Within a week or so my co-author and I should receive the first page proofs from Routledge of our forthcoming book, Digital Development in Korea: Building an Information Society. Routledge has published preliminary information about the book on its web site here. This post is another in my series of thoughts about why I would want to co-author a book on this topic. Why write a book, especially one that is subjected to a long process of blind (anonymous) peer review, and then takes 6-8 months to produce and print?
A fourth reason is simply that the book format is proving remarkably resilient in the face of digital convergence and the information revolution generally. Google has its book project. The Kindle and its competitors are all "e-book" readers. In the midst of all the current changes, the concept of the book (versus the magazine article, newspaper article, blog post or many other shorter formats) holds a certain attraction for both readers and potential authors. Despite the rapid growth of the internet and various digital information sources that it interlinks, many doctoral students around the world still strive to publish their doctoral dissertations as a book!
Whether in e-format, hardback or paperback, there is something about the book that appeals to human readers around the globe. I recall once, during a conversation with my co-author when I mentioned publishing it in e-book format, he smiled and said something to the effect that "but you still need to print a book!"
Having said all this, it would seem that the delivery format for books is shifting toward electronic readers and digital distribution via the internet. However, the length and basic chapter structure of a book are likely to stay with us for some time to come.
You're invited to contest or add to my Reason #4. More reasons to come in future posts.