Change in Publishing: (not really) answers to (not really) questions. Writers, insiders and publishers discuss freely about 5 popular tags. Prev: Stephen Brown, _Jacob Appel | Next: Paul Di Filippo. Follow us: RSS | Twitter | Facebook_
An electronic text stands for much more than a paper book transposed into an e-version. Imagine a text which you read by means of a Search function. In this case, using the word book for this reading experience has no sense. In any case, paper books will disappear quickly. I hear a lot of people say that the appearance of a new media has never killed old media – TV never killed the radio, for example. But that's not at all what we're experiencing. In our case, the media is the text, not paper. We are experiencing a change in the way we access the text. Clay tablets, papyrus, parchment, paper, bits… we're experiencing a logical and irreversible evolution.
Because I have been thinking of the future since I was a child, I feel like I am misunderstood by most of my contemporary acquaintances. The future is already here for anyone who wants to live there. When I write about the present, many of my readers, including publishers, take me for a science-fiction writer.
If I can publish what I want, with no risk of censorship, if millions of people can do as I can, then we are changing the world. We move from a top-down society, which I qualify as transcendental, to a grass-root society, which I qualify as emergence-based. A new civilization could very well sprout from this simple new way of publishing.
An old world concept. In a society of abundance, all goods should be available for free and all good producers should be rewarded by consumers a posteriori, after they have consumed the goods. Because ebooks are easy to copy, attaching a price tag to an ebook indicates the reward the author and its publishing team hope to get. It should not be near 0, considering the time we are giving our readers.
We know today how to translate books from paper to the e-world. It is now time to learn how to write books which could not have been written on paper. I am not referring to augmented books – those are jokes made by imagination lacking publishers.