What is the future of publishing?
It’s a difficult question and one that I’ve had to consider a lot over the years. When I told friends that I was going to join the publishing industry, there was some skepticism. “It’s a dying industry”, “People don’t read books these days”, “What about Amazon?”
Publishing isn’t dying, but it is evolving, changing. I see this is as a positive thing, the world does have to change, and technology brings more opportunities for stories.
I’ve heard the comparison that the development of ebooks is like the invention of the printing press. I think it’s true, the monks who spent hours with beautiful, illuminated books suddenly worried by a machine that could mass-produce books, but instead it helped bring books to a wider population.
There’s something magical about being able to carry a device that holds hundreds of books. (When I first got a kindle, it made me think of the book from Ella Enchanted, which continuously updates with stories, but maybe that’s whimsical.)
What I do know is that the more people read content in whatever form, that’s a positive for storytelling and storytellers.
I recently played a game called “Lifeline”, a brilliant smartphone game. It was completely text based, a choose your own adventure where you help Taylor, a stranded astronaut on a deserted moon. I found myself completely pulled in to Taylor’s story, and over the course of a week when I was trying to help Taylor survive, it reminded me of how story platforms can change, it was not only immersive, but also interactive.