RTW: My crystal ball might be broken…

Road Trip Wednesday is a “Blog Carnival,” where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on their blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

This Week’s Topic: What do you think publishing will look like in 2111?


I wish I had an intelligent, enlightened answer to this question, but yeah… I have NO idea what publishing will look like in one-hundred years. I mean, look how much things have changed in the last hundred years. A century ago there weren’t even computers, yet now I carry around a device no bigger than a deck of cards that I can use to surf the internet, social network, take pictures, keep dates, call people, etc. So, who knows where technology and the book world will go? But, if I had to guess about the future of publishing, here are predictions I’d make:

1) Smaller, faster, better versions of eReaders will be the norm.
2)Paper books will be a luxury, something people collect and hold dear.
3) Self-publishing won’t have the stigma it does today.
4) Smaller, independent publishers will become more and more popular.
5) Bookstores will be fewer and farther between. 
6) Libraries will evolve into something like internet market places with downloadable books you can “borrow” to your eReader for a few weeks before they disappear.
7) I’ll have dozens of books published and will still be winning prestigious awards posthumously.

To be completely honest, most of the things on the above list depress me (except for number 7, obviously :)). I hate that bookstores are going bankrupt. I can’t ever see myself buying an eReader (though I certainly get their convenience) because there’s something so comforting and lovely about reading a bound book. And I worry that the ease of self-publishing will lower the quality of literature (this isn’t to say that everyone who self-publishes is incapable of writing a good story. I think we’ve seen–especially in the last few weeks–that self-publishing can be an amazing thing, but speaking in general terms, most people aren’t going to secure multi-million dollar contracts after publishing their own books.). 

So, that’s what I’ve got. Now, look into your crystal ball… What do you think publishing will look like in one-hundred years?

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18 responses to “RTW: My crystal ball might be broken…

  1. I sort of cringe at the thought of books only being electronic.

  2. I agree with Alicia! I was actually talking about this with my parents, and they say my generation has got to get used to eBooks. D’:

  3. I agree. Curling up with a hot cup of coffee and an ebook just isn’t quite the same.

    • I know! If I traveled all the time or was an agent reading tons of manuscripts I could totally see the appeal of an Kindle. That said, I like to snuggle up in bed with a book and an eReader just doesn’t compare.

  4. I LOVE your #7…I hope that happens for us all. And I agree the thought of losing more bookstores breaks my heart. But downloadable book borrowing seems pretty cool 😀

    • Here’s to us all scoring an #7 someday! 🙂 I agree, the downloadable book borrowing is cool, but sometimes I like to go back and reread passages from my favorite books months later. I wouldn’t be able to do that if libraries evolve the way I suspect they might.

  5. I’m okay with #2 so long as print books are still abundantly available.
    Oh, and I predict #7, too. 🙂

  6. I love number seven. 🙂

    I think all of these are realistic, especially the fact that paper books will be more of collector’s items in the same way old telephones or record players from the early 1900s are.

    • I do like the idea of books becoming cherished items to collect, but at the same time, I don’t want that to happen just because they’re hard to attain. The very thought makes me sad!

  7. Lara Ehrlich

    All definite possibilities, though I agree with you that I’m not sure I actually want them to come to pass! Nothing compares to reading a real book in bed. And best of luck with #7!!!

  8. I love that this is a really comprehensive list. #5 makes me sad.

  9. I think it’s awful that bookstores are slowly going bankrupt. I know it’s probably going to happen, but I can’t bear the thought of there not being a sanctum for book-lovers to congregate and enjoy reading real, paper-and-ink books.

  10. Wow, that’s a lot to think about. I can definitely see libraries evolving into online facilities where you can log in and download. Food for thought!