Jason Epstein on the Future of Publishing

February 18th, 2009

Jason Epstein is a publishing legend. If you don’t know of him, start with the all-too-brief Wikipedia entry, and move on from there. All are well-advised to learn more about this remarkable man.

He now has a vested economic interest in the future of publishing because of his work with the Espresso book print-on-demand device. But this in no way reduces his ability to articulate the changes that are taking place in publishing. He is eloquent, experienced, educated and thoughtful, and his words should be sifted through carefully.

Fortunately the O’Reilly conference on the Tools of Change for Publishing (TOC), held this month in New York, is generous in sharing content from the many presentations there. Here is the full text of Mr. Epstein’s presentation in New York.

He covers the broad range of topics that concern all publishers. A small excerpt here:

“Whatever new publishing paradigms emerge, narrative will persist as a permanent expression of our human nature. We are a storytelling animal and all the world’s tyrants from the beginning of human time have been unable to thwart us. The triumph of samizdat over tyranny is a very old story.”

Please click and read on.