The Evolution of Publishing and the Frankfurt Bookfair

currently playing on my iPod: Let’s Get Lost by Beck and Bat for Lashes

The Frankfurter Buchmesse (Frankfurt Book Fair) is this week. Longing to be there, I checked out some photos from the first two days that are posted on their webpage. On one picture I noticed a speaker standing in front of a projection that details how publishers’ job descriptions are changing. I paraphrase here but basically the wording was that publishers will no longer be in the business of distribution (due to the rise of the digital age of course) but instead will concentrate more on curating people, curating content, editing, teaching, promoting, arranging meetings and events, and continuing to innovate within the field. I hope, from a reader’s perspective, that publishers are able to develop a user friendly curating system for content. I have often wondered with the introduction of PubIt (Amazon’s self publishing ebook  initiative that allows anyone to put their book into digital form and make it available) how us readers will shuffle through all the junk to find the good stuff. Will we simply search the list of ebooks approved by so and so? Will we have some sort of standard rating system agreed upon by elected readers or something of that nature? Will popular writers be able to give “gold stars” to debut novels that they prefer? I wish I could listen in on these meetings at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Despite the inevitable flavor of stressiness, I bet the atmosphere is thrilling.

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