What will publishing look like a decade from now?

Via a whole bunch of sources comes this piece by former publisher Richard Nash at Galleycat – an eight-point bullet list of the changes he expects to see in the publishing industry over the next ten years. [image by adactio]

There’s nothing in there that you’ll not have heard from various prophets of hegemonic disruption, but to have a former publisher repeating it on a site which is very much a core industry organ (at least in the online sphere) suggests a certain degree of grudging acceptance of the changes coming down the pike. Here’s a couple of my favourites:

6. In 2020 we will look back on the last days of publishing and realize that it was not a surfeit of capitalism that killed it, but rather an addiction to a mishmash of Industrial Revolution practices that killed it, including a Fordist any color so long as it is black attitude to packaging the product, a Sloanist hierarchical management approach to decision making, and a GM-esque continual rearranging of divisions like deck chairs on the Titanic based on internal management preferences rather than consumer preferences.

7. In 2020 some people will still look back on recent decades as a Golden Age, just as some now look back on the 1950’s as a Golden Age, notwithstanding that the Age was golden largely for white men in tweed jackets who got to edit and review one another and congratulate one another for permitting a few women and the occasional Black man into the club.

I believe the appropriate phrase is “zing”.

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