Ron HoganAttend enough conferences on the future of publishing, and pretty soon, you start to wonder if the future of publishing is conferences about the future of publishing. The small talk and the big presentations alike often portray an industry that is diplomatically referred to as “in transition,” which can reliably be taken to mean, “on its back.” Ask Ron Hogan, who’s been watching the business and working in it since the birth of digital media, for his two cents, and you get a real bargain-priced basket of feisty, no-nonsense views.

“I’m tired of hearing about the death of publishing. If these companies die, it’s because they were dedicated to a dying model,” Hogan says. “I also don’t believe that the book is going to die out; the digital economy is not going to completely overwhelm the existing print market for books anytime soon.

“People like to give each other real books, especially pretty books,” Hogan explains to CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “Art books are going to be a category where print is going to continue to matter for some time. There are going to be very cool things that you can do in digital books and e-book apps, but at the same time there are some things that you can really only present effectively and most attractively in paper.”

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