Part Three of Three Questions! This time my agent Jonathan Lyons does us the honor.
1) Do you see electronic books and print books ultimately co-habituating peacefully together in the marketplace, each with their particular consumer base? If so, how do you see the market's share of readers being sliced up in, say, ten years from now?
I believe it will depend very much on the genre. I imagine for most things, including literary fiction and serious nonfiction, there will be peaceful co-habitation, but for others genres I think we’ll see print disappear entirely with the exception of a few major titles. This is all guessing but I suspect we’ll see 40% ebook share in 10 years for the former.
2) A physical book already seems like a perfect technology to me. Why do you think so many readers have embraced reading long novels on electronic platforms when their days (and nights) are already dominated by electronic devices such as iPads, laptops, cell phones, etc.?
Ease of accessibility, portability, customer service, and more. It really is just one click away.
3) How much power do you think marketing departments in traditional main stream publishing houses have over what books (and the authors behind them) rise and fall in the marketplace? A jaded mid-list author might feel that even fiction books are now being set up to either suceed or fail from the moment their initial print run is decided, especially in the bigger publishing houses.
Dave, you keep trying to pin me down on this. They have some sway, but I still believe in the magic of word-of-mouth, good reviews, and early adopters. It’s just not as common today, especially as the bookstore, a prime source of spreading the word, are suffering so much economically.