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From Print to Mustaches via Pretoria

Literary Agent Steve Laube talks about the hyped-up notion that “print is dead.” In movies, agents end up behind enemy lines spying, wisecracking, and listening for details of what is happening. And getting wounded. So, we should definitely trust them.

Laube argues that, while things are definitely changing, the notion that print books are over with is silly. He employs all caps, which I assume he doesn’t like to see in proposals. (MY BOOK IZ GONG TO SALE LIKE HARRY POTTER!!!!!) Here’s part of what he has to say. I call it a “quote.”

“I see the royalty statements. I know exactly how many digital versions of my client’s books are being sold. And while there are a lot more sold than there were two years ago (of course there would be) the volume is still less than 1% of the print version sold. LESS THAN ONE PERCENT.”

He even notes that CD sales are still strong, even though digital music is (obviously) popular and growing more so. I know we’re all trying to figure out what kind of relationship there is between what has happened/is happening to the music business and book publishing. His article is informative on that front. Read it here.

Bottom line: printed books are alive and well, and will be for at least a while. To that I say, “Yay,” and “Pip, pip!” And, lastly, “Tally ho.”

OK, may have overdone that.

Here’s a picture of a Kindle being made. Oddly enough, they are manufactured using very old printing presses. That is also, in fact, where they get their name: Kindle. The fellow what operates the press is named “Kindle B. Rhinelander.” He has, it might surprise you to learn, a mustache.

Do you think printed books are on the way out? If so, do you care one way or the other?Can you name the book reference in the post’s title? The only clue I have to offer you is blood, sweat, and tears. And mustaches.

Do you like money? Do you have a mustache?


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