Worth reading this, it pretty much hits all the thoughts I had on reading the McSweeney’s material!
Let’s be clear: I don’t think print will die.
But that’s no reason to concoct “research” about publishing that says “almost all of the news is good, and most of it is very good.”
That’s what McSweeney’s has done with their series on “The State of Publishing” or “Some Good News From the World of Books.”
via There Are No Rules – The Misleading “Research” By McSweeney’s.
Some great quotes, some interesting stats, though when I was finished I was left with three over-riding thoughts:
- Libraries are benefiting from the economic slowdown
- Audiences are fragmenting and the idea of touchstone works is being eroded
- Librarians think they might just replace publishers
Later in our phone conversation, Ms. Reardon did start to talk like the new guard at the gates. It was good to hear backbone in the library business—the same strength that I heard in the response of the librarian at New York Public Library. Speaking about the historic difference in how people use libraries, Ms. Reardon said, “The biggest shift for us is just how quickly information is at our fingertips. You used to go to the shelf, and you used to go to the Encyclopedia. So all of those reference materials, and all that stuff that used to be behind a librarians desk, all this very possessive nature that we had is gone now. What we [libraries] still own is that understanding in finding quality information, and that’s just our world, and we do it better than anybody.”
via Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: The State of Publishing..
I’m always amused when people suggest ebooks are a problem for books and reading and authors, when in reality they are only a problem for the current business set up of bookstores, publishers, distributors and other businesses in the trade.
IN any case I’m intrigued by McSweeney’s effort in this regard. A nice initiative that I’m looking forward to reading through.
It’s worth considering the flip side of some of their wholly positive indicators later on in the article.
Even with the rise of e-books, and the struggles of some bookstore chains, all the anecdotal evidence we knew pointed to the book industry being on solid footing. But we wanted proof, so back in May of 2010, amidst some of the most dour prognostications about the state of the industry, we asked fifteen or so young researchers to look into the health of the book. Their findings provide proof that not only are books very much alive, but that reading is in exceptionally good shape—and that the book-publishing industry, while undergoing some significant changes, is, on the whole, in good health.
via McSweeneys Internet Tendency: The State of Publishing..