I sat on the plane with my notebook in front of me writing diligently about the stories I heard while visiting my family in Maryland.
“Looks like your writing the next novel there” the business man sitting to my right said.
I explained to him that I am an English major and that over the summer I like to read and write so I don’t get rusty. It turns out the business man was in the publishing industry; the industry I want to be a part of.
A couple of weeks before I found myself on the plane, I was talking to a women who I worked with over the summer. She too was asking me what I want to do when I enter the real world. When I told her my career plans she responded with a question I hadn’t asked myself: Isn’t the publishing company going to be obsolete soon?
I had to ask the business man this same question. The Amazon Kindle, the iPad, Boarders Books going out of business along with Barnes and Nobles closing a significant amount of their stores, are all things that could be hurting the publishing industry.
He responded back with a question that I hadn’t considered. He told me that things like the Kindle and the iPad are making the publishing industry flourish. It’s easy to get work published because there is a consumer demand for it; just because publishing industry will have to drastically alter the way they distribute their work doesn’t mean they are going to fail.
After all, what are people buying things like Kindles for anyway?
Since there is a consumer demand for published works there is demand for authors and journalists. To me, this is a win-win situation we have here. The Marketplace of Ideas is flourishing more than ever. One could say this is because published works are easily accessible to consumers now. Or they could say that our generation doesn’t stop writing after they leave the educational system, therefore we never stop reading (because of social networking and such).
As the business man and I walked off the plane together he was persuading me to make the switch to the Amazon Kindle; he was doing a pretty good job of it too. He left me with words of encouragement, a business card, a new perspective on my generation, and with hope that the publishing industry will still be around by the time I am ready to join it.