Sandee: The advantages are the immediacy of getting a book or project printed. When I finish a book it takes four to six weeks to prepare it for print, send it to the print shop, print it, bind it, and finally ship it to the warehouses for distribution. But electronic media can be posted in a matter of minutes. There are additional advantages of adding multimedia such as movies, sounds, and interactivity that make it fun to read. The only interactivity in a printed book is pushing to turn the page. However, the disadvantages of electronic media are that many design nuances are lost, particularly when it comes to ePub books. Typefaces can be lost. Runaround text can be lost. Formatting such as bolds and italics can be lost. And the reader can change the size of the type which changes line breaks. There are workarounds for these problems but many solutions depend on the evolving standards for electronic documents. And designers may have to abandon their specific requirements for their works.
Do you feel that electronic publishing is out-dating physically printed media? If yes, do you see a future in which physically printed media is gone entirely?
Sandee: The days of a mass market paperback novels may be numbered. I can download a book onto my Kindle faster, easier, and cheaper than ordering it from Amazon or walking up to the local Barnes and Noble. But publishers are inventing new ways of creating printed books. Last Christmas we gave a young teenagers a book of comic book superheroes that had very intricate pop-up illustrations. Publishers are also creating books with special illustrations such as holograms. These are making their printed books more valuable than electronic media.