RARA-AVIS: Re: possibly the biggest publishing story of the year

From: davezeltserman (Dave.Zeltserman@gmail.com)
Date: 18 Dec 2009

  • Next message: Joy Matkowski: "Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: possibly the biggest publishing story of the year"

    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Steve Gerlach <stezzariffic@...> wrote:

    > Read some Dan Brown.... or try to. I'm sure there are plenty of self-published books that are 110% more worthy to see print than a Dan Brown.

    Steve, I can't explain Dan Brown. But he did sell 80 million copies of Da Vinci Code worldwide, there has to be something there. Anway, regardless of what we might think of the quality of his writing, there's clearly a commercial appeal to his books that few other books will ever achieve.

    Yes, there are a ton of books being published purely on their commercial appeal that have no real literary merit, and there's little question that the large NY houses put more value on a book's commercial strength than on it's literary merit, but the vetting process (at least for fiction) is still important and usually does means a book at least meets a level of competency.

    > I'd rather have a choice of what to read than to be guided by a
    > personal preference of some nameless editor sitting in an office in
    > some multi-national conglomerate, publishing the latest
    > "blockbuster" to meet bottom lines and shareholder expectations.
    > Newscorp anyone?

    Right now you can go to iUniverse and shop their 20,000 or so titles of self-published novels, but I'm guessing you don't do that very often because you've probably already figured out that traditionally published books meet a higher level than these self-published ones, and you have a better chance of buying a good book from someone like Morrow or Random House (and definitely Serpent's Tail!!) than you ever would from any of these self-published outfits.

    But in an ebook only world, how are you going to distinguish what's worth reading and what isn't, especially with 100s of thousands of titles buried in these future ebook stores??

    The reality is in this world the only writers who will make any money will be the biggest names who've already been established. The chances of any new author ever being able to make any money will be close to zero. Yes, everyone will be able to be published, there will be no barriers (nor will there be publishers), but how will the worthy books be found among this massive amount of future ebooks?? And why would anyone who has talent waste their time writing when there's not even the faint glimmer of hope of making any money at it?

    > The game's changing, and all for the better. More choice, more variety. Power to the readers. :)

    Steve, you're right, the game is changing, but it's not going to be any benefit for readers, unless you count having to sift through 100s of crappy poorly-written self-published books to find one halfway decent once.


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