Next Stop: Publishing Prosperity
There are a lot of people feeling a lot of pain these days. Rightfully so, if you have the sad misfortune to be laid off and are unemployed in this economic crisis. As I see it, there are actually only two directions we can go. We can believe that this is the end of civilization as we know it and we are headed into the new dark ages, or we can believe that this crisis brought about by the massive greed of a few will be conquered, and we will rise above as we have in other points of great economic duress. If the figures are right and there is nearly 10-percent unemployment in this country, the converse is true and that would mean that 90 percent of the country is still working.
Until the recent economic downturn, for every job that was lost in the analog publishing world, interesting new jobs were created in the digital world. So I still carry optimism for us all. Yes, our future will be different than our past, and the changes are all but inevitable. No, we won't be publishing as our forefathers, but publish we will. Does anyone think that writing is going to stop? Does anyone really think that reading is just for elderly generations of yesteryear? Do you really think that we aren't going to need brain surgeons, lawyers, scientists, engineers and college professors? OK, in an ideal world we wouldn't need or want lawyers, but you know what I mean. Writing and reading isn't going anywhere but up. There will be more of it than ever before in all of human history.
The publishing problem has been two-fold -- poor leadership in the giant halls of magazine publishing and a terrible economy. Both problems will be solved in a relatively short period of time. I firmly believe we are headed for a great era of publishing. So my vision for the future of our industry is not bleak, but rather one filled with prosperity, especially for the publishing industry. There are and will be more outlets for creativity than ever before. So it is more a matter of how we get from here to there than the death of creativity and the dismissal of our hardworking friends. I believe that sooner than we all expect, this crisis will be history and the publishing industry will rise from the current stress to thrive and prosper with new tools of outreach and new methods of distribution for our franchises.