The question increasingly arises in today’s media: can publishing be saved? No. It cannot and should not. There are plenty of non-profit publishers that exist to create and distribute the un-economic content. For-profit publishing should not be saved — it should figure out new business models, ones that offer services that both readers and writers want and are happy to pay for. We cannot wait for a deus ex machina to descend.
Books earned their place in our civilization because for millennia brave entrepreneurs and innovators (Gutenberg’s name is remembered, many others are lost) ignored or overcame the cultural and legal obstacles to new reading technology thrown up by the establishment culture of the time. It’s now time for those entrepreneurs to step forth and continue the glorious democratization-by-technology of writing and reading in the Digital Age, just as they did in the analog ones before.
You can read more on his project and business model here.
First posted: Tuesday, July 21st, 2009.