Whatever else it’s remembered for in the publishing industry, 2008 may be remembered as the year that e-books finally caught on. Kindles are a regular sight on my train these days, and seem likely to become as ubiquitous as iPods: due to unexpected demand (or shrewd marketing?) Amazon sold out well before the holidays and established a Kindle waiting list, elevating the device to the vaunted commercial realm of Birkin bags and Tickle-Me-Elmos. Meanwhile, executives at one publishing house recently told me they now read all of their manuscript submissions on Sony Readers, not paper, and they may eliminate bound galleys in favor of electronic review copies.
“Ubiquitous as iPods”? I don’t think that’s likely. But I am really surprised to discover that editors are reading manuscripts paperlessly. It makes sense, of course, but still. . . .