Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Book Lovers, Fear Not

Ingram CEO Skip Prichard isn’t afraid of what lies ahead for publishing

July 30, 2010 This bulletin just in: the sky, contrary to earlier reports, is not falling. Books are not dying, beloved authors are not destined for the poorhouse, and neither the Kindle nor the iPad will murder serious literature. That’s what David “Skip” Prichard, CEO of the LaVergne-based Ingram Content Group, believes, at least. And if anyone should know whereof he speaks on this subject, surely it’s the guy in charge of running a company with 2.6 million books for sale.

In an essay posted yesterday at The Daily Beast, Pritchard surveys the threats facing book publishers and doesn’t shrink from a single one of them. “I reject the detractors and doomsayers,” he writes. “I think this is the most exciting time to be involved in the book business. Not only are books receiving more media attention, the new technologies offer an unprecedented opportunity to engage readers. Audio and video enhancements offer authors the ability to reach a reader like never before. Social networks allow readers the chance to discover books they would never have found. Touch screens let children interact with books or play games related to the story. Educators find that reading assignments come alive as all learning modalities can be engaged. Three-dimensional graphics and spoken text transform plain words into dynamic new worlds. The book itself is being reinvented. The future is here.”

Read the full thought-provoking essay here.