Partly because the simple answer is no one really knows. Partly because the evolutionary change to the book world as we know it, is already well and truly under way. But also partly because we never understand why people don’t ask what the future of the iPad or the Kindle or the Nook and why the book is always seen in isolation.
The short of it is this: it will all change.
Will the printed book die out entirely? No, we don’t think so. Will printed books become more niche to the e-mass? Most likely, you’ll definitely need a solid reason to produce and buy printed books that are most likely books to be loved and kept. Will the printed book need to exist happily and contentedly alongside new platforms? Yes, absolutely, even more than it currently does.
But maybe the question that should be asked is not about books at all.
We live in a world where we now talk about post digitalism and take the technology around us for granted. Where it’s less about what technology can do and more about what technology can do for us as human beings.
Where creativity and openness through the internet is the world new generations have already grown up in. A limitless playground with more power to us as people and as readers.
So maybe, with all that in our minds, the focus should be less about the future of the book as we know it, and more about the future of reading. The future of different ways of reading. How we as publishers (or better yet: producers) can stay true to great looking storytelling in a way that will keep people excited about stories and excited about reading.
And that’s a future we’re feeling pretty pumped up about.