"I have to get my book published before everything goes digital. It just won't be the same not to see it in paper!"
I've seen this sentiment—heck, I've even thought it myself—many times. With the increasing ebook market and everyone saying they'll eventually dominate, it seems as if writers feel like a guillotine is hanging over their dream.
"My book will never be in a bookstore."
"It won't have a cover, pages to turn."
"I won't get to smell it."
I won't pretend that these thoughts don't get me occasionally, too, but today I want to ask: Is that really why you want to publish?
Because if your dream is to see your book on a shelf, there are plenty of print-on-demand websites out there. You can upload your book, design your own cover, and have it shipped to your house. Then you can put it on whatever shelf you want, hug it, smell it, moon over it, build a shrine to it, whatever.
I have a feeling this isn't the most important thing, though. If I had to choose between that tangible paper book or knowing that a couple thousand people would read my words on their ereaders, well, the choice is obvious, isn't it? My goal in trying to be published is to get my story to as many people as possible. I want to share it (and let's be honest, I want a little cash in return).
I guess I'm just saying your dream won't be "dead" if ebooks take over. You don't have to rush yourself based on those fears. I mean, can you imagine some ancient writer freaking out over the invention of the codex (aka: the book)?
"I HAVE to finish this epic poem before people stop reading on scrolls! It's always been my DREAM to see my story unroll on a furlong of parchment! Curse those boxy, new-fangled codices."
Yeah...that doesn't sound silly at all.