In a very interesting interview Seth Godin talked about the publishing industry. He shared his ideas on the question where books might be headed. Seth recently launched a new project, trying to change the way books are sold and distributed. The Domino Project has already produced some successes.
One of the intriguing statements Seth made was about adding multimedia to books.
He called this a cul-de-sac.
In his view it will become a crying game. He compared the days publishers produced cd-roms with Vietnam. He mentioned several publishers going nearly broke.
In Seth’s opinion a book is written by one person and at some point the product is finished.
Multi Media projects are produced by lots of people. Being software projects they are never finished.
I found this quite interesting, even a bit alarming. I had the idea that adding multimedia would change the way we read. Maybe it’s not books as such that need a change, maybe it will be magazine like products. Maybe only textbooks will turn into multimedia.
Anyway: the interview is great. Take the time and listen.