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Friday, March 25, 2011

Author walks away from $500k deal to self-publish

Thanks to DCL staff person Dedra Anderson for sending this to me. Author Barry Eisler says, "my general point was that digital was going to become more and more attractive relative to paper. First, because the price of digital readers would continue to drop while the functionality would continue to increase; second, because more and more titles would become available for digital download at the same time more brick and mortar stores were closing. In other words, everything about paper represented a static defense, while everything about digital represented a dynamic offense. Not hard to predict how a battle like that is going to end."

And later, "the trends reinforce each other: the Borders in your neighborhood closes, so you try a low-priced digital reader, and you love the lower cost of digital books, the immediate delivery, the adjustable font, etc... and you never go back to paper. The reverse isn’t happening: people aren’t leaving digital for paper. There’s a ratchet effect in favor of digital."

And later, "Paper won’t disappear, but that’s not the point. The point is, paper will become a niche while digital will become the norm."

Bottom line: today's commercial publishers are "legacy publishers." Self-publishing is the future. And libraries really aren't ready for it.

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