Two versions of the publishing future

Thursday, September 16, 2010

In a lengthy article on Booksquare, Kassia Krozser envisions the publishing company of the future, where staff will be responsible for producing a wide range of books and related multimedia products. In her (rather optimistic) perfect world, editors will switch between traditional editorial roles and more technical, hands-on work, including, coding--yes coding--manuscripts. While that sounds great to a geek like me, that may make some of you sweat through your shirts and drop your NPR tote bags in horror.

The digital publishing future sure sounds neat, but Jason Bennett from Melville House's MOBYLIVES blog reminds us that it shouldn't be about slapping on techie whizbangs just because we can:

From this blogger’s perspective, coming up with something that is engaging in a way that breaks the “hot”/”cold” dichotomy, that tells a story in the language of these new tools (instead of just pretending they’re books wrapped around a TV, or vice versa) is the big challenge. While there are some promising efforts on the horizon by a few creative authors banding together–Neal Stephenson and co.’s Subutai Corp. being an interesting example–one fears that we’ll have to suffer through another year or two of hype and crap before we see something that’s worth a damn. I sure hope I’m wrong.

Me too.