I’ve been contemplating the future of the author in today’s high technology society. What will become of us and the books we write? Will the paperback go the way of the compact disk and disappear forever? Will publishing houses dissolve into nonexistence the way most record labels have? Will a paperback book become a rare object of antique art? I don’t know. But one thing I do know is that there will always be authors and there will always be stories.
What is uncertain is what medium will sell those stories? Something we can all agree upon is that ebooks will replace traditional books to a large degree. People will carry libraries of their favorites in nearly weightless ereaders the size of a sheet of paper or less. We all know how easy it is to pirate a book and place it for free all over the internet. So, how will an author make money?
As I see it, the traditional book industry of buying through a bookstore will soon become ancient history. An author will become writer, publisher, and marketer of their works (a lot of us already are). There will be no middleman between author and reader which opens a whole new world of getting the author noticed. Blogs and websites will allow fans direct access to their favorites which will generate a much closer bond between storyteller and reader.
I see a new kind of literary relationship evolving in which the populous will decide what they want to read by their own selection and not just books pre-approved, stripped down, and ground out from the corporate publishing paper mill. I find it exciting to think that any one of my fans can literally reach out electronically and ask me a question or just send a little note. I can read it and respond as if we’d known each other for years on a personal level. It is this inter-connectivity that will sell books in the future; by word-of-mouth.