As a writer, you hear loads of debate regarding the position on self-publishing. The argument for it is growing. And, no doubt, one day books may very well be obsolete, but the question is when. Society is evolving ever-dependent on technology (which may eventually prove to be our bane). So one can easily see how self-publishing could become the way of the West. If it does, we "paper sniffers" could be heading to the Antique Roadshow to seek out our hard-to-find love. Can you imagine? That sort of implies that all self-pub is only electronic. However, that isn't the case...yet. There are paper distributor options available. The Paper Sniffers are still safe...for a while.
But what self-publishing could do to the book industry? Honestly, there are some pretty shabby self-published books out there. The quality is often lacking and editing is non-existent. Could the market lose credibility with every joe on the street publishing his own unedited works? How will it stand up to the deluge of inept writers?
What about the pros for the traditional publishing route, you say? Well, they are well put-together. They are produced by a team. They have quality workmanship behind them. While you do have to help boost your works a bit with the traditional publishers, you don't have to push quite as hard as the self-publishers do.
While there isn't a time frame for the end of the paper books, but at the rate at which society and technology are evolving, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the end of the printed word occurs sooner rather than later. All-in-all, until I am a seasoned vet (which I am not sure I want to become...I like learning and growing), I am thinking that I will rely on the Paper Sniffers to help me get my fix.
What say you?