Tuesday, October 19, 2010

As Paul Saffo says, "Just because a new medium arrives doesn't mean an old medium dies out. "

Though it may certainly go into decline.

2010 figures are through August

Adult hardcover sales are up 5.2% so far in 2010

Hard to ignore that trendline, however.

Link to CNN article, "Will physical books be gone in 5 years?"

Excerpt:   As e-book readers and tablet computers become more common, one prominent tech mogul says that physical books could disappear sooner than expected.

In an interview with CNN's Howard Kurtz on "Reliable Sources," author Nicholas Negroponte, founder of One Laptop per Child, said the physical book's days are numbered.

"It will be in five years," said Negroponte. "The physical medium cannot be distributed to enough people. When you go to Africa, half a million people want books ... you can't send the physical thing."

Negroponte emphasized the efficiency of being able to put hundreds of books on the laptops his organization sends to villages. "We put 100 books on a laptop, but we also send 100 laptops. That village now has 10,000 books," he said.

When it comes to making e-books standard, Negroponte thinks that developing countries may actually be faster than developed countries.

"That's what cell phones did," Negroponte said. "Cell phones were more popular in Cambodia and Uganda because they didn't have phones. We had phones in this country, and we were very late to the table. They're going to adopt e-books much faster than we do

Interesting personal perspective on Negroponte's Uganda/cell phone reference.

1 comment:

Gerard Saylor said...

I disagree with those Africa comments. Print books are as easily distributed. I presume some places in Africa have difficulties because of no local printing or publishing, no money, language differences, and literacy rates.

100 laptops with 100 different books is NOT the same as 10,000 separate volumes. Especially when two broken or lost laptops equals 200 lost books.

JA Konrath has been big on e-publishing. He'll be in Lake Mills on Nov 6 for our writers workshop and I hope there is time to ask him questions on the topic.