Losing the Book

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Wachtell made a clear distinction between books and “long-form” text. Long-form texts are simply what go into the physical book. It is the thought, creativity, and actual words that make up long-form text. Wachtell points out that they are a vital part of our world’s history. As long as history can be traced, long-form texts are a major part of our cultures way of communicating. If they were to disappear, how would thoughts, ideas, and history be translated to future generations. Readers would no longer have complex works to read and build creativity and expand their knowledge. She also discussed the large amount of work that goes in to such works. Multiple rounds of publishing must go into each work to insure it is the best it can be. Editing is done in not one but in several rounds. The author must be on the “same page” so that they can best decide how to make the whole book flow. It takes a tremendous amount of research and conversations to make sure each long-form text comes out in the highest possible quality. All of this work makes them expensive to make as well. After editing, printing, and marketing take place, the actual selling of the book becomes quite expensive. This is where digital books come into play. Since they marketers of e-publications are trying to lower the price of e-products, this makes long-form text even more difficult to make because the cost of creating one is not going down. Wachtell point out many interesting ideas in this article, but does not give any solutions to the problem. That leaves me wondering, where do we go from here?

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Comments

Meagan757's picture

Where's the Balance?

The dilemma that Wachtell describes was completely foreign to me- I knew it took a lot to write and publish a book, but I never sat down to think about the costs of creating it and its effect on the eBook. It's sad that she (we) have to worry about this text "going out of business" when they are so important to our society (and always have been). She describes that right now the digital world can't survive without the print and vice versa, so hopefully this structure will work together to find a solution to this problem and the art of long form texts won't go out of style.