declined by 25 percent across all segments in the first two months of 2011, while e-book sales rose by 18.4 percent."

Not all of this is progress. Whenever a huge technological change takes place, it causes trouble. Physical print book publishers are taking a beating and trying to figure out how to cash in on an inevitable shift in the industry. And, truth be told, reading an e- book isn't always as enjoyable as reading a physical book, at least not at first. But the convenience and reduced cost are motivators to learn!

To that point: I wouldn't make the argument that it is simple to publish a book electronically. The writer who has a story to tell needs to have rudimentary skills with a computer. That said, publishing a book with amazon.com isn't hard to do. In fact, there are many other venues that the prospective writer might choose.

For example, recently I uploaded a 300-page e-book to amazon.com called "Twice-Told Tales: The American Scene, 1986 - 2011." It's a collection of book reviews, short stories and occasional pieces. It was the fifth e-book that I put on sale last year.

Amazon makes it easy to publish. It has a video to watch online, enabling you to anticipate the steps you will take in uploading your print copy. When I decided to publish my reviews and articles that appeared earlier in The Buffalo News, the Boston Globe, the Dublin Review of Books, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Irish Jesuit publication Studies over the past 25 years, it was easy as a piece of cake.

If you are a writer who has written for various publications, the first thing you must do is to get electronic copies of your work from the outlets that published it. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Out with the Old, in with the New ; Shift to Digital Rattles Book Publishing Industry, but Offers Writers Many More Options
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.