Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Bosacks Speaks Out: The Future of Publishing Revisited

Bosacks Speaks Out: The Future of Publishing Revisited

The second item in the following news story is about ebooks. And that leads me to ezines. Have any of you tried www.Zinio.com or www.Newsstand.com?

They are similar in nature and both pretty damn good. I have a preference, but that is not worth the telling here. Both represent a piece of the future of publishing. My future? No, your future.

I highly recommend that all publishing professionals check out both sites. Check it out and use it, at least once. Come on, you can do it. The first one is free. You will be doing yourself and your career a favor. To me they represent a fair guess at how we may slowly switch from a dead tree information distribution system to an all-electronic one. If you can use your imagination and slip epaper or eink into this forecast, then you've really got something. The future of publishing is right here. Are you ready for it? There are some major and some minor magazines already on track here. Both consumer titles and BtoB titles are available, not to mention the newspapers.

Here is my prediction. In five years - OK shoot me if it is ten - we will all have a sheet or set of sheets that are composed of flexible epaper. This will be foldable like a newspaper or magazine and fully downloadable from one publisher or many publishers. In one set of epapers, you can have your favorite morning newspapers, magazines and books. When you are done, you erase it, or save it, for the next download. Electronic memory will be inexhaustible and so will be the power source. It will be part of a wifi-of-the-day network, meaning that anywhere you are - and I mean anywhere - you can get updates, new editions, or the local movie schedule of any town you just happen to be in.

This will happen whether you like it or not. Whether you are prepared or not. We as a publishing industry will use less paper. Paper will not go away, nor will print editions. But publishers will use less paper. That will be an adjustment for printers, circulators, mailers and production people; in fact the entire process will be different. The only ones that I can see escaping the job transformation gambit will be the keyboardists. That would be the writers, editors, proofreaders and the like. Those that capture the "word" are almost unchanged. Those that distribute the "word" are forever altered in what they do and how they do it.

This is just one man's opinion, but I know I'm close to correct. Not exactly, because the real future and it's coexisting technology is unknowable. But I am damn close, of that I am sure.


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