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A Death Sentence

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Being sworn onto the witness stand, the publishing industry lumbers aboard and plops down. Outside the court, cries were heard, the loudest of which sounded something like “publishing is dead!” The trial has been raging on for the past few years now, but little has been reconciled since. The popular sentiment remains : the end is nigh. Sentences are about to be sentenced.

As we await for the proverbial gavel to strike, let us muse on the cause of this ruckus. Allow me to adjourn the sentencing proceedings, if you will. See, I think this is all bogus and preventable. A whole lot of fingers are pointing at Amazon, digital media and the internet for hurting the industry. Excuse my naivety, but isn’t having another place and means to sell and promote your books a good thing? Perhaps if you are doing it wisely. Am I foolish to believe that technology could be an aid rather than a scourge to the process. Granted, there are other factors at hand, but nothing seems to outweigh the obvious suspects.

Blaming the internet is for the meek. The problem, I believe, is that the publishing folks haven’t thought things through with sincere insight and scrutiny. Lets face it, the old-school folks running the publishing conglomerates are stunted in their evolution. The ancient business model no longer applies to current times, and waving a white flag now is just pathetic. Resistance to change is going to get you slaughtered in the field. Here’s the deal in three sentences (digest at will): You guys are trapped in a very flat, linear narrative – the bound book. However, this same stack of pages is no longer the optimal way of disseminating content. So what you’ve become is a group of grumpy, whiny nostalgics bound to print.

I’m not suggesting the book is over. Nor do I want to sound like I am taunting sans rejoinder. I actually have gobs of ideas on how to work towards solutions. Things that may work, things that may not. But the bottom line is, I’ve got potential propositions that may save you from the chair. But no freebies here for vultures. If anyone wants to talk shop, look me up and I’d be happy to get some discussion rolling. I’m looking your way, Random, Harper, S&S, Penguin & Hatchette. This trial will come out of recess quicker than you can spell recession (pun intended).

Book it.

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2 Responses to “A Death Sentence”

  1. john erigo says:

    You know what Rich? Just like the Music Industry, the battle is almost un-fightable. When people can get everything online for free(including what’s written in books), they’re not going to stop and go and BUY it. When John Q Public can go and see a movie like TRANSFORMERS and have every second be a CG money shot, they’re not going to curl up in the corner with a good book. Sensationalism, and being able to “steal” everything linked to entertainment for free, has really hurt those who create for the sake of the art of it. Things will revert back to the old school ways. Musicians will only make money by playing live, and writers will congregate in places like The Village in small coffee shops where the spoken word will be non hip but uber cool. Beatnicks and hippies will be making a comeback! snap snap

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