Monday, October 24, 2005

Today in photography, tomorrow in...

Anyone with any serious interest in photography will know the name of Agfa. A German company, founded well over a hundred years ago, Agfa began experimenting with colour film as early as 1916.

Last week, however, this once great company declared itself insolvent. Most commentators, such as the Times and Forbes.com, tell us that it was the digital revolution which finally killed off this famous name.

Now, let's just have a little think. Surely there are some publishing firms which have been around since the nineteenth century, aren't there? Even if they're no longer independent companies, they still exist as imprints.

Let's see now. There's Hutchinson, Chatto and Windus, Macmillan, Heinemann, Cassell, Hodder and Stoughton, and John Murray -- just to mention some of the bigger and better known ones. Could it be that the digital revolution will before long...

No, no. Couldn't possibly. Not in publishing.

2 comments:

Anastasia said...

There’s been discussion about the Podcast competing with commercial radio networks and Apple is making this easy by enabling people to download Podcasts onto their IPOD.

An article I’ve found, is this one:
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_33/b3947062_mz011.htm

But similar articles have appeared in Australia, as well as other parts of the world.

I think that the next thing that ought to have competition are women’s magazines, simply for the celebrity saturated stories they focus on, coupled with the regurgitated stories that are produced, not to mention advertising that exploits feminine insecurities.

Seriously though, how many paper periodicals are there like ‘Grumpy Old Bookman’ that update people on the publishing world without them having to pay to subscribe to Publisher’s Weekly? And even Publisher’s Weekly tends to focus on glitz.

While I don’t think that digital media will replace the book, only because it’s not the same printing reams of copy paper compared to holding a book in one’s hand, publishing companies may have to compete with self publisher’s in the future but that being said, authors that do make an impact with self publishing are usually (eventually) feted by publishers. Matthew Reilly, here in Australia, self published his first novel Ice Station and it gained a reputation, and from there, even though he doesn’t currently mention it in current interviews, he’s had a series of books ‘conventionally’ published.

But other print media, magazines like the Cosmopolitan’s, ‘Hello’s’ and other rags, are just the same old, same old. Here in Australia, you’d be hard pressed to walk into a newsagent to buy a literary magazine, if you’re female, it’s even worse because every magazine here targets a slightly below average IQ and women between the ages of 16-25, and even if some publications pretend to focus on 25-45 female age group, they ‘read’ and look like they focus on the 16-25 female age group. Men’s magazines are the same, modeled on the ‘agony’ aunt/image conscious female magazine.

Anastasia said...

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/
content/05_33/b3947062
_mz011.htm

(full link)