Rachelle Gardner recently wrote this interesting post about the publishing industry and the music industry, and how much they (don't) have in common. It got me thinking, and what it got me thinking was this:
We've got it all wrong.
We've been talking about the future of publishing with the advent of the e-reader, and what will happen to publishing, and how self-pubbed e-books will change publishing, and and and. But here's the thing:
Publishing is not about books.
Publishing is about storytelling.
It's not about the words on the page (or the e-ink on the screen). Publishers create audiobooks, which in my mind are analogous to CDs. And more and more people are opting to listen to the audiobook instead of reading the words on the page - and hey, since you can do that AND clean your house at the same time, you can hardly argue.
And let's not forget about film rights: more and more books are optioned for film these days. Going to the movies is, for many, many, many people, an alternative to reading a book. For one thing, it's a hell of a lot quicker. And I think that in our time-pressured society, in which people are trying to cram more and more into our already-packed schedules (full-time job, family, pet, home repairs, and writing on the side, anyone?), the number of people investing in audiobooks and opting to skip the book in favor of the movie is only going to go up.
Books? I love them. I am a true bibliophile. I want a 3,600-sq-ft library like Jay Walker's. But mark my words: they're going to go the way of sheet music and movie scripts.
Publishing? It will survive. But not as we know it.
What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree?