Words on Paper Aren’t Going Anywhere

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“The mission for book publishers and print media at large should be to create a product that is irreplaceable and indispensable.”

Eric Obenauf, the publisher of Two-Dollar Radio, doesn’t think that print is dying. Changing? Certainly. But disappearing? No:

I believe that book publishing will re-generate in the near-future into two separate models: the corporate model, which strives to attain the widest possible “readership” in as short of a time-span as possible by use of electronic devices, interaction, and gimmicks; and the print model, sustained by independent, university, and re-branded imprints of large houses, that believe […] in reading as a “beautiful rich tactile experience,” and who are satisfied with a book selling five thousand copies.

Pointing to J.M.G. Le Clezio, Jacek Utko, Soft Skull, and many others Obenauf makes the case that words on paper aren’t going anywhere.


Isaac Fitzgerald has been a firefighter, worked on a boat, and was once given a sword by a king, thereby accomplishing three out of five of his childhood goals. Formerly of The Rumpus and McSweeney’s and most recently the founding editor of BuzzFeed Books, Isaac is now the co-host of BuzzFeed News’ Twitter Morning Show, #AMtoDM. He also appears frequently on The Today Show to talk books, and is co-author of Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them and Knives & Ink: Chefs and the Stories Behind Their Tattoos (with Recipes) (winner of an IACP award), and the author of a YA novel and picture book forthcoming from Bloomsbury. He uses Twitter. More from this author →