Since the internet exploded in the 90s, many facets of our lives have changed, from how we find information to how we shop. Writers have noticed the shift in the publishing industry, especially in the last ten years. As technology advances, and as the Web's instant-everything extinguishes the concept of convenience, we find ourselves on the cutting edge of entertainment and information exchange. We had ebooks, either downloaded or burned to CD and shipped to us. Then we saw the rise of Print on Demand, which made it possible to order a single book that would be printed, bound, and shipped without wasting further paper or ink resources. Epublishers became more savvy, ebook readers became acceptable.
Somewhere along the way, we started seeing mobile phone books, stories delivered straight to mobile phones for consumption anywhere, anytime.
How about podcast novels? Podcast novels are serialized books in audible form. Much like downloading an audiobook to your iPod, podcast novels allow authors to self-publish their work and make it accessible anywhere.
I first learned about podcast novels from author Kimi Alexandre, whose podcast novel Guardians is set to release the chapter one podcast today. Take a listen to the promo and see what you think:
We've already seen traditional publishers gather around the ebook bandwagon, and though it took a few years of kicking tires and inspecting the cargo area, it seems they're happy enough to jump on board and take the bandwagon for a spin. Will serial podcast novels be the next technology they decide to pursue? It wouldn't be a great departure from the audio books they already publish, but does their business model allow them to go in this direction?
Clearly, the open-ended future rights clauses becoming more common in boilerplate contracts means the publishers are prepared to produce books in more formats and deliver in less traditional ways. Whether they choose to pursue all the avenues opening with each new jump in technology, whether they choose to alter their antiquated business model and step into the twenty-first century, it's an exciting time in our industry.