Seth’s take on the future of publishing is similar to what I’ve been saying for a while: “The book doesn’t matter. The conversation matters.”
A book, as an object, has no inherent, objective power. Which is why it’s so hard to predict bestsellers, why you can’t judge a book by its cover.
The REAL power of a book comes from lots of people reading it and, MORE importantly, people talking about it.
Or as Mark Earls would say, what makes any object REALLY interesting (in this case, a book) is how it changes the human interaction around it, not the actual object itself.
Again, “The book doesn’t matter. The conversation matters.”
But this has always been the case.
A famous author has always been a global microbrand. A publisher’s power has always been in its ability to provide a platform for the author, not in its ability to chop down trees and create printed paper products.
And an author’s power has always been in her ability to affect human interaction through her writings, not in some magical, superhuman quality.
And of course, all the Internet has done is make these truths even more self-evident than they already were.
“The book doesn’t matter. The conversation matters.” That, my friends, is the future of publishing. The actual media- be it Kindle, iPad, hardpack, paperback, whatever- is irrelevant.
And if your publisher doesn’t really get that, then find another one. Seriously.
PS: Seth mentions me about eight minutes into it as a case study of what he’s talking about (Thanks, Seth!).
[Check out my two books here etc.]