Inside MAI Blog: Thoughts on global publishing

"Will Publishers Perish?" by guest blogger Ramon Rocha III

"Will publishers perish?" This was Brett Arends' intriguing question in an article he wrote for SmartMoney Magazine, 08/01/12. According to Arends, today 70,000 Americans are working for publishers, 15 percent less than a decade ago. "I wish them all well,” he said. “But I suspect they all need to start typing their resumes. I can't see how this industry survives. Indeed, I fear the end is nigh."
 
Arends went on to narrate how easy it was to publish his own book electronically through Amazon. And he's a "technological Luddite" at that!
 
Indeed, self-publishing in the West is getting bigger and bigger each year. I think digital technologies and social media workshops at LittWorld 2012 will be well attended. These workshops should trigger interesting and animated discussions during the conference and beyond. Technology will "leap frog" the development and changes in publishing and will certainly affect even developing countries.

As gadgets like smart phones and tablets become cheaper, more and more people in non-Western economies will use them. It is incumbent upon us in the MAI world to be prepared to embrace these fast-changing technologies. For now, print books will remain the preferred mode of preserving and sharing stories, thoughts and ideas. Print books have a longer “shelf life.” But the e-versions will complement them. Even with print, I’m praying that print-on-demand technology becomes available and affordable in poorer economies.

At the end of the day, good content is still key. Thus, MAI's work is cut out for us: to help with the ongoing development of national authors. With the work of the Holy Spirit, God's Word will remain alive and powerful in transforming lives. Books and magazines, both in print and digital, based on biblical principles and teachings, by authors writing in their local context and heart language, will continue to make an impact for Christ until He comes again.

Could the rise of self-publishing endanger the viability of publishers in your country? Please comment.

Ramon Rocha III is a global publishing consultant from the Philippines.

Photo above courtesy of Andrey Kravchenko, Ezdra Publishing

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