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4.14.2010

The Future of Literature

In the future, the most popular books will be e-books. Because everyone wants an I-Pad--even though when I think of I-Pad, I think of something else. Steve Jobs is the man. If not the I-Pad, then the Kindle or the Nook or the Sony E-Reader or the Kobo. All major publishers are already producing ebook titles. So are some indie publishers. It's how they plan to survive.


E-Publishing allows more to be published, and more people to possibly publish. Think about the blogs you read. That's self-published. Think about sites like Smashwords or Lulu, where writers can upload their unedited works and sell them. E-Publishing has a way to do away with major corporations, firing the middleman (editors) and spawning mini-publishers. The question is: are we moving towards post-capitalism (moving away from corporations) or neoliberalism/McDonaldization (corporations using customers as employees)? But this is clear: in a generation of Youtubers, we all have voices.


In the future, there will only be three genre of fiction: mystery-thrillers, erotic-romances, and literary fiction.


Thrillers, since James Patterson, have acted like the blockbusters of the publishing industry. America can't get enough of killers. Thrillers all over the world show a growing trend: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Smilla's Sense of Snow, etc. The hardcover fiction NY Times is flooded with thrillers, with names like: Jonathan Kellerman, Clive Cussler, Lisa Scottoline, James Patterson and [hired hand].



However, romance titles still make up the largest share of the book market. With romance comes erotica. With the privacy of e-reader (no covers visible:), and the ease of e-publishing, erotica will thrive. It will be the golden age of smut. I am already prepared, thanks to Mickey Erlach of Starbooks Press.


In the future, half the people standing around you reading on e-readers will have boners, you just won't know it.


Literary works will still exist simply because someone needs to be snobbish. This will be why paper books will exist.


In the future, we will wear gas masks, because e-books takes up more resources to make than paper books. Hello Global Warming. Paper books too do cause pollution, but who throw away books? Not I. Remember: keep it or share it or recycle it.


In the future, Apple will revolutionalize another market because the book market is dead. "[the I-Pad's] success will be in luring customers wanting to watch video, surf the internet, and read documents and magazine--and, oh yes, Apple Adds, you can read books too!" Steve Jobs never cared about your stupid literature. We will follow him anyway. His sister, the writer Mona Simpson, who wrote Anywhere But Here will kill him for destroying her career. She still has a Simpsons character named after her though.


In the future, forget vampires. Add gays! Think about it: Pride and Prejudice and Drag Queens! Add a queer, see the difference. This is my book proposal if any agents or publishers are reading...

In the future, James Patterson will still be writing, even though he's dead. He'll be like V.C. Andrews. He'll keep writing his bad novels forever.


In the future, Nora Roberts will die. No one will replace her.


In the future, everyone is a writer (given that schools still teach that). Everything will have something to say. There will be sections of bookstores for memoirs about dead dogs, dead cats, dead gerbils.


In the future, less housewives will be reading. This is the post-Oprah world. If housewives don't have a media goddess to show them how to live, they will have no meaning to live for. A mass housewife suicide. More reason not to be straight.


In the future, we will be disappointed as always because the future always looks more exciting in the past.


Anna Quindlen Says:

The invention of television led to predictions about the demise of radio. The making of movies was to be the death knell of live theater; recorded music, the end of concerts. All these forms still exist—sometimes overshadowed by their siblings, but not smothered by them. And despite the direst predictions, reading continues to be part of the life of the mind, even as computers replace pencils, and books fly into handhelds as well as onto store shelves.

To conclude, says Quindlen: "Anton Chekhov, meet Steve Jobs."

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