Monday, July 04, 2005

PUBLISHING IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

(VERY INTERSTING ARTICLE)

Like a world held between the gravitational pulls of two stars, the publishing industry is suspended between two great paradigms. One is the familiar industrial model built around tangible objects: bound volumes of paper manufactured on printing presses, warehoused in depots, transported in vehicles and sold in stores; the other, newly born, can be described as virtual. The sun of traditional publishing and bookselling has illuminated and warmed us for a millennium, but it is unquestionably fading, while the other, fueled by the prospect of direct communication between authors and readers independent of physical means of manufacture and distribution, scintillates with possibilities. In the balance lies the fate of one of civilization’s most precious artifacts, the book.

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