Recently, I had a conversation with an older woman who’s worked in publishing for decades. She began her career as a typesetter. Now she is in charge of her house’s digital publishing projects. The whole time, she has worked at a single university press and watched it evolve, just as she watched the whole publishing industry grow and change.
Unlike some people, who are frightened by change and grumble about how much better things were in the “good old days,” she has embraced change. Her eyes lit up when she told me about her goal to digitize all her press’s works. It is rare to meet anyone who genuinely loves their job half as much as she does. After decades in the industry, she still finds publishing fascinating, because all these changes are exciting to her.
Where there is change, there is opportunity. This woman described the projects she was working on, things that would have been impossible fifteen years ago. Her press has published several “enhanced” e-books that include video and audio alongside text. They also publish digital omnibus editions of multi-volume works, and these ultra-long e-books would be prohibitively expensive to print. Like Wisdom House, her press works with Bibliolabs to bring digital copies of their works to libraries.
I would say that now is an exciting time to work in publishing, but after talking to this woman, I think publishing has always been exciting. It’s an ever-changing industry with new challenges and opportunities around every corner. This can be scary, but it can also be exciting. Here at Wisdom House, I know we’re all excited!