Of course, Stackpole doesn’t take the problem of quality control into account. After all, the ‘job’ of most publishers is not just to deliver content but to find the best writing out there; good publishers are also reliable critics. But he does intuit, and I believe correctly, that digital publishing is already having an impact on the nature of what we read. He cites the example of the ‘commuter market’: people who read one or two chapters on their way to work or home. This kind of reading, Stackpole surmises, could point the way to a return to 19th-century publishing models, such as serial fiction (think of Dickens, whose fame and wealth was based on serialised novels which appeared in literary magazines).
Friday, 18 September 2009
Over at Books from Finland, Teemu Manninen talks to science fiction author Michael Stackpole about publishing innovations: