October 14th, 2009

Book Publishing In Its Death Throes

The word from the Frankfurt Book Fair is that the traditional book publishing industry will be dead and buried within a year or two. Guaranteed. Everything will be digital. And authors are on their own.

Here’s an excerpt from a gloomy article in today's Huffington Post:

Mmm. When in doubt, read the small print. On the web, that is. Track down, if you will, the London Times' brave reporter, Helen Rumbelow, who wrote a piece called "Dead Or Alive" last week from Frankfurt itself. She said the people "in charge of the world's books" had gathered for a great junket -- and had encountered instead "a bloodbath"! "Nearly a quarter of a million people will arrive today at the glowering conference hall in Germany with an unprecedented mixture of fear and excitement," she wrote. "The reason is digital." She quoted one agent talking of "an industry in total flux and chaos," another saying: "it's like wrestling in fast-setting concrete." And one previous, best-selling, chair of the Society of Authors opining: "I hope to God I'm being apocalyptic, but I'm deeply worried for the writers of the future."

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Toss a Hypothesis

Herbert Spencer, English philosopher, biologist, anthropologist, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist of the Victorian era, wrote: “…accumulated facts, lying in disorder, begin to assume some order when a hypothesis is thrown among them.”

So below the cut are a series of images, or "facts." What's a good hypothesis to toss in there?

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