I went to Border’s Books in Davis the other day and scoped the shelves.

The computer book section continues to lose space, and the section was poorly managed, with books all helter skelter and shelved out of category. I was there to look at recent Photoshop books and what I saw confirms my sense of unease. The Photoshop and Digital Photography categories have been one of the few bright spots over the last two years, and there are many well established heavy-weight authors represented: Deke McClelland, Scott Kelby and Co., Martin Evening, Katrin Eismann, and others. I’m impressed with the quality of the books.

But I remember back to the booms (and subsequent over-publishing) in Java, web design, and then Linux and certification books, and wonder how long we can sustain this current boomlet, and for myself and my clients I wonder what’s next.

The mass market segment has always featured plenty of me-too publishing, and though every publisher I talk to asks for a unique take on the product, at some point we’re going to reach over-kill. I don’t think we’re there quite yet but that’s my worry.

In the meantime I’m still looking for new Photoshop authors.

And I can’t wait to see Katrin Eismann’s new Photoshop Masking and Compositing book (Peachpit) on the shelves any day now.

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