It Was Bound to Happen
As reported in The New York Times last week, a major publisher (Little, Brown) is taking its first title directly to e-book … no print version. It’s a book about immigration by Pete Hamill.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in New York City during a time that some consider part of the golden age of newspapers. There were terrific WRITERS, who were allowed to write.
Two of those reporters/writers—Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill—were instrumental in inspiring my love, at a young age, for the written word. Grabbing the NY Post or the Daily News every day from my father and reading reports or columns by these wonderful writers (as well as others, like Red Smith) pointed me in a direction. It also told me, early on, the power and passion that words could provide—along with rock and roll, of course, it’s what sustains me to this day.
I find it fascinating, that an “old newspaper guy” like Hamill is Little, Brown’s first straight-to-e-book venture. It’s also interesting that his book is about immigration in the U.S.—not just because of the emotional debates currently going on, but as a reminder of what has made this country great and is still setting new directions. And it’s amusing, but also telling, that Hamill does not even own an e-reader.
Not to blow this out of proportion, but it is telling of how far we’ve come so quickly that this scenario exists. By the same token, this does NOT signal the death-knell for the printed word. In fact, if I were running Little, Brown I would consider selling custom-printed versions of the book … if that’s what customers were still more comfortable with.
Another really interesting step in whatever direction we’re going in.