Saturday, 23 February 2013

Publishing Is Broken, We're Drowning In Indie Books - And That's A Good Thing

I adore books. Physical books. Books that sit in my lap and warm it like a sleeping doggie. Three and a half years back, I had an e-reader unwillingly thrust upon me. I ignored it at first; rejected it. Then one day I was stuffing for a long trip and it began me in a flash that if I utilized the damned thing I would not have to restrict myself to five pounds of books in my baggage.

Since then I read more ebooks than physical books. I get a lot more books, too. Last year I observed that books were getting more affordable, however the writing was becoming worse. It embarked on to get tougher and harder to shop the Kindle shop since I was either upset by the rate of a book or the quality of its writing. Mistakenly, I had actually stumbled upon the new face of self-publishing.

My experience mirrors a profound and wrenching transformation of publishing that is shaking the industry to its roots. The beneficiaries of the existing order-- significant publishers and their most effective authors have become the most noticeable challengers of the turmoil that these "Indie" authors have presented.

Which is regrettable, because cautious examination recommends that this duration of chaos will at some point yield significant incentives for both authors and customers. It even points a way forward for standard publishers who have dealt with years of declining profits.

Why do mainstream authors object to Indie publishing to the point where some even disagree with the created term "Indie"? It comes down to worldview. Bestselling authors who are talented and tough working-- like Thor and Grafton-- are inclined to believe that publishing is a meritocracy where the best work by the most persistent writers gets represented, gotten, published and sold. But this is demonstrably false. The most famous counter example is that of John Kennedy Toole.

Many people know that Toole had his terrific American novel, "A Confederacy of Dunces" rejected by authors which he committed suicide at 31. They might not recognize that Robert Gottleib at Simon & Schuster acknowledged Toole's talent however believed Confederacy to be structurally flawed. Gottlieb did not think there was an audience for The Confederacy of Dunces without significant modifications-- revisions that would have altered the character of the story. Toole declined to comply and at some point committed suicide.

Rejecting Toole's work was an advertising choice that Gottleib created Simon & Schuster. And it wasn't necessarily the wrong decision from a marketing standpoint. Keep in mind, Gottleib was the guy who got Catch-22 from Joseph Heller based upon a partial composition. In the publishing world as it stood then and stands now, Toole's work may have never discovered its audience. Without the advocacy of author Walker Percy-- which helped generate the literary attention that allowed the book to win a Pulitzer Reward-- the novel may well have actually failed.

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