An American Editor

October 17, 2014

Worth Reading: The Future of the Book

As long-time readers of An American Editor know, one of my favorite and highly recommended magazines is The Economist. I find it interesting that it is a British “newspaper” whose largest subscriber circulation is in the United States. Sadly, there is no U.S. news magazine that even comes close to the quality of The Economist.

But I digress.

One of the virtues of The Economist is its high-quality, in-depth special reports and essays. The topics vary but the essay in the October 11 issue is near and dear to my heart as an editor:

The Future of the Book: From Papyrus to Pixels.

When I have spoken about the business of editing at conferences, I have said that editors, like all businesspersons, need to try to predict future trends for our business and plan for those trends. Of course, that is easier said than done, but for those of you who do try to identify trends and plan for them, this article is a must-read. It doesn’t give answers, but it certainly gives clues.

The article is the Essay in the October 11, 2014 print edition of The Economist for those who prefer the print version.

Richard Adin, An American Editor



  1. […] The Economist on the future of the book. (via An American Editor) […]


    Pingback by Stumbling Over Chaos :: Linkity leeway lacks — October 17, 2014 @ 8:34 am | Reply

  2. Thanks for the link! Good summation. Along with the free-lance editor, there is also a crying need for an author’s agent/publicist, since the traditional agent only has to find a publisher who is then expected to do the actual advertising. I know of at least one professional, a quite good midlist writer who has successfully self-published the small, witty novels his readers were clamoring for (myself among them) while giving the publisher the more serious bookstops he wanted. But as the days when you could find most of us on certain usenet groups as opposed to Facebook and the like are gone, and he’s having trouble dealing with the not pre-sold.


    Comment by anansii — October 17, 2014 @ 6:16 pm | Reply

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