The spread of information has been well documented. What this means for the publishing world is still being worked out. Viral marketing through Web2. 0 and social networking is outdating the traditional mass-appeal advertisements. People are linking articles and texts to their online friends and this will be the way a market for a particular publication will be organically grown. The rapid acceleration of technology will undoubtedly shift the way we consume products from the publishing industry.
Print-On-Demand may be a viable option for smaller, niche market books, but it cannot accommodate the huge bestsellers that will always demand widespread publication. E-Books seem to be another medium through which to consume books, however this outlet necessitates that the consumer owns an electronic device that is capable of utilizing the software. The publishing industry, like the music industry, will have to adapt the changing forces of the marketplace. There will always be a person who will want to purchase and read the published works, whether that is an E-Book, POD, or a physical paper and ink version.
That being said, technology will be the driving force that shifts the way we consume these products. Some people believe only the large publication houses will die out due to banking too heavily on their outdated business model. Others believe the physical book will be extinct due to the rise of E-books, just as records and CD’s have been outdated with the rise of MP3s. POD will be an exciting prospect for self-publishers and independent houses, but they will not be able to handle a large-scale success. This will be an interesting trend to witness and participate in as the future unfolds.