Apr 6


Another good post from my brother Greg on TheDigitalists.com, this one on Kindle and the future of book publishing.  Definitely worth a read by JET alums authors and those working in publishing, especially on the heels of the JET Alumni Author Showcase.

Much of the chatter surrounding Mark Bowden’s Vanity Fair piece on the New York Times has focused on the anonymous quotes slagging publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. But what I found the most fascinating was the passage dissecting Sulzberger’s invocation of the phrase “platform agnostic”:

When the motion-picture camera was invented, many early filmmakers simply recorded stage plays, as if the camera’s value was just to preserve the theatrical performance and enlarge its audience. To be sure, this alone was a significant change. But the true pioneers realized that the camera was more revolutionary than that. It freed them from the confines of a theater. Audiences could be transported anywhere. To tell stories with pictures, and then with sound, directors developed a whole new language, using lighting and camera angles, close-ups and panoramas, to heighten drama and suspense. They could make an audience laugh by speeding up the action, or make it cry or quake by slowing it down. In short, the motion-picture camera was an entirely new tool for storytelling. To be platform agnostic is the equivalent of recording stage plays.

I had a similar thought last week when, after months of reading about it and stealing envious glances at it on the subway, I  had a chance to play around with the Amazon Kindle. It’s a pretty cool product, though it’s clearly still early in the product life cycle; I’d guess it’s roughly analogous to where the iPod was six or seven years ago. But I also realized that in terms of societal impact, we’re even earlier in the process. So far, the Kindle has made the tiniest dent in terms of how books are distributed. In the coming years, it will change how they’re promoted. And one day in the not-too-distant future, it will begin to transform our entire notion of what a book is.
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one comment so far...

  • Joel Said on April 8th, 2009 at 2:42 am:

    Very interesting article. I have a feeling the Kindle 3.0 is going to blow us out of the water. dunno, just a hunch.

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