Our eBook Future: Glut or Glory?

Oct. 27, 2011

I enjoyed a recent article in The Bookseller by Philip Jones.  Philip Downer, who used to run Border Books’ UK operation, warned of the glut of content and the control by Amazon, Google, and Apple of the pipelines to the consumer with proprietary formats.  He urged change and a pooling of resources by the publishers.  He expressed concern about the “seduction of colour, movement and noise” with digital ink, and concern that publishers are not quick to act, stating in their slowness, “Steve Jobs is dead, but sometimes I think Queen Victoria is still alive.”

In Richard Caves’ 2002 book Creative Industries: Contracts between Art and CommerceCreative Industries, he stated that without the natural filters (like agents and publishers) within creative industries, which make money by making judgements for production, the vast volume of creative properties becomes overwhelming.

The cost of creation has plummeted, as has music.  When we all can (and we already can) self-publish to our hearts content, will we be under the deluge of new books like we are underwater with new tracks coming into the music systems from the likes of Tunecore, CD Baby, and Reverbnation?

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