At such an event as the recent Miami Book Fair, everyone may be forgiven for thinking of reading and writing as natural. Certainly, these activities seem natural to us all, but reading and writing are not natural at all. Speech is natural to humans, as natural as songs are for birds. Writing and reading make use of technology – the product of human imagination and science.

Today, digital technology makes possible reading and writing – as well as the sharing of that self-expression to a global audience. We read books still, of course, and we read on a smartphone or a laptop or, less and less, an e-reader. The rise of the devices presents a fascinating, perplexing challenge for reading and for books. All at once, the book moves from the printed page to a screen — placing it next to every, and all, other media. How well will the book get along with its new neighbors? How much we will continue to read,  and how much will reading matter?
Miami Book Fair 2016 Panel
In a panel discussion moderated by CCC’s Chris Kenneally, an author, a journalist and a publishing analyst talked about the future of an 8000 year old technology.

Andrew Albanese is senior writer and features editor at Publishers Weekly and the author of The Battle of $9.99: How Apple, Amazon and the “Big Six” Publishers Changed the E-Book Business Overnight. As a journalist he has covered the publishing and information technology field for more than a decade.

Rafael Lima is a Miami novelist, screenwriter, playwright and journalist. His play El Salvador was developed and staged at the Circle Repertory Theater in New York and published by Samuel French and Applause books. After an extended run, El Salvador was translated, published and produced internationally in seven languages and won the L.A. Drama Critic’s Circle award, a Dramalogue Award, and a Rockefeller Grant for excellence in dramatic writing. Lima has written feature screenplays for Paramount, Disney, Castle Rock and Desi-Lu productions, as well as several television series. Additionally, Lima has written numerous documentary projects for PBS and the Discovery Channel. Lima’s novel “Zero Point the Triangle Conspiracy” was an Amazon best seller.

Kristen McLean is the Director of New Business Development at Nielsen Book, a part of Nielsen Entertainment. Kristen is a 20-year veteran of the publishing industry, where her career has spanned many roles including frontline retailing, merchandising, buying, field sales, marketing, and business development which gives her an unusually deep perspective as a market analyst.

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