The Future of Publishing

Francesca Leparik

The first several articles discussed in class focused heavily on the history and development of the Publishing Industry. Looking so deeply at the past only brings about the question, what about the future? Where will this industry be in five, ten, or even twenty years; with all the new technology writers have that was not previously available to them. In his article with Forbes journalist, Nick Morgan, makes speculations about the direction publishing is heading and what such an uncertain future could possibly look like. He paints a grim picture for traditional publishers as much of written talent is now heading in the direction of self-publishing, specifically with big companies like Amazon.

However, self-publishing raises questions on its own about the quality of content being produced. By going around the traditional editor, problems arise. With grammar, spelling, basic sentence structure, all of these essential parts of the story will suffer because people would rather put their work out there on their own than go to a large publishing house. This takes the quality of the writing being put out into the world and flushing it down the metaphorical drain. As many people believe their work is perfect as is, the idea of proofreading goes out the window and the work is published with flawless riddled throughout.

Nick Morgan adds how traditional publishers can save themselves by forming a better relationship with readers. Amazon takes the time to offer new books, recommend what a reader would like and notify them when a book they want is released. Something traditional publishers never do as they are more focused on the business aspect of the industry than that of forming a bond between the people that buy and read their books. Morgan spells out the destruction of these traditional companies by online, self-publishing firms that are more in touch and reader friendly.

The future as of right now looks very bleak for the publishing industry. But, lucky for them, the future is always changing and is wildly unpredictable. With a bit of luck, hopefully self-publishers will not ruin them.

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2 thoughts on “The Future of Publishing

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  1. Hi Francesca,

    I thought it was super interesting how you mentioned Amazon in relation to publishers. I never really thought about how the site makes suggestions for customers to make further purchases, and how publishers wouldn’t be so willing to do this unless it was another product of theirs.

    I think it would be smart to add something from the Matt Stadler chapter we read in the Literary Publishing book. He mentions how publishers think very strategically when it comes to picking who they publish, which you could use to explain why they wouldn’t make suggestions they way a company like Amazon does.

    I also think it’d be really neat if you had some examples of self-publishing and compared them to pieces that were professionally published, just so everyone could clearly see the differences. There are success stories for both sides and horror stories for both sides, so it would be helpful to kind of analyze them a little bit.

    Christina

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  2. I’m interested in your comments on Amazon, and I would like a little more grounding on the source you’re working with (you have some good info, just be sure to include article title and link if possible).

    I have to push back a bit, though, on your statement that traditional publishers are “more focused on the business aspect of the industry than that of forming a bond between the people that buy and read their books.” This may be the case with some, but many presses take this role very seriously! (And, I’d argue, some do so in more altruistic ways than Amazon does.) But you might be speaking of some particular publishing houses here…? A little more context could be helpful. Providing links to source-work will also help you fulfill that part of the blog post requirement.

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