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The Future of Books

Locus Magazine points us to an article on the future of books with the USA Today article Books Might Have To Start New Chapter. Cory Doctorow is interviewed for the article and it mentions his new book Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town which he made freely available under the Creative Commons License on the same day the book was released by the publisher (Tor).

Some interesting snippets from the article:

[Harry] Potter is actually stealing kids away from video games.

“I think book is a verb,” Doctorow says. It’s what you’re doing when reading something like a narrative story or biography or academic argument in big chunks in multiple sessions, he says. “We need to find ways to insert the verb of book into technologies that arrive,” Doctorow adds.

Doctorow admits he hasn’t yet learned a lot from his fans about what books can become. But there are some interesting hints. For instance, he’s certain that the free electronic copies are helping increase sales of hard copy books, which is the opposite of what publishers and authors fear.

“For almost every writer, the number of sales they lose because people never hear of their book is far larger than the sales they’d lose because people can get it for free online,” Doctorow says. “The biggest threat we face isn’t piracy, it’s obscurity.”

This last bit is an interesting observation. Cory states it more verbosely in the introduction of his book (see “About This Book”).

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.
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