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Should new publishers fear the iPad? Does the iPad’s success create uncertainty?
Every month, I try to do a gut check. For those who don’t know what this is, allow me to explain. Every month, I create a mental note detailing my progress and my desired progress per semester. I mentioned in prior posts that relocating from Florida was not cheap especially in this recession. Moreover, I mentioned this program is an investment that can enhance my professional prospects.
The gut checks ensure that I’m getting a return on my investment.
Additionally, they ensure that I’m keeping myself up to date with the industry’s new developments. One of the most exciting developments is the iPad. As a consumer, I enjoy the device. However, as a novice publisher I have to wonder how its popularity affects my career prospects.
I’m entering an industry that is undergoing some serious changes. Is the iPad my friend or foe?
Traditional publishers are fighting against declining sales, authors are migrating to digital and emerging technologies. With all this chaos, it’s a wonder universities don’t eliminate publishing programs entirely. Pessimists would have me believe, I’m wasting my time entering a dying profession. My gut check requires me to ask the same thing.
First, I have to admit that pessimists are partly right. It is a waste of time for publishing programs to emphasize traditional print without regarding digital. Fortunately my program director loves emerging technologies and would not stand for this exclusion. As an aspiring publisher, I’ve found it beneficial to familiarize myself with both worlds. I have to keep in mind that my future employer or client may not be as familiar with digital books or its technologies.
Surprisingly, many publishers do not have departments that exclusively handle digital books. This fact benefits new publishers.
Which brings me to my second point, traditional publishing is not dying. On the contrary, it’s going through a transition. Aspiring publishers should be aware that emerging technology signifies a change in business procedures. Of course this change won’t occur overnight. Still, someday traditional publishers will have departments that solely handle e-books, tablets or mobile titles. As a novice, one of my roles is embracing new technology and helping develop content for appropriate reading formats.
Emerging technology is teaching me that content and canvasses determine the reading experience. Not every book needs to be on an e-reader, some are better on the iPad. Conversely, not every book needs an app, some are better in print.
My gut checks help me assess the industry and carve out a career for myself.
Unfortunately, I cannot change the fact that this transition has cost many jobs. Still, I can make myself marketable by continuing to have an open mind.
I don’t share the belief that new technologies are evil.
On the contrary, I perform my gut checks to ensure I’m fully equipped to handle the combat zone. I have to be aware that the iPad and e-readers are here to stay.
An EPublisher Confesses