June 18, 2008

New Site! Book Roast!

Some very smart and humorous bloggers have begun a new blog called Book Roast, where relatively unknown authors can be found discussing their books with anyone who wants to connect with them.

This is exciting to me not only because I count these bloggers among my friends (even though I've never met them in person) but because it's an exciting step into what I think the future looks like for authors. Last week over at Nathan Bransford's blog, there were three days of lively discussion on how epublishing and ereaders and ebooks (god, how I hate these eterms, but they get the job done I guess) will affect the print publishing industry.

There is much angst and gnashing of teeth in the print publishing industry now. Steve Jobs says people don't read any more. The Kindle is gaining a small but loyal following. Energy prices and environmental concerns are driving hard costs up. Borders has reported financial difficulty. Independent booksellers seem to be disappearing at an alarming rate (at least in my region).

That's why the publishing industry is scared. But they should be scared for many other reasons as well. Rampant globalization is pressuring language barriers, and the internet is spreading information faster than print can keep up. Asia may be a big driver as their economic might increases and they skip a huge print industry and go straight to electronic formats as battery and solar and low-energy technology improves. Publishers, squeezed tighter and tighter, are doing less to publicize new books, forcing authors to be their own publicists.

All these things, I think, are conspiring to change, in a fundamental way, the act of authoring and selling books. The change will likely be subtle, over a decade or two, but it's already coming. And Book Roast is one of those signs that some authors are morphing with the market already. Book Roast should be encouraged and fostered, and we should all be interested in how it works out over time. Although it's not "the new model," I think it is, in a small way, what Salon.com was to magazines when the world wide web first caught fire (not literally, of course).

Anyway, go visit!


Chris Eldin said...

What an insightful essay! You're going to fool people into thinking that we're smart. ;*)

Thanks for the promo!!!

PJD said...

Ha! Not likely. (c:

I've also remembered, finally, to put the link in my sidebar as well.

pacatrue said...

Nothing says insightful like a rhino with a wedgie.

Great announcement, pjd.

Phoenix Sullivan said...

Bucking hard for a prize aren't you, bucko? ;o)

Amazing how many witty, wise and wonderful blog writers I know. Now if we could all write such witty, wise and wonderful novels we'd all be weally, weally wealthy, wouldn't we?

*back to lurker mode now*

Robin S. said...

I think this sounds wonderful - and I'm glad you know we're all friends, sweetie. I know that's how I feel as well.

And well-spoken Pete. Except you know how I feel about paper and books and stuff- so I hope this is part and parcel of the growth of the medium I love- and it doesn't get lost in the internet shuffle.

I'd cry. I really really would.

Chris, Are you gonna have an Amazon link to buy the book in the spot? The PAPER book?

Hope so!!!!

Stacy said...

Doesn't Chris's icon both amuse and . . . well, freak you out, Paca?

I'm still trying to figure out who would be brave enough to put a thong on a rhinocerous. ; )

Shona Snowden said...

You make us sound so deep. I like it.

*burrows about in Chris's entry pile and pushes pjd's slip of paper near the top...*

PJD said...

you are so, so right, Paca. (I mean about the rhino/wedgie thing.)

shona, thanks... I seem to have gotten on your good list recently. I wonder what I did right?

phoenix, do you lurk here often? I would be honored.

robin, yes, I like paper books too, but I gotta say I think the time is coming (distant future) when paper books will be an endangered species.

freddie: good question, but I am wondering who would be brave enough to take it off...

JaneyV said...

I don't know how I missed this last week!

I'm a lover of the paper book. I think reading is a full sensory experience but I suppose that is because that's how i leaned to read. I expect that you're right Pete, that the next generation won't feel the same way.... Good news for the trees i guess.

My friend was staying last week and we had exactly this conversation and she produced her Kindle to show me. it's a really cool object I have to say. It's light, it's beautifully designed, the screen is amazing. I can see them becoming the norm. But I hope that there'll still be paper books around while I still am!