This week, we return to a television program for article of the week. A family friend brought to my attention the International Summit of the Book held at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC on December 7, 2012. The day-and-a-half long summit was subsequently broadcast on C-Span 2 Book TV. Given that I do not have cable television, it took me awhile to track down the summit online and then watch the various panels and keynote speakers.
At the International Summit of the Book, industry leaders and scholars present on various topics: the history of the book; the past, present, and future of books; the role of cultural institutions in fostering the future of books, etc.
Of all of the lectures, I found that the panel on “The Publishing World Yesterday and Today” did a wonderful job of capturing the recent history of the publishing industry and answering tough questions about the future. They also did so clearly and substantially with a novice audience in mind.
Panelists weigh in on a diverse array of questions: Is the publishing industry crumbling? How are ereaders impacting the relationship between the reader and the writer? What is the impact of self-publishing on the “traditional” publishing industry? Are there too many books? What do editors and publishers do, really? How has book publishing changed and stayed the same?
This summit offers people interested in book publishing–be they readers, writers, agents, business men or women–a unique opportunity to get an in-depth, varied perspective on major issues facing the industry in an informational climate which runs on sensationalism and polarizing viewpoints.
If you are interested in watching “The Publishing World Yesterday and Today,” the hour-and-half long panel has been saved in thirty-second clips (yes, really) in a free online archive: http://archive.org/details/CSPAN2_20130106_013000_Book_TV#
The program of the International Summit of Books can be seen on the Library of Congress website: