Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Gerard Reid has left a new comment on your post

I'm sure we will see what I call "the relative displacement of media" phenomenon.Since the beginning of time, the invention of each new medium has never destroyed the preceding media, it has simply displaced them.
Even today we chisel words in stone on monuments and attend public addresses by academics, politicians, etc., make our own music at home, attend live performances, paint, sculpt and so on. So media do not disappear.
However displacement is not absolute. It is relative to all other media. Just look at what TV did to the cinema. At first it knocked the cinema into steep decline. Then the cinema industry remade itself, found new production values and marketing techniques and is today stronger than ever. Cinema in its time had done the same to live theatre and recorded music to home-made musical entertainment.
And yet each displaced medium has bounced back, stronger than ever.

If for no other reason than the lesson of history, we can confidently say that the traditional print book will:-

-be displaced by eBooks

-suffer some decline in print form

- after a time redevelop its format and values

- piggyback on the new medium to reassert itself

- emerge stronger than ever


Anonymous said...

Amen to that.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with Gerard. Ebooks have some virtues (storage capacity being the major one) and some deterring factors (battery life being the major one.) They will not replace print technology in the near future - or ever, entirely (meaning 'as long as civilised humanity lasts.')And I hope I live long enough to see the advances that will come.

The amount of ebook hype floating around makes me think the promoters are more than a bit desperate...

Anonymous said...

What hype!! There is no hype. Publishers don't understabd the medium.
Authors are blind to the their potential, the book trade association are stuck in traffic and the reader experience is mediocre.
So where is the hype Mr Beattie?
Its all rhetoric and buck passing. All of this will change as soon as a viable business model appears. Of that you can guaratee.
Time we had a new Alan Lane who understands this.

Anonymous said...

I used the word "hype" Paul Reynolds, not Graham.
And, in my informed opinion, it is hype - talking up a device that is
b)has a short battery life
c)has -proportionately - a tiny amount of material available to download to it
d)is in the early stages of development and
e)has sold (this is an amalgamation of both Kindle and Sony Reader 'sales figure' - in quotes, because neither has released accurate country-by-country sales figures)way less than a million machines.
The hype is in the kind of wildly overblown statements that Graham linked to on this blog.
Speaking as an author, I am very much aware of the *potential* of the things (and so are most e-savvy writers I know.)
Speaking as a reader, I've tried using both devices and am not impressed - and the take-up rate shows that the vast majority of readers prefer real books (v. different to the take-up rates of iPods and iPhones - there were & are true markets for both machines.)
I'm not sure what you mean by 'the book trade' - publishers or booksellers? I can assure you that publishers are on to it (electronic rights are routinely sought in contracts now).
Ah, yes: "a viable business model."
Because that would involve massive changes to distribution, territories, and copyright, it isnt going to happen any time soon.

Anonymous said...

Kerry H and I are on common ground around the user experiece. It is
mediocre to say the least. Also agreed is the expense, especially for
lock in devices like kindle.

My main gripe however is with the publishing industry and that
includes authors and especially author and publishers associations.

All concerned , with only a few exceptions seem to be happy to wait
for others to create the future

For me Kindle et al are a distraction. The big energy points are on
mobile devices which are always on.

The challenge for authors and publishers alike is to figure out the
impact of what other people are now calling 'network nearness' both as
creatives and distributors.

I was recently in Seoul Imagine 20 million people all using their
phones. But none of them making a phone call.

Or take the latest UK research (Guardian UK) which claims that 12/15 year olds spend 6 hours a day onscreen.

This isn't to watch TV. The TV companies are currently in a panic to figure out what to do about the conundrum that kids don't watch tv but do use screens

The challenge. For the nz book world. To figure out how can we get new zealand writers and their works on these devices. . And earning better royalties than the traditional 10 per cent tip.

For sure printed books as learning and story devices will continue.
But they will be niche, and expensivel

As for this opposition between ebooks and real books. Can we please leave this distraction alone and concentrate on where the new readers are and how to reach them.


Anonymous said...

Paul Reynolds, I am less than impressed with people who deliberately mis-spell my name.

Your comments appropos mobile devices are misinformed: yes, they're on almost all the time, but no, people arnt interested in actually reading on them (several writers have tried, in China and Japan. Initial huge readership - for roughly 200 words- died off paticuarly when payment came into the equation.) Mobiles are used primarily for, txting, tweeting, sending photos/ short video clips - keeping in touch & impressing your friends

I have a niece who is both an omivorous reader, and an almost obsessive txter (3-4000 a month.) She *hates* reading on her mobile - unless it's in txt.

The television comments are a red hearing - again, some small amount goes through 'phones, but more & more viewers access what they want through the web. Screen size *does* make a difference.

Paul Reynolds said...

My apologies with the mistake I made with Keri Hulm'e name. However, the idea that I did it on purose it just silly.
Pity - I thought we were havng a discussion not a confrontation.
End of story/discussion for me.