March is National Reading Month – a time to pick up a book and read to your kids, or yourself, and remember the power of the written word. But many see the traditional book world as fading – a result of increased technology and disappearing neighborhood, and even national chain, book stores.
Watch renowned best-selling author John Grisham talk about his love of America’s pastime, his latest book plus Calico Joe, and how technology has revolutionized book publishing – not necessarily for the better:
When one thinks of John Grisham, they may not think of baseball books. But with his most recent novel, Calico Joe, Grisham - well known for his legal thrillers – delivers on his long-time desire to write a baseball story, which, he says, it “not necessarily all about baseball but also about fathers and sons and the power of redemption.”
“It’s a really nice baseball story,” Grisham said of Calico Joe, which was released in April 2012. “[The book] is not necessarily just about baseball but also about fathers and sons, and the power of redemption. So it has sort of a heavy element to it.”
Since publishing his first novel A Time to Kill 20 years ago, a lot has changed in the book industry. Grisham told genConnect that just two weeks after Calico Joe was released, half of his sales of the title were from e-books.
“Three years ago, no one saw that coming,” he said. “E-book numbers are obviously but overall, the numbers are kind of flat.”
Grisham lamented the loss of thousands of book retailers – including big chains like Borders – in the past decade or so, adding, “when you lose so many retail outlets, you’re going to lose sales.” Whereas people in the industry under the age of 30 may be excited about the future, the older generation is “pretty pessimistic,” he said. “Nobody knows where we’re going to be in 10 years.”
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