The other day I was talking to fellow New Scientist writer Cat de Lange about book writing when I thought occurred - given the rise of ebooks, would I ever get a chance to write a book that would be published on paper, rather than digitally?
Naturally, I asked Twitter, and got some mixed responses. Some people thought it was already too late, though I'm not sure I agree. It's true that sales of ebooks have already overtaken paperbacks, but there's still a demand for "dead tree" books:
- Others went the other way, pointing out that paper has been around for a long, long time and will continue to be around in the future:
- And some missed the point all together:
Personally, I give it 5-10 years before mainstream publishers give up on printing all but the major titles on paper. There will always be demand for a physical book, but I think it will be more a collectors item, just as vinyl is seen as a luxury in the music world.
I'm sure that if JK Rowling ever writes another Harry Potter book, fans will fall over themselves to buy the "deluxe collectors edition" on paper - so to get a printed book, I just need to become a wildly successful author...