Book publishing has more politics involved in it than I expected. Most things in life do. But when talking with a colleague, I realized there is a way around it… Book publishing for the better good.
I was sitting in a meeting going over what certification titles we publish on (not the sexiest topic) and when the question was raised about titles that cover basic computer skills, the response was along the lines of a 10 yr old can figure out how to use a computer these days, so while that topic may sell in a developing country, the market certainly isn’t big enough for it.
umm, hello, social responsibility? I wanted to say something, but I smirked instead. Just another business out for a buck.
Not really wanting the people I was in the meeting with to think I was smirking from a daydream, I brought up the social responsibilty issue when I could talk one on one with my colleague. I was relieved when he gave me his answer, I was relieved because he had considered this, and he presented what I think is an idea that should be explored.
The technology book publishing market has fast turn over for obvious reasons. While the goal is to not let this happen, sometimes the content is dated at pub date. Not to mention we sit on ebooks full of dated content. What about sending all this dated material to developing countries? Not sure how this would work, or where the material currently sits, but we’re a global publishing house, there’s gotta be a way…
We could send titles we might shred to schools in Africa, set up a database of ebooks full of dated material that developing countries could access through subscription at their schools. There are probably copyright issues and more politics than I realize in considering this, but the idea of it made me think humanity exists in book publishing, we just have to dig for the ideas.