Last week, after sharing that that I’d want to work in publishing someday, somebody actually asked me this question. I was asked -and I quote- “Publishing. Isn’t that a slightly old-fashioned? Don’t you think it’s a dying line of work.”
My reaction upon hearing this
My thoughts on the matter
I think the GIF is a pretty accurate display of my reaction. The only reason I didn’t fall is because I was sitting down, but my mouth did pop open from utter disbelief. After pondering on this for a few days, and taking in stride the arguments this person gave me, I decided to jot down my thoughts in a post.
Are publishing houses a dying thing? Well… my answer would be a firm NO. And frankly it kind of baffles me that people seem to think it is. Maybe I am prejudiced because I am an avid reader, but I truly can’t wrap my mind around the idea that somebody would think that publishing houses are ‘dying’. Why would they be dying? Or maybe the better question would be: why would they no longer be necessary? Because as long as books are being published, I am pretty sure that we’ll need the publishing houses as well.
First thing I asked: “Why do you think so?” The answer I got was a bit vague; and I don’t remember the exact words, but it eBooks were mentioned, and the statement was made that physical books are old-fashioned. I tried very hard not to bristle at that last reason -and failed miserably.
Ever since eBooks were introduced, people have been claming that they will take the place of physical books. The thing is, I don’t think that’s realistic. How long ago did they introduce eBooks? They’ve been on the market for quite a few years now, but physical books are still being sold. Sure, people buy eBooks instead of physical books. Lets be honest, they are quite a bit cheaper. But, there will always be people that prefer having a physical copy. People like me; and I know for a fact that there’s a lot more book nerds out there that have shelves that overflow with pretty shiny books.
But most importantly, books supposedly being old-fashioned or simply the existence of eBooks -in my opinion- really isn’t a valid reason as to why publishing houses would cease to exist. The way I see it, even if eBooks took the place of physical copies, a book is a book. It will still need to go through the process that books go through before being published. That doesn’t change. The only thing that does change is that they’re no longer sold as physical copies, but instead as digital copies (Note that I really don’t think physical books will go extinct any time soon).
So yeah, this post may be completely irrelevant, but it’s something I’d been thinking about. I truly wonder if there are more people that belief it to be true that publishing houses are ‘dying’ and if there are: why?! I figured why not share it with you and ask you what your thoughts are on the matter.
Have you every been asked this question? What was, or would be, your response?