It's clear that the recession is accelerating the shift to digital publishing. “With the economy shaping up as it seems to be,” one astute observer of trends in the university press world told me last summer, “we’re going to see a 15 year leap in publishing in the next two years.” And that was well before trillions of dollars started vanishing into the ether. But the very notion of digital publishing tends to provoke resistance -- much of it rather underinformed. As noted in this column recently, some people evidently equate it with creating a Web site. This is worrying, insofar as people making choices about the allocation of resources may share in this confusion. When "the decider" is hopelessly befuddled, things tend to go badly. (No need to name any names here. I’m just sayin'.) Only compounding the problem is the tendency to regard digital and print books as completely different (indeed, counterposed) categories of publishing. Which then fosters a belief that the expansion of digital book publishing will yield a world in which you won’t be able to find the old-fashioned kind, with spines and pages and covers. . . .
Read the rest here: http://www.insidehighered.com/views/mclemee/mclemee237.