This recent post on the NPR website entitled Why Traditional Publishing Is Really In A ‘Golden Age’ discusses an interview with Michael Pietsch, soon-to-be CEO of the traditional publisher Hachette Book Group. In the interview Mr. Pietsch claims that “we’re in a golden age for books — reading, writing and publishing,” and argues for the relevancy of publishers saying that “the ways that publishers can work to connect readers with writers now are the kinds of things that publishers have dreamt of doing since Gutenberg first put down a line of type.” He continues discussing this as a key reason why authors choose publishers over self-publishing . Mr. Pietsch points out that in an increasingly complex environment that requires getting the reader’s attention using a variety of strategies, publishers offer authors valuable marketing expertise.
But this post highlights more than Mr. Pietsch’s vision of publishing. It also links to an interview with Smashwords’ Mark Coker, ebook self-publishing pioneer, who has a far different take on the future. Mr. Coker argues that “when we look at the evolution of the publishing industry over the next few years, traditional publishers are going to become more and more irrelevant.” (If you’re interested in hearing more from Mark Coker take a look at Curating a New World of Publishing a video of his plenary session at the Charleston Conference in November.)
Needless to say, reading about and listening to these two widely different visions of the future of publishing offer a fascinating point – counterpoint that should appeal to many ATG readers. So set aside a little time and check them out!