From http://www.Resurrection House.com: Print is dead. Long live print.
Mission: A publishing enterprise is more than a simple conduit between author and audience. We believe there is power in a physical book, and we seek to embrace the traditional spirit of print while still experimenting with the novelty of the future. We wholeheartedly subscribe to the notion that reading is not only sexy, it is also essential. At Resurrection House, we consider it a privilege to keep important things alive.
Resurrection House is a recently revived Northwest publisher of literary fantasy, sci-fi and their close relatives. The publisher (the human face of Resurrection House) is a favorite nephew of mine who is familiar with electronic publication as well as print. He is working to ensure the future of his preferred genre on the printed page. He knows there are challenges, but also rewards for producing the physical book.
When I was in Reykjavik recently, I asked two people at Iceland Review (published both in print and on the internet) what they think of the future of English book publishing. Their opinions are relevant as Iceland is the world’s most literate country with both the highest literacy rate and the most books read per capita.
If these writers are representative of the Icelandic publishing industry, they are not as optimistic as Resurrection House. The Icelandic writers point out the impact of the Smart Phone revolution. Iceland got its first radio station in 1930 they said, and as recently as 20 years ago had two only stations. Now Icelanders can receive 25,000 radio stations from all over the world via their phones – just one source of instant information and entertainment accessible via handheld electronic devices. They reminded me that there used to be 50,000 journalists in the United States just a few years ago. The number is now 35,000, with the number of newspapers shrinking and both publications and readers turning to electronic media.
They did say that ‘a good book (presumably meaning a well written product) will always be on paper’. Iceland Review editor and lead photographer, Páll Stefánsson, asserted that photography and art books will continue to find publication on paper, too. They both recommended electronic publication for less well-known authors, while seeking their audiences.
What do I think? When I look around, many more readers are holding books than Nooks or Kindles. Smart Phones are great for finding an instant answer, listening to tunes and playing small screen games – sometimes even for communicating with another human being. The publication of physical books may not be keeping pace with the growth of human population, but it is far from dead. At least I hope so. My book is mostly written and I know there are people out there waiting to turn its pages.