Saturday, August 7, 2010

Dorchester -- the Death of Mass Market?

Sad news this week from Dorchester Publishing. As of this coming Monday, August 9 it will switch business models from a mass market publisher to a digital and print-on-demand only service. I'm not sure how it will affect the availability of new titles. My assumption is that its future titles will be available on the major Internet bookstores as ebooks, but as far as the print-on-demand versions I'm a little skeptical. My guess is the prices will increase dramatically and the quality of the physical book will decrease.

This looks very much like the beginning of the end of mass markets. A book form that brought reading to the masses simply because it was inexpensive. But just as the mass market ended the run of the pulps and slicks, the ebook seems to be the end of mass market.

With this move the electronic book reading device appears to be gaining not only prominence over physical books, but it is also now moving from luxury to a necessity for readers of new books. This may be the mark where paper books become the luxury.

I hope that Dorchester finds success with its new plans because an ebook only Dorchester is much better than no Dorchester at all.   

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article about Dorchester Here.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that makes me sad. Maybe it's the normal fear that seems to be a part of getting older (Grandpa Simpson said it best, "I used to know what IT was, now IT just scares me") but this makes me fear for the future of books and reading in general. Yikes. I'll think twice from now on about giving any of my real paper books to thrift shops.