Leading the Way

We concede! Digital publishing is not yet there. Kindle, Nook, and related devices are convenient, but they do not match the experience of reading a book easy on the eyes that you can hold and admire and ear-mark and take notes in and not often charge... but it's coming. The reading experience will get better, not just more convenient. Reading will be integrated with note taking, with no clunky keys. Reading will one day be tightly integrated on a device for thinking and organization and research and investigation and all without distractions from flashy graphics and intrusive advertising and messaging you do not want in the time that is yours.

It's coming, but in the moment we realize that beyond the experience, there is the issue of waste and pollution. Waste of trees, waste of glue, waste of ink, waste of dye, waste of energy in production and shipping - unecessary waste of natural resources that is not in the direction of a long-term plan. To load a page to a Kindle or Nook takes very little in the way of resources given the infrastructure in place. It is more efficient in terms of resources spent, and when devices are suitably reused and recycled, much more efficient in terms of waste byproducts remaining.

Again we must admit that reuse and recycling has a long way to go, and we are not yet there. It is important as publishers - as opposed to makers of devices - to realize that content should belong with device makers who design for recycling and don't just recycle as marketing. But it is realistic to believe that our device makers, under suitable pressure, will eventually understand the importance of not wasting precious metals as eventual contaminants. The move toward paperless publishing is a step in the right direction, and it's time to lead the way.

The world lifted itself from the mire of illiteracy with the mass production of paper books and for this we must realize that if your audience is a developing nation, paper may still be your best option. Additionally, hardcover, permanent books, may serve a significant social function as impromtu talking points for years to come. But mass market paper back books and their near cousins too often quickly meet the shredder. So we will not offer our current titles as paper back books, but only produce permanent objects, and encourage people to read our works in digital format. Additionally, we will not mass produce paper-based marketing materials unless made from recycled material.