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The Author in the Digital Age

Abstract : Although books have already been undergoing dematerialization for some time, 1 the impact of this digitization has remained limited, at least until very recently, because the sector was better protected by the law than music or cinema, and because the large number of publishers makes it more diverse, less concentrated, and less financialized. It is also undoubtedly less threatened: it "costs" an amateur more (in time, at least) to digitally publish a book than a piece of music, and there is an infinite diversity of books available. However, digitization greatly changes all stages of the book creation process, from manufacture to production, distribution, publicity, and even storage. With the technological revolution, digitization has affected all types of content, and new tools for reading have emerged (digital tablets, iPads, Kindles, e-books, and so forth). This has been accompanied by sociological change, with ever-wider access to high-speed Internet, the rapid spread of new communication tools, and a renewed use of the written word (never have we read and written as many as since we began doing so on-screen). Finally, economic change has allowed new players to enter the production chain (the so-called disintermediation and reintermediation of the book sector). It has also created new and varied business models, which take into account the particularities of the Internet economy, particularly phenomena of concentration due to networks, the fragmentation of audiences, and the consumer demand for free access in all creative sectors (music, text, video, images, and so forth).
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Cécile Méadel, Nathalie Sonnac. The Author in the Digital Age. Esprit (Paris, France : 1932), Editions Esprit, 2012, Mai (5), ⟨10.3917/espri.1205.0102⟩. ⟨halshs-01909361⟩



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