Generation Y no longer useful?

6 Jun

Mike Shatzkin’s blog The Idea Logical Company is famous for creating a buzz on topics concerning the publishing industry.  His educated guesses about the future of publishing have merit, enough to have aspiring publishers like myself shaking in their shoes.  Being a part of Generation Y, technology has been a part of my upbringing.  I created my first email in the third grade and was internet savvy and a speed typer by the fifth grade.  I adapted quickly to any kind of internet game or messaging system; much to the amazement of my Generation X parents.

In his article about the accessibility of ebook and app technology, Shatzkin suggests that in a few years, the programs publishers use to create apps and ebooks out of their frontlist and backlist titles will become readily available to the public.  There are already signs of technology savvy authors self-publishing or creating apps for themselves with tremendous success.  This creates a major problem for Generation Y.  We were brought up as the technological generation, being told that we would be assets to companies because of our flawless skills in social networking and our ability to easily adapt ourselves to newly developed technology.  Specifically in publishing, we are taught that we are going to help usher in the new age of books.

However, Shatzkin observes that, although editorial staff will always be needed, “these tools, if they work, undermine scale by reducing the need for tech wizardry in product creation.”  Publishing companies are already hiring freelance editors to save money by not keeping them in house, but what happens when tech savvy employees also become freelance?  If we follow along with this trend, it is safe to say that publishing houses may eventually cease to exist.  Ebooks may be revolutionary, but the job market definitely is not.

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