by Qate Blanjett
By the year 2028, scientists project more than half of the earth will be populated by people. Global warming will have escalated to the extent that the five largest corporations will be air conditioning manufacturers. The largest city on the planet will be Tokyo and the largest country will be Africa.
Taking into account current financial, academic and social trends, experts project the publishing industry is likely to see the following turbulent changes to its present platform.
1) Free book rental
Due to increasing unemployment in the Western world, millions will have a surplus of spare time but diminishing disposable income in comparison to previous eras. To resolve this problem, many governments will start subsidizing the publishing industry by purchasing large amounts of books, which will be stored at local facilities for open to the public. Readers can go to these places to not only peruse new and old titles, but also to rent books completely free of charge, provided they are returned within a predesignated period of time.
2) Mental link between authors and readers
In the next few years, we’re likely to see companies offer titles that can be downloaded directly to artificial memory chips already installed in a reader’s cerebral cortex, but by 2028, we’ll go a step further. Readers will simply visit their favorite author’s website and for a nominal fee, will be able to “mind-link” with the author and have the latest installment of their favorite saga telepathically transmitted to them. This will also benefit authors by saving countless hours of typing time.
3) The return of papyrus handscrolls
As we’ve seen in the past decade, despite the convenience and availability of emerging high-tech formats, many readers still prefer traditional forms of media. Therefore, we’re likely to see a 1400 percent increase in the amount of handscrolls sold, and the big publishing houses will devote at least 30 to 50 percent of their workforce to transcribing the latest best sellers on these scrolls.
4) Poorly written books will no longer be profitable
Places like Harvard and MIT are already at work on an algorithm that can tell whether a book is good or not. No longer will popularity and acclaim be subject to the whims of the literary critic or the Amazon reviewer. This algorithm will provide every single piece of literature in existence with an unbiased “value score” determining its literary merit. New novels – by debut self-published authors and firmly-established giants alike – that fail to reach a certain threshold will be removed from bookstores and likely deleted from existence.
5) Harper-Collins will buy a five percent stake in Penguin Random House
This will happen on July 18th, 2023.
6) Publisher and author dynamic likely to change
It’s very likely that, due to increase market pressure and a rise in the number of potential clients, established authors will be pressured heavily by publishers to produce work in a timely manner. In one possible scenario, a representative of the publishing company will inject a load of small nanobots into the author carrying a payload of strychnine in polymer sacs that, should she fail to meet a deadline, will be torn and released into the bloodstream causing instant paralysis and death.