Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Conference Lessons --- Part One: The E-volution

Ego aside, the 2011 Austin SCBWI conference was very important. This event, thanks to the wonderful guest speakers, helped me shift my thinking and open my mind. My brain has been buzzing ever since with the excitement of new possibilities.

I thank Editor Stephen Roxburgh for destroying my anti-technology bias. Stephen gave a very interesting talk about the future of the book industry, which, with the advent of e-books, is in transition and uncertain. Firstly, e-books are here, says Stephen, and their popularity is growing exponentially with the explosive sales of Kindles, iPads, and smart phones. He was blunt: your opinion on these developments is about as relevant as your opinion on the weather - the forecast calls for e-books whether you like it or not. Stephen sympathized with all of us who love our hardcovers and paperbacks (he does too), but pointed out that the next generation, children growing up right now, are primarily reading on screens and will not have the emotional connection to physical books like we do. And that's okay, because when we love a book we're loving the content, not the format. He said loving physical books is akin to loving the paper cup you drank your morning coffee in.

This is good news for us Authors and Illustrators! It means your craft is still what's important! It also means less constraints. You know that old 32-page-picture-book rule? It's a relic of the past. According to Mr. Roxburgh, technology creates options, and the future belongs to the adventurous.

1 comment:

  1. In related news, model hipsters trample on paperback's grave: