RARA-AVIS: Re: Noir Then, Noir Now

From: jacquesdebierue (jacquesdebierue@yahoo.com)
Date: 29 Jun 2009

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    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Kevin Burton Smith <kvnsmith@...> wrote:
    > On Jun 27, 2009, at 2:23 AM, rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com wrote:
    > > Charles, thanks for the knowledgeable insight into the publishing
    > > business...it may have been short, but it certainly wasn't boring.
    > Yeah, but the whiners will say it's not as much fun as blaming their
    > lack of success on New York. Or trashing anyone who sells more books
    > than they do.

    Kevin, sometimes you use such enormous straw men... The crisis in publishing is real and is not the product of a bunch of whiners who can't achieve "success" and therefore are jealous of those who sell a lot. The market as a whole is bad, meaning smaller number of titles published, smaller advances (or none), and so on. Who people blame is really beside the point. This is an economic issue, a trade issue.

    I think there is something else going on besides the economic collapse of the US. There is anecdotal evidence that people are reading less and less (books, not blog posts and gossip on the Internet). That sounds like an old warhorse but apparently it is happening. One of my teenage kids was telling me that from his classmates, only a couple read anything besides the mandatory books (and those they often avoid reading by using notes). These guys will soon reach adulthood and they don't know anything (book knowledge isn't the epitome of knowing, but there is important stuff between covers...).

    A telltale sign is that the blockbusters are lesser busters, they don't achieve the sales numbers of decades ago. So in a way, a perfectly predictable and predicted downslide of a society that has access to lots of books but actually reads little.

    How can publishers expect the "enough money" that Bill Crider refers to? Maybe they have to redefine "enough"... same as the movie guys have done, in some cases with financial success -- long live Roger Corman the Sage.



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