What if the Book Business Collapses?
So the rest
of us, readers and writers and lovers of books,
entrepreneurs and technologists, those of us really
interested in the voracious appetite of the powerful
and relatively affluent group, are going to have to
come up with new and different ways to get books
written, published and in the hands of readers.
Imagine: what would happen if every publisher in the world went out of business tomorrow? If every book store closed it’s doors?
Here’s what I think: I think we would see a flourishing of innovation and the kind of excitement the book business has not seen since the printing press was invented. These companies (sellers and publishers) aren’t all going to close their doors, but a good number might.
Lamentable? Maybe. Or maybe this is a fabulous opportunity for something new.
I’m optimistic. New technologies are coming along that change the economics of books: ebooks, ipods, print-on-demand, the web, and more to come yet. The readers are there, maybe fewer of them, but no less passionate. The writers are there. And let’s face it, if the doom and gloom in the business is right, whatever model these companies were using hasn’t worked all that well.
So it’s up to us — all of us who care about books — to figure out what the book business is going to look in the next decade or so.