D. Eadward Tree, author of Dead Tree Edition, has published a post celebrating ten years of live trees, entitled A Decade of Delusions. (The link comes via Publishing Executive.) Although Mr Tree’s focus is on the magazine business, what he says has relevance for the book business too.

The delusions he points to are:

  1. There’s a magic formula for 21st century publishing – we just need to figure out what it is.
  2. Web publishing means posting your magazines’ articles online.
  3. “Video is the next big thing.”
  4. The big publishers will join together to fix the newsstand system because that’s the only option.
  5. Print is dead.
  6. Legacy publishers must go all-digital to succeed on the web.
  7. Digital editions will revolutionize publishing.
  8. The future belongs to the big, sophisticated publishers.
  9. Some kind of postal reform must happen soon.
  10. Advertisers hate free copies.

We all overrated the impact of the digital revolution both on the positive and on the negative side. It’s proved neither doom nor bonanza; it’s just another format now, one that permits us to do things print wasn’t able to, but an addition to our quiver, not a total transformation.