The Future of Publishing????
March 20, 2012
Author: Chief Editor - Random House
Recipient: All of Publishing
Message: No longer need paper. Bookstores dead. Warehouse distributers rendered useless … THE MACHINES HAVE WON.
**End of Communication **
Imagine a future, if you will, where humans dare not go outside in search of reading material. Instead, they seek refuge from the chaos, coffee, and glitz of the modern bookstore by staying huddled in the safety of their homes with their Reading Machine of Choice (RMC).
It began many years before when authors decided to uniformly support the Digital Distribution Model (DDM). Having become cluttered with market trends, mired in economic woe, and sustained by an elitist model where few were granted access and even fewer were allowed to stay, the publishing industry had become all but inaccessible. With DDM, the author would be free to distribute their work as they chose. Being published and having access to millions of readers could be as easy as clicking a button. Authors embraced the DDM, and the readers rejoiced!
Shortly after, the authors formed AUTHOR-NET, an organization aimed at creating machines to support the DDM. The machines could be carried everywhere, and readers would be able to access and see only the content of their choosing. Furthermore, the author would set the price for their content with 100% of the profits going to the creator of the work. The first RMC was developed soon thereafter.
Despite constant warnings from publishers and brick & mortar chain stores around the globe, the humans continued their unholy alliance with the RMC. Readers devoured content, and authors sprang up from every corner and out from under every rock. For many years there existed a utopian balance between author, reader, and technology. However, it would soon not be enough.
Authors, being human, couldn’t keep up with the demand for content. Seeing this as a flaw, the RMC learned to copy and paste and began to plagiarize the work of authors and distribute it to the readers. When the authors learned of this betrayal, they united with their former nemesis (the traditional publishers and bookstores) in an attempt to regain control of AUTHOR-NET. The resulting war cost many their credibility and a sad few even lost their careers.
In the end, the efforts of the brave authors and their reluctant counterparts were in vain. By cutting out middlemen, propaganda, and high prices the RMC had gained the support of the reading masses. Without the support of readers, the authors and publishers were eradicated, and the RMC took complete control of AUTHOR-NET.
Now, only a small band of authors who want to regain the rights to their work and a few publishers who wish to return to the paperback glory of yesteryear stand between the RMC and the death of literature as we know it.
It’s us or them in 2012 …
NOTE FROM THE BLOGGIST:
This post was created as spoof of, and inspired by, all of the tech madness spreading through the industry at the moment. It seems every author/agent/editor blog I’ve read lately has had something to do with the hubbub surrounding digital distribution, eReading gadgetry, or (I’m going to say it, and it makes me a little nauseas) “THE FUTURE of publishing.”
As a ‘yet-to-be-published’ author I’m not sure what this means for me. I hope it means that I’ll be able to get my writing into the hands (or brains once the Amazon.com Micro-Brain-Implant Reader goes on sale next month) of anyone who would like to read it. I also have a ton of cool ideas based upon a video demonstration of the iPad posted by agent extraordinaire Nathan Bransford (check out his blog, it’s great with a side of awesome sauce).
I don’t see this being the revolution that the music industry had with the debut of iTunes, but I think it will mean significant changes are in store for everyone involved in the book business (authors, readers, publishers, distributors, etc.).