Now I can tap dance my way over to any number of PODs or e-readers or even behemoth amazon.com and wearing the proverbial robe and bunny slippers, use my computer to order books, essays, articles, delivered by paper or paperless. The death of libraries is predicted. Not by me. I have far too many books (and several library cards) to believe one day the brick-and-mortar library will disappear. At least, not before I do.
But the real issue for writers (and for me) is understanding how this fabulous technology affects the publishing industry. Over the last several years, we've gone from raised eyebrows and sniffs over self-publishing to a rapidly growing market that big names now enter.
As Rick Bylina says, we have to do it all. Draft, write, edit, polish, edit, and then, if that were not daunting enough, find an agent. Or, today, maybe not. The brass ring calls. Does it mean I can write the book and then design the cover, proofread the bloody thing at least two or three more times, (by this time, wouldn't I hate nearly every word?), and evaluate which company could best 'publish' my book? And then, as if the next book were not calling me back to my computer, then, wouldn't I need to worry about distribution, marketing, and perhaps the most difficult of all -- self-promotion? And not just worry but actually (sigh) treat my writing as a business? When most days I'm thrilled to just keep writing?
Forgive the rant. I know that these various computer-driven technologies will continue to transform writers and how we write. I can't just say it's all the fault of Xerox. Or was that Xerxes?
cuneiform was sent to the King of Lagash, to tell him his son died in battle (about 2400 BCE) (source Wikipedia). A librarian at the Philadelphia Library Rare Books Department once brought out such a tablet carefully preserved in a tiny box. Parts of this tablet had crumbled to dust, for people once touched the tablet. Perhaps paper books will be like that one day, preserved in museums, accessible only online.