Kanye West set to publish his book via Twitter – is this the future?
It is safe to say that in recent years the publishing world has undergone a dramatic transformation. Library closures, changing high streets and the rise of tablets and e-readers, have all meant that publishers have had to adapt. And adapt they have, publishing works on a range of formats to meet the needs of their readerships.
But could yet another challenge be about to hit the publishing industry? Rapper, designer and entrepreneur, Kanye West, has announced that he is set to publish his own book – via the social media platform, Twitter.
Having lifted its 140-character limit, in favour of a 280 limit, Twitter has become a more appealing platform for those with something to say.
oh by the way this is my book that I'm writing in real time. No publisher or publicist will tell me what to put where or how many pages to write. This is not a financial opportunity this is an innate need to be expressive.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 18, 2018
Published in real-time, the book is called Break the Simulation; a philosophy book in which Kanye shares his pearls of wisdom on life and living creatively.
The concept book has, so far, seen Kanye deal with some pretty big ideas, all within Twitter’s character count. Recent snippets include:
You have the best ideas. Other people's opinions are usually more distractive than informative. Follow your own vision. base your actions on love. Do things you love and if you don't absolutely love something stop doing it as soon as you can.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 18, 2018
The benefits for Kanye, who boasts 8.6m followers on Twitter, of publishing his ‘book’ in such a way are clear; creative freedom, instant connection with his audience and press exposure.
But for those without a massive social media following who want to make a living from their written work, can Twitter really work as a platform for writers?
While it is a great way to share ideas, build a reputation and promote an upcoming book, publishing a book in such a sporadic way is unlikely to appeal to mass audiences.
And as recent research* suggests, consumers are turning away from digitalisation in favour of getting their hands on actual books. Figures from 2016 saw UK bookworms spend 360m on books, with eBook sales dropping by 4%, the second year in a row that digital sales have fallen.
It is perhaps not surprising that eBook sales are dropping. While convenient, as they can be instantly downloaded, with so many of us spending so much of our time staring at screens, it is little wonder that in our downtime, we prefer to spend our time screen-free.
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