Publishing's brightest days are yet to come.
I remember watching Star Trek and Battlestar Gallactica when I was growing up, and being so entranced by all the gadgets. It seemed so wondrous amazing that they could talk to each other with these little communicators and even better yet have video conferencing. They carried around little data pads from which they read stuff. All casual like as if it was as common as breathing. Now I watch my daughter with her real life modern day gadgets and every once in a while it gives me a little chill--like I've stepped into those TV shows. So much of what was only imaginary has become reality.
To us older people, changes in the publishing industry seem to be coming alarmingly fast. An end-of-the-world sense of fear and foreboding seems to hover over us and seep into offices and work spaces. What will we do? What is the publishing world coming to?
And yet to the children, carrying around a personal device; which they can use to talk face to face, or just using audio, or texting; which they can use to take pictures and record video; which they can use to download and read all sorts of content, including books; isn't strange or wonderous at all. The technology is as natural as breathing to them.
Those folks who say that children read less because they spend all day watching TV and playing video games, perhaps haven't watched children closely the last few years. The amount of pure text children devour on their gadgets any given day is staggering. And as books become one of those things that are instantly accessible, I believe there will be an explosive growth in the number of books published and sold. The future I dreamed about as a child has arrived. And I believe in the next few years, publishing will see a higher growth than many can now imagine.
Now I'm just waiting for the transporters. The hand-held medical scanners. And those cool instant broken bone knitting machines.