What about the benefits of the Internet in the publishing industry?
To have a whole backlist–I mean hundreds of years–worth of books at your fingertips to look at. It’s huge.
So what do you think the book of the future is?
I suppose more interactive. I think clicking on a picture and getting a back-story, maybe getting an author commentary, that’s the book of the future. It doesn’t appeal to me that much at this point, but we’re open to it.
What about books on tablets as opposed to magazines?
Yeah, it’s coming…as soon as someone breaks open with an attractive, and a really lovely experience, similar to holding a book. Soon we’ll all have to do every book digitally.
What do you think the downside of having books on a tablet is?
It makes our nine-month project even more ephemeral. Because now you’re not even holding anything, now we’re not even picking the paper, the cover, the cloth—all of that which makes it a real object that you want to put on a coffee table that makes it a coffee table book. You lose that on an iPad. Which is fine for a lot of people but books are like vinyl records now; there will always be a group that wants to have them.
What do you think makes a book successful?
Timing it with what else is going on in the world. And interest. People need to know about it. If no one knows about the book…
Read the full interview with Wes Del Val, associate publisher at powerHouse books on Garance Dore.