This morning, I preordered the new Amazon Fire. This is a gigantic leap for me. Gigantic because I was always one of those people who preached their devotion to paper books and condemned the digital direction literature and publishing was taking. I cried when Borders closed, and despite my love for books and deals, I refused to partake in the close out sales. I went in there once during the first week when books were only 10% off and I witnessed a jungle frenzy of carnivores pouncing on their prey. Books were everywhere, people were swarming around with large baskets filled to the brim with literature. Why now? For the sake of saving ten percent, why suddenly give in to that carnal need to read?

Because literature is in tune with a carnal need, the hunger and thirst for knowledge. Even through fiction, we learn more about our past, our future, and our present than life can teach us. In real life, our knowledge is limited to our experiences. Books give us the freedom to see and experience worlds we would never have the opportunity to experience otherwise. It is for that reason that literature will never die. We will always need the stories. We will always need the knowledge. Our methods of consumption however, must change.

Readers who are just consumers of the knowledge do not worry about how the content reaches them, as long as it is within their reach. The Internet and technology has made sure that books are more accessible and affordable to readers then ever before. That is exciting. That should be celebrated. Our children will still learn to read, the only difference is they will learn to read on iPad’s and Kindles and not on paper. We have all seen Star Trek, we all knew this was the future.

The only people concerned with the future of publishers are the writers and publishers themselves. After all, how do you market digital information on a platform (the Internet) where so much content is free? The Internet has been both a blessing and a curse to writers. It gave writers the ability to self-publish, but it also made it more difficult for them to profit off of their work. The distress over digital publishing has gone so far as to distract writers from their actual goals, and that goal is to tell a good story. Now every blog and writing forum discusses how to profit from publishing a story online, and not on how to use the Internet to tell a good story.

None of my darlings are edited, killed and ready for public consumption…yet. But they will be soon. I have been debating on how I am going to share my stories with the world. The closing of Borders closed a door for me. As a young girl, I would spend long periods of time in Borders wandering through the young adult section. I could see my future novels on those shelves, featured among the “Staff Favorites” or perhaps even displayed with honor by the front door. But now, that dream will never happen. There are no shelves for my books to rest. I used to dream about what the book covers would look like, the type of material I would use for the hardcovers and the paperbacks. I came of age just at the moment that the world of the chain bookstore began to crumple up and descend into our memories. Yes, bookstores still exist, but the closing of Borders is a sign of the future. It is the catalyst. It is Anne Boleyn. It’s appearance will change the book religion. Soon writers and readers will no longer have to go through agents and editors and publishing houses (the priests, bishops and church) to reach publication. The mindset has changed. The book reformation has taken place. Martin Luther has nailed his thesis to the walls of the publishing world and we have realized that those channels are no longer necessary. We now have direct access to the written word. We now have direct access to God.

In order to move on to the future, we must look to the past. To Charles Dickens. Charles Dickens would release his novels as serials in local publications. One chapter at a time. Readers would pay whatever they had to pay for that particular issue of the magazine to learn whether Oliver Twist finds his future home or whether David Copperfield finds true love.

I believe that serial novels are the future. Each chapter of a new novel will be published digitally for 50 cents a chapter (or whatever you like). That way, a reader can choose to stop reading if the story no longer interests them, or they may be so eager to find out what happens next that they will pay anything for you to publish another chapter. Readers are paying for content, not book jackets. In the end, everyone wins.

I’m sure some self-published authors are already trying this method, I just haven’t seen it. If so, I would love to know who is doing it, how they are implementing it and how it is working for them. I think it is the method I will try whey I become ready to publish.