Written by Sydney Stewart
The world is constantly changing. Innovations occur, technology improves, societal customs shift with the times, and the responsibility is placed on the average individual to accept these changes. Yet with innovation comes a slew of new issues and more developments that must be made. While the digital era brings new challenges, it also welcomes the possibility for further innovation and positive change.
The addition of new online publishing methods has ushered in a new era of easy, fast, and impersonal publishing. Now, self-publishing has become easier than ever with companies such as Amazon providing user-friendly methods to get one’s work into the world without the struggle of scouring the ends of the earth for an accepting publisher. Individuals can retain the creative rights of their work and have little-to-no reliance on outside publishers or editors or designers. Self-publishing through online websites has become easier than ever and is steadily becoming an increasingly viable option for many authors.
Yet, as with many innovations, online publishing has obstacles to overcome and brings with it a worrying future for traditional print publishing companies. The digital age in which we live in constantly brings a mixture of wonder and frustration to our lives. While we may have access to a wealth of information at our fingertips, buggy updates and webpages and slow connections are found at every corner. Despite the issues present with digitizing much of our world, there has been a pervasive fear amongst traditional publishers regarding the rising popularity of online publishing giants, and the competition they pose. Traditional publishers worry that books will go “out of style,” only to be replaced at a rapid rate by independently published individuals selling their works exclusively through companies such as Amazon.
However, these innovations still have much left to develop and work on. Amazon first launched Kindle Direct Publishing (the e-book publishing unit used by self-published digital authors) in November 2007—over ten years ago. This mentality of the ease in self-publishing is not a new and foreign one, but a familiar thought pattern that has persisted through a number of years. This “new” technology is growing older; it’s common, and many prospective authors are fully aware of its potential. Furthermore, Kindle Direct Publishing and Amazon maintain a number of serious issues within their system, and with an audience who desires efficiency, many look back to the simplicity of a non-digital world.
While the effects of this newfound technological innovation are felt throughout a number of industries today, not all is lost for the “good old days” of paperback books and publishing houses. There is a certain nostalgic gleam to these ideas that now seem so old, and in an era in which efficiency is lauded, Amazon and companies like it often struggle with maintaining the speed and effectiveness of their businesses. People can now select between the nostalgia of traditional book reading and publishing, or the not-so-new era of digital publications, a field that still grows and develops to this day.