The future of books is coming, but it’s coming slowly

This week on Technotopia I had the opportunity to speak Laura Dawson, an expert on all things publishing and the future host of a podcast dedicated to ISBNs. To say that she has her finger on the pulse of the publishing world is an understatement.

Dawson knows the ins and outs of the big houses and she understands how they think. Interestingly, almost every publisher is well aware of the importance of metadata and the publishing industry – rather than being the benighted industry we all expect it to be – is quite high tech. The bad news? There won’t be much change in the industry for the foreseeable future. Dawson, for her part, expects to see major changes happen within a decade at best, although the vagaries of book sales are definitely speeding up that timeline.

Dawson agrees that publishing is a little slow but she thinks books will still be around for a long time – in some form. She’s most excited about the ability to connect books together – something that fans of the WWW might find familiar – but less like hyperlinks and more like the ability to move through knowledge seamlessly from thought to thought. It’s heady stuff.

You can download the MP3 here or subscribe here.