Something Happened - it was an ebook 2010

Sunday paper so far, the news is about last year. As reported by
Robert Crum, Gail Rebuck has stated that Random House found an 800%
increase in year-on-year e-book sales.  It was a "tipping point" in
digital publishing. Crum accepts this as a possibility, given the
stats for USA, 200% up on 2009. $1000m is a viable system.

However much of this is downmarket for Crum. The New York Times finds
that romantic fiction is a major growth area and it is suggested that
"the e-reader is the electronic equivalent of the brown paper

Strangely there is no mention of academic journals, an area where
digital publishing has been strong for some time. Often protected for
digital rights the journals are only read by academics, but literary
criticism might cross over. Apparently not so far to the Sunday

I welcome the idea that there has been a definitive event. Most of the
writing about digital content assumes there is some point in the
future we might have to think about later. This applies to most
implications from digital technology. At the ESRC meeting about
Changing Forms of Organisation in 2007 Will Hutton seemed to suggest
that styles of leadership had to change because of developments in the
knowledge economy. However others seemed to think it was too early to

The ebook idea has been around for ages. I thought about it as part of
a Timequake as in the Kurt Vonnegut novel about a decade that is
repeated. Not sure of the dates on this. According to the Wikipedia,
the Timequake was between 1991 and 2001. There is also a "clambake", a
celebration of Kilgore Trout. It seemed a long way off then but I
think this also happened in 2010.

More on Timequake when I find the paper again, it is somewhere in the
house. Meanwhile this blog clearly has to move around in time and
space. What happened in 2010 is not that clear yet. London publishers
look forward to the Book Fair but may just need to reflect on what has
already happened in New York and other places.