Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: state of NY publishing

From: J.C. Hocking (
Date: 14 Nov 2009

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    Well, in terms of how a bad book (or a whole lot of them) can hurt, Kevin has a point here...

    "But for readers all POD represents is an often increasingly bewildering morass of choices...And the advent of self-published ebooks merely means the bar will be set even lower, as to what will be made available."

    The choice is bewildering for distributors and publishers, too.  At this point there are literally thousands of slickly produced POD books, many now outwardly indistinguishable from titles from major publishers. The unfortunate truth is that many of these efforts are shockingly amateurish in everything from plot construction to grammar. If publishers/distributors and dedicated genre enthusiasts have to work hard to sift through this mass, separating wheat from chaff, how much effort will the more casual reader be willing to put forth? It's not hard to imagine such readers shortly coming to the conclusion that investing their money and time in anything other than a well known blockbuster is going to be a waste.


    ________________________________ From: jacquesdebierue <> To: Sent: Sat, November 14, 2009 12:58:28 PM Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: state of NY publishing

      Kevin, how does a bad book exactly hurt you (or anybody)? As to the star system, it never had much to do with quality. It's pure commerce.

    I am puzzled by your rant about how bad most books are... hasn't it always been so? Pick up the bestsellers of yesteryear and try to read them... I mean bestsellers, not obscure books. Most of them suck, to the point of being unreadable. Then pick up Franz Kafka, who hardly sold anything, and you tell me about literary stardom.

    I think you are overlooking the sheer randomness of "success". In any case, this list is not about success but about quality. And if that sounds pompous, so be it. Of course, quality and success can go together -- that's the happy ending. But there isn't always a happy ending.




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