Blogger: Mary Keeley
Location: Books & Such Illinois Office
Before you get too comfortable with your e-reader of choice, let’s take a speculative look to the future from the pattern of the past. As we know, we don’t have to look too far ahead or too far back to see change. For instance, what have you done with your VHS tapes? If you’re like me, I replaced my favorites with DVDs and discarded the rest for which I didn’t want to spend money twice. Now BlueRays are replacing DVDs…
How will this ever-evolving pattern apply to e-reader technology and ultimately the e-book market in general? BIG question! Not only do current e-readers have their own formats, but we’ll also be contending with the added formats for every new technology. Some related questions to ask:
- Will I have to replace all the e-books in my library as my current e-reader becomes obsolete?
- What to do with “old” technology e-readers? How long will new e-book releases be available in my obsolete e-reader format?
- How will libraries keep up with technology while also maintaining their archives? Will a universal and “forever” format be devised that automatically accepts new formats? If so, will it become available to the average consumer?
- Are these suggested realities going to affect my purchasing decisions?
This forward look makes me, a consumer, want to shout, “Stop the train, I want to get off!” and hug my shelves of print copy books close to my heart. Now there’s justifiable hope for the future of print books! Lovers of holding the printed page in your hands take heart. Add to that, some publishers are already beginning to bundle print copies with e-books. But once again, we’ll be paying more. So do e-books really cost less in the long-term?
For me the agent and you the author, it means we need to continually be alert to the twists, turns, and speed of this fast-moving train.
I have saved more on this topic for tomorrow’s discussion.
Okay, I laid the framework. It’s your turn to enter into this speculative discussion. What does this mean to you, the author, in terms of your writing? Add more questions to this list as you ponder. Do you have any educated guesses we can put in the “answers” column?