Print Is Dead: Books in our Digital Age (MacSci)

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Print Is Dead: Books in our Digital Age (MacSci) [Hardcover]

Jeff Gomez
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 13, 2007 MacSci
For over 1500 years books have weathered numerous cultural changes remarkably unaltered. Through wars, paper shortages, radio, TV, computer games, and fluctuating literacy rates, the bound stack of printed paper has, somewhat bizarrely, remained the more robust and culturally relevant way to communicate ideas. Now, for the first time since the Middle Ages, all that is about to change. 
Newspapers are struggling for readers and relevance; downloadable music has consigned the album to the format scrap heap, and the digital revolution is now about to leave books on the high shelf of history. In Print Is Dead, Gomez explains how authors, producers, distributors, and readers must not only acknowledge these changes, but drive digital book creation, standards, storage, and delivery as the first truly transformational thing to happen in the world of words since the printing press.

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Editorial Reviews


"A must-read for people who care about reading." --Jeff Jarvis, author of What Would Google Do?
"I'd say the smart money is on Gomez being right that an ebook revolution is just around the corner." --The Independent
"This book is a wake-up call for anyone in the print media who has not yet grasped or embraced the realities of the digital world created by the Internet...He's done a good job.  Print is Dead is a succinct and useful field guide to digital media."  --Anthony Cheetham, Literary Review

About the Author

Jeff Gomez lectures on digital information trends at publishing industry events throughout America, and teaches at New York University. Jeff has written four novels, including Our Noise.

Product Details

  • Series: MacSci
  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; First Edition, 1st Printing edition (November 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230527167
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230527164
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,445,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catchy Title &Thoughtful Treatment November 19, 2007
Gomez uses a provocative title to tackle a current topic of discussion in the publishing world. He combines careful research with his own insights from working in traditional publishing to produce a thoughtful and well-written book.

I love the points he includes in some of the final pages of this book where he lists five reasons publishers will still exist in a digital age:
"#1. Find talent. With millions online, finding anything worth consuming is getting more difficult.
#2. Support talent. The Internet is great for making an initial splash, but not for turning that splash into a career.
#3. Edit talent. Even geniuses need editors. (Great point in my view. wtw)
#4. Expose and market talent. As more authors are discovered online, more authors are promoted online.
#5. Pay talent. The Internet creates communities, but it doesn't pay them."

As a reader who is intimately involved in traditional publishing as shown through my Book Proposals That Sell, I found Print Is Dead worth my limited reading time. I recommend it.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful, provocative and very well-written November 24, 2007
Given Amazon's recent release of the Kindle ebook reader, the timing of Jeff Gomez's Print Is Dead couldn't be better. Regardless of your beliefs about print vs. e-content, you need to read this book, especially if you're in the publishing business. You might not agree with Jeff's opinions but I guarantee you he'll make you think about the industry in ways that you've never thought about it before. Even if you're just a fan of reading in general you owe it to yourself to read this excellent book.

The way I test the value of a book is by looking back and seeing how many times I've folded over a page or highlighted a passage that got my attention. My copy of Print Is Dead has so many folds and highlighter marks that it looks like it's been read by 10 different people. Here are some of my favorite excerpts:

** Many of those in publishing see themselves as guardians of a grand and noble tradition, so much so that they sometimes suffer delusions of grandeur.

** ...pretty much anyone under the age of thirty qualifies for being accustomed to a 'constant stream of digital stimulation.' And so to expect future generations to be satisfied with printed books is like expecting the Blackberry users of today to start communicating by writing letters, stuffing envelopes and licking stamps.

** Today's kids are not going to want to pick up a big book and spend hours in a corner silently, passively reading. Why in the world would they do that? It's not interactive. They can't share the experience with their friends. There's no way to change the book to suit their own tastes.

** The publishing industry needs to realize this, and it needs to also find a way to get to these kids by making content available in a way that will first reach them (i.e.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needs editing down March 23, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you cut out the author's recurring mantra "it's not the physical book we value, it's the words" then this book would be a third as long. Take out the redundant arguments about why today's "generation upload" insists on always interacting with everything on multiple levels and is both incapable and thoroughly disinterested in doing anything like "just read", or just listen to "music" (or "just" anything) and you'll cut another third out. Aside from being long winded, it's just wrong. Kids know how to consume different media, and aren't limited to just mash-ups.

Anyway, what's left is an engaging discussion about the transformation of the book as an entity, the industry behind books, and the people that read them. However, this lesson would work just as well in a much shorter book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking read November 29, 2008
Ironically, I found this book in my local library and it was definitely worth a Sunday afternoon read. It has some thought-provoking ideas that sparked a blog post.
Writers today have been inspired by print books. The age of most successful writers today means they grew up without the internet, without email, without YouTube so the concept of what a book is remains with the print book. For Gen Y and beyond, they have so many other versions of what media is that the print book is just one. Creating content and posting it online immediately is reality.(Why wait 18 months to have your print book published when you can be on Kindle tomorrow? There is an audience online, you just have to be out there.)

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2.0 out of 5 stars Largely obvious or out of date, and repetitive January 26, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Most of what is in this book is either obvious or out of date.
It's also far longer than it needs to be, given how few ideas are contained in it.
It feels strangely like a self published book. Even the typography feels cheap.

This is a shame, because it is writing about an important topic.
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