Print is Dead

To give credit to whom credit is due, I learned about the book Print is Dead on Thomas Nelson publisher Mike Hyatt’s blog located at I pay attention when someone of his stature describes a book as “must reading,” and it did not disappoint. The premise of the author, Jeff Gomez, himself a publishing executive, is not that books are bound to disappear, but that the delivery of books as we know them will change radically, namely via digital systems. In other words, the news for past, present, and prospective authors is “digitize or die.”

I had read about half of the book on my way to speak at a recent conference for aspiring authors, and without having come to this part of the book, I found myself saying to them that “if you don’t have some sort of online presence, then you may need to rethink your viability as an author,” even going so far as to query, “if someone Googles you and finds nothing about you, do you really exist?”

An excerpt of the book, the chapter titled “Writers in a Digital Future,” is available for free download at and it echoes my thoughts exactly: “Authors who choose not to take part in any sort of online promotion or to curry online exposure, and are unwilling to do things like start a blog, post clips on YouTube, have a page on MySpace or otherwise engage an Internet audience in any meaningful way will find themselves at an increasing disadvantage.”