When I wrote In His Shadow (what later became Fast Lane) back in '92, editors at the large houses accepted query letters from writers, and I had a good number of the editors I contacted request the book. In '97 when I wrote Bad Thoughts, the door had been closed shut, and you had to go through a middleman (editors). The reason for this was the cheap PC, and editors were being flooded with submissions. I suspect the same has happened with bookstores because of POD publishing. In the past new small presses could probably contact bookstores and have them consider stocking their books. Now because of the flood of POD books I'm guessing bookstores are shutting themselves off to anyone other than distributors and publishers they have relationships with. This isn't entirely a guess--I can see the wariness in bookstore employees faces when I tell them I'm an author, and it only goes away when I tell them who's publishing me.
I doubt POD is hurting existing authors since those books aren't going to show up in bookstores (or only rarely). But I also don't think it's an enabling technology or one that is good for authors in general since these POD books--no matter how sincere the publisher might be or how high quality and interesting some of these books might turn out--will mostly end up only on online stores and sell usually between 20-200 copies. And while may some authors aspire to that, I doubt too many do.
--- In email@example.com, "Allan Guthrie" <allan@...> wrote:
> The current situation with regard to POD and e-books is very similar to the
> paperback original explosion in the 50s. The same arguments were made then
> as are being made now. Much of what was published then was terrible, sure,
> but that hasn't stopped us all finding the gems. There is a concern re bad
> books that if someone reads an extended sequence of one crap book after
> another, they may decide to stop reading altogether. The more bad books out
> there, the more likely that is to happen. I would suggest, though, that
> quality of writing is not paramount in the majority of commercial
> publishing. So the situation already exists.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "jacquesdebierue" <jacquesdebierue@...>
> > --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "J.C. Hocking" <jchocking@> wrote:
> >> Well, in terms of how a bad book (or a whole lot of them) can hurt, Kevin
> >> has a point here...
> > How can a bad book possibly hurt anyone? It's no different from a bad
> > piece of music or a bad painting... you just move on. There must be a huge
> > cemetery for artistic stuff that isn't good.
> > The basic fallacy here is that there is a definite number of books and
> > that a bad book hurts good books. Where is the evidence to back this up?
> > If I write a terrible symphony, how does that hurt Beethoven? If I write a
> > terrible novel, how does it hurt Michael Connelly, who only writes very
> > good ones?
> > Best,
> > mrt
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 14 Nov 2009 EST