By Roger Tagholm
“The book has had a primacy from Homer to 1992 as the main cultural vehicle of information, entertainment, science, philosophy, literature,” offered publishing doyen Anthony Cheetham from the aisles of Earls Court yesterday. “But I wonder if that primacy will remain.”
Why 1992? “Isn’t that when Amazon started?” continued Cheetham, who has just celebrated his 70th birthday in Paris and whose latest incarnation is leading the Head of Zeus publishing company.
Of course, it all depends on what one means by “book.” Cheetham believes the changes sweeping the industry require publishers “to look again at what we’re all doing, and I think that means we have to change from being generalists to specialists.”
He also posed this question: “What happens when a merged Penguin and Random House decide to go it alone on ebooks?”