Sensible and interesting predictions for the future of publishing

Galleycat's asked former publisher Richard Nash for some predictions for the next ten years of publishing and he came up with eight extremely sensible and thought-provoking prognostications. This has got it all: an acknowledgement of the hubris of prediction, globalism, nostalgia, realism, and a dash of vision.
4. Long-form text-only narrative will continue to thrive as it has since cavemen gathered around the fire, just as painting has thrived since Lascaux. The advent of more and richer iterations of multimodal entertainment and edification will not kill off others (either multi or single mode) in the future, just as they did not in the past, though they certainly will kill businesses with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement based on past success in a given mode.

5. The mechanically reproduced object will have its aura restored in this Age of Digital Reproduction and we'll wish, again, that Walter Benjamin could have seen all this.

Richard Nash: Book Publishing 10 Years in the Future (via Futurismic)

(Image: File:Lord Stanhopes Printing Press.jpg, Wikimedia Commons)


  1. I agree: Humans will always love a good story. Stories/memory/narrative are part of what it means to be human.

  2. 9. Amazon (and a few others) will provide print on demand services to publishers, while publishers will engage in a huge project to digitise their entire back catalogues. This will finally put an end to copyright holders using copyright terms to keep content out of the market via limited print runs, remaindering and pulping of niche books. And I’ll finally be able to buy a new copy of Bruce Sterling-Islands in the Stream, Marc Laidlaw-Dad’s Nuke and Fillippo-Ciphers, among others. That one’s got a chance of happening.

    10. The Kindle Mk3 will be good enough to use and the industry will agree on a common non-DRM format so that hardware competition will get the reader price down below $50. Non-DRM ebooks will become the norm as more and more authors/publishers start listening to Cory. Sadly, this is all very unlikely.

  3. There’s something not quite right with a *former* publisher offering predictions on the future of the publishing industry.

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