Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday and My A-Z Contest (Letter E)

  For anyone visiting from A-Z, my E post follows. But first, YA Highway does a weekly blog carnival where we each blog on the same topic. This week's Road Trip Topic:

What do you imagine the publishing world will look like 100 years from now?

Ebooks are here, and they're taking over the book world. Sure, there will be some hold outs, like those who still collect vinyl records and try to keep their VCRs running to play their old movie collections and tape shows w/o a DVR, but I think in the long run paper books will become a collector's item. Actual printing will be saved for the most important, successful and sentimental books only. Maybe collected works by certain authors will become as popular as greatest hits albums are in the music industry today.
The part of this publishing future I have trouble wrapping my brain around is where readers will go to browse for new books. The music industry has always had radio stations for the beginning listener to sample different music and get to know the artists before purchasing anything. I think the internet and sites like Goodreads will be the radio stations of future book lovers. This opens up a whole realm of new possibilities and pitfalls for future authors and readers. The big publishers can still act as the primary gatekeepers to what books are most worthy of our attention, but only if the buyers look to them for what to browse and buy online.
Which brings us to libraries and bookstores. I can already download ebooks and audiobooks through my library, which leads me to believe that most library use will occur online in the future too. The actual buildings will then focus on children's programs (assuming picture books are the last printed book hold-outs), ebook club meetings, and storage of printed documents/works for research and technological emergency purposes.

And bookstores will need to focus on the social end of books too. Children's departments and programs will be important. Along with author appearances for customers to buy signed copies of their print-book collector copies. But they'll have to incorporate browsing for ebook purchases stations covered with book covers where you can sit alone or in groups and read blurbs and sample pages before ebook purchases.

Schools will also have to make the transition. How long will it be before an EReader/Writer gets put on the school supply lists and school districts no longer buy paper textbooks or workbooks?
The tipping point for this brave new future will come when ebooks (which cost less to produce) become much cheaper for the consumer to buy. Then cost will be more directly related to popularity of an author and release date. (Like, buying the new Laurie Halse Anderson book on the first day will cost more than buying it on the second day).

There's a world of possibilities out there. The only thing for sure is that things are changing.   

  Now, for A-Z. The Challenge is over 1000 strong (amazing, huh?). Hosted by:  Arlee Bird , Alex J Cavanaugh, Jen Daiker and Talli Rolland.
For those who maybe haven't stopped by before, I'm doing a How Many Have You Read/Heard Contest. Each day will feature YA audiobooks I've listened to that have titles starting with that day's letter.

To enter, comment on which books you've read. Most will count as one entry. Older/more obscure books will count as two.

At the end of the month I'll draw names for several prizes including cool bookmarks, books, ARCs and a $10 Barnes and Noble gift certificate.

BTW, "Q" day will have a separate query crit giveaway.
"A" and "The" don't count in the title, and I'm not using multiple titles in a series or author names unless I'm desperate.

Now, for   E 

Ever Falling in love with a god is never easy. (one entry)

Evermore (The Immortals, #1) Orphan girl (more death in YA) with strange powers falls for mysterious boy. (worth one entry)

The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things One of the only curvier YA protags I've found. Well done. (worth two entries)

Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature EVOLUTION, ME AND OTHER FREAKS OF NATURE- This one ventures into the (dare I say) educational at times, but overall balanced and enjoyable. (worth two entries)

Elsewhere Another teen death book I love (maybe I need to re-think my whole death in YA pet peeve). (worth one entry)

Eragon (Inheritance, #1) Critics abound, but I thoroughly enjoyed this series. (worth one entry)

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate I enjoyed this MG/YA one more than I thought I would. A must-read for any science/nature-minded readers. (worth two entries)

To enter, comment on which books you've read. And what about publishing 100 years from now? Any thoughts?
Feel free to add a comment later in the month if you read/listen to something because I mentioned it here.


  1. I think you're right, but somehow your entry still made me want to weep...

  2. I do agree with you about the future of books. I need to take part in RTW. I have the link on my blog, and I have not yet gotten around to it.
    As far as the "E" books go--haven't read any of them.
    Thanks for the post.

  3. I still don't have an e-reader...but I agree that's the future...hopefully libraries will still be around so I can borrow e-books from would that even work?

    I'm reading evermore now...and am drawing a blank on any other books that start with an e. :)

  4. Interesting about the need for new ways to browse. I think I heard something about B&N offering a daily discount if you bring your Nook into the store to upload a new book?
    And I work in educational pub., so the question of when schools will want to transition away from print materials is something I think about daily!

  5. I've read Eragon and Evermore.

    I do agree that the industry is changing just like the music industry and maybe they'll be an iread on line that you can go and read a sample of a book before deciding whether to buy it. Although there's a very good chance this might happen, it still makes me very sad.

  6. Demitria- you can already download ebooks from the library. I think almost everyone (rural or urban)has cooperative library websites in place for inter-library loans and such. You check in there with your library card number and a password. The ebook selection is limited at this time, and there are waiting lists for popular books. You have access to the download for only a certain amount of time, and only a certain number of people can "check out" a book at one time.

  7. I think you're right about e-readers in schools. Kids are already overburdened with too many heavy books that they have to lug to and from school every day. If for nothing else, they would (literally) lighten the kids' load.

  8. I'm read Evermore, Elsewhere, Evolution Me & Other Freeks of Nature, and The Evolution of Capirnia Tate. I still need to get to the other three.

  9. You really thought a lot about how this is going to roll out in 2111. You're probably right about the e-readers for school, but isn't the 30 lb backpack a rite of passage?

    While I've heard about almost all of the books you mentioned, I've only read Eragon and The Earth, My Butt, and Other Round Things.

  10. Such a wonderful, thorough post. I love your ideas for helping bookstores, libraries, schools, etc. make this transition.

    Especially love:
    "bookstores will need to focus on the social end of books too. Children's departments and programs will be important. Along with author appearances for customers to buy signed copies of their print-book collector copies."

    Wouldn't it be great if the advancements in technology led to increased programming focused on the PEOPLE behind the books? Wonderful.

  11. Great E list of books! (= Good thing I have an e-reader!

  12. LOVED Calpurnia Tate (no surprise there, huh?)

    I really like how you think about the future of e-books. I wonder if libraries become this sort of buying/lending/creating space. Where people go to enjoy books, maybe buy some, maybe lend some, and also sit, have some coffee and write a little.

  13. KO- I did think of you when I put that book on my list :) Also, I like your vision of libraries. That might work for bookstores too.

  14. AGH - I haven't read any of your E books (smh). But I very much enjoyed your post about the future of publishing. Well done.

  15. You hurt my heart when you tell me that books will be a collector's item. I can't help it. I will cling like my life depends on it.

  16. I think you're right in guessing picture books will probably be the last to go digital, or electronic. It's still a sad thought though.

  17. I'm still not a fan of ebooks - they just aren't as pretty and they don't smell as good ;) But I agree that they are here to stay.

  18. I've read Eragon. That's it.

    I need to read more.

  19. I have read The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. It has been translated into my language. I enjoyed it.

    I also have read Eragon.

    100 years from now, there will be more ebooks. Tons of People might have e-readers at gmail dot com