Mood music

If its true that we’ve never read so much about writing, then it’s certainly true that we’ve never read so much about publishing. And certainly never so much about alternatives to publishing.
I’ve been thinking about a post on the status of authors, and in doing so I’ve found it hugely interesting to take a look at some of the ways writers (both famous and not) are now perceiving the industry. Now of course this is hardly a comprehensive survey but the volume of criticism of publishers does seem to be rising as the apparent opportunities to publish outside of the conventional channels increase.

So over the past couple of months I’ve collected some instances of these critical voices and I’m posting a couple of the more interesting examples here. My intention is to tease out and examine some of the recurring themes and perhaps to contribute something positive to the debate.Firstly, Andrew Sullivan, on quality control, marketing, timeliness and the potential of the future.

Ask Me Anything: What Do I think of the Book Industry?(VIDEO)Secondly some further views from author-readers of the Dish on the perils of selection, acquisition and, importantly, how we replay publishing decisions to authors.

Thirdly, the very successfully self-published Joe Konrath, nemesis of ‘legacy’ publishers, lets fly.

It’s difficult to know how representative these views are of authors in general, but there is undoubtedly a challenge. The digital revolution has clearly changed the dynamics of the author/publisher relationship.

But does this mean that the union of publishing and authors is coming to an end?

Agent Jonny Geller contributed this piece in a recent edition of the Bookseller and Hachette, as seen in this document has articulated its approach. But is it enough?

Read/view them and see what you think. I have some thoughts I’d like to share on the subject next week.


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