Why print is no longer sacred and why that’s OK
Print can’t possibly be dying, when there are so many services out there trying to put printed product manufacturing in the hands of the consumers. Right?
It’s probably a good thing. You see, print used to be sacred. It was hard to get published and expensive to get printed. Now, there are tools that make getting published much easier and getting printed absolutely free. Is it very profitable? Not for the consumer, because of the high commissions they pay. But is it easy? Yes.
This means two things: the quality of our content as bonafide publishers needs to be awesome. It also means that we have resources in front of us: the people who couldn’t find what they wanted decided to do their own thing.
Book Publishing: Then & Now
For example, ten years ago, it was an honor and prestigious reward to be a published author. You might submit your future novel to dozens of publishers and never get a book deal. Or you might. Some opportunities might have come from “who you knew” but many came on merit and good writing.
Nowadays, if Joe Nobody decides that his Affenpinscher is the cutest little monkey-faced dog around and deserves his own doggy biography, all Joe needs to do is pull up a chair to his computer. With a well-formatted Word document, Joe can get published on Amazon’s CreateSpace and be immediately published to the world.
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Newspaper Publishing: Then & Now
Becoming a credible news outlet has become even easier than becoming a published author. Ten years ago, most people were still turning to the printed newspaper, or at least using the bare-bones websites of those newspapers online. There were very few sources of “news” that most people would consider.
Now, it’s almost impossible to tell a credible news source from one that’s run by a fourteen year-old who learned to design a WordPress blog via YouTube. In fact many of the top news sites on the web have never seen the printed page in their entire existence.
Magazine Publishing: Then & Now
Until very recently, magazine publishing was still a medium that was sacred. Only companies with big bank accounts and the ability to create, print and stock a magazine would ever be able to run a magazine.
Getting a little closer to now, we had figured out that e-magazines weren’t too shabby. After all, anyone with writers and a page-layout program like InDesign can create an distribute a PDF.
But today, even more software has emerged to take something as complex as magazine production and put it into the hands of the consumers. HP’s MagCloud gives anyone the ability to start and distribute their own magazine. For 20 cents per page, MagCloud takes care of the printing and shipping.
Even better… publishers on MagCloud get their content automatically turned into a digital magazine via the MagCloud app for platforms like the iPad.
So what’s next? Does this technology excite you, or scare you?
YouTube has already turned regular folks into TV stars and MySpace has turned garage bands into record label signed musical artists. What are your own predictions for the future?