Gomez looks at the emergence of the iPod in 2002 as a defining moment that set a benchmark of what was possible. Since then there have been various attempts to crown various ebook platforms the ipod of the book world.
The iPod showed things could happen quickly and the results could turn upside an industry steeped in tradition. But there are ongoing problems to sort out in terms of price, copyright and range of titles available to download. But change is coming that is for sure.
Of course since this book was written there have been strong sales of the Sony Reader and the Kindle and although most of the points he makes are still valid you feel we are slightly further down the road.
The web offers opportunities for writers to interact and reach more readers and potentially breakthrough when they might have failed in traditional publishing
But for those writers that fail to embrace the changes things could start to become a lot more difficult.
“Authors who choose not to take part in any sort of online promotion or to curry online exposure, and unwilling to do things like start a blog, post clips on YouTube, have a page on MySpace or otherwise engage an internet audience in any meaningful way will find themselves at an increasing disadvantage.” Pg 151
Those who refuse to play the new game will be in real trouble.
“The age of the aloof writer, removed from his audience or not even knowing who his audience is, is long gone.” Pg 155
Advances in technology have laid the platform for ebooks.
“Portability, searchability and the fact that you can carry around every book you own at once; these are the real hallmarks of a digital reading experience.” Pg 162
The most obvious question is where will print go?
“This is an argument of the ‘print is dead’ debate; not that print will become extinct, but that it will instead become a niche product and specialised interest.” Pg 169
There is s till a challenge for the publishing industry to work out what the model will be in terms of pricing and multiple platform availability.
“Electronic reading and digital delivery is not just a new way of doing an old thing – issuing books one way instead of another – it is instead an entirely new way of doing business. As revolutionary as reading will be in a digital future, so too must be the accompanying business model. If not consumers will reject paid content and surf the web until they find something that they can read for free.” Pg 174.