Publishing Talks: David Wilk Interviews David Rothman
In this series of interviews, called Publishing Talks, I am talking to book industry professionals who have varying perspectives and thoughts about the future of publishing, books, and culture. This is a period of disruption and change for all media businesses.
Publishing has been a crucial part of human culture for as long as people have been writing and reading.
How will publishing evolve as our culture is affected by technology, climate change, population density, and the ebb and flow of civilization and its economics? Publishing Talks interviews help us understand the outlines of what is happening, and how we might ourselves interact with and influence the future of publishing as it unfolds. Publishing Talks interviews give people in the book business a chance to talk about ideas and concerns in a public forum that are often only talked about “around the water cooler,” at industry conventions and events, and in emails between friends.
I hope that Publishing Talks interviews will give people inside and outside the book industry a chance to hear about some of the thoughts, ideas and concepts that are currently being discussed by engaged individuals within the industry.
David Rothman grew up in the D.C. area, went to the University of North Carolina and worked as a reporter for the Journal in Lorain, Ohio, where he covered poverty and public housing and was a feature writer. Among other stories, Rothman chronicled the aftermath of the Kent State massacre.
Related distantly to the late Hollywood scriptwriter Arnold Belgard, Rothman is the author of six nonfiction books on technology-related topics and lives with his wife, Carly, in Alexandria, Virginia. He is well known on the Internet and among digerati for having created and operated TeleRead, a popular site devoted to libraries and technology and recently has published a novel based on real-life Washington, D.C., The Solomon Scandals.
I talked with David Rothman about his long history of involvement in technology, the internet and digital reading alternatives, with emphasis on Teleread, and we then moved on to cover some of the current issues of the day, including the business structure of the rapidly growing e-publishing marketplace, copyright issues in the digital era, and how the web might enable new compensation models for authors and other creators. David displayed his typical verve and journalist’s willingness to tackle any subject and every challenge.