Monday 29 August 2011

"Are Books Dead?"--a fascinating article on The Guardian website

If you're a writer--or "just" a reader--you need to read this amazing article!! “Are books dead, and can authors survive?” It's by Ewan Morrison, based on a talk he gave at the Edinburgh Book Fair.
Here are a couple of intriguing excerpts to whet your curiosity. Feel free to drop me a line & let me know what you think...
“...Can books be written in sweatshops?

Well, books might not be manufactured in China and Korea but the long tail is the sweatshop of the future, and it will contain millions of would-be-writers who will labour under the delusion that they can be successful in the way writers were before, in the age of the mainstream and the paper book..."

"Authors must respect and demand the work of good editors and support the publishing industry, precisely by resisting the temptation to "go it alone" in the long tail. In return, publishing houses must take the risk on the long term; supporting writers over years and books, it is only then that books of the standard we have seen in the last half-century can continue to come into being."

Basically, Morrison's saying that the newer generations' expectation of free content has lead to the demise of the midlist author, the destruction of advances, the music and film industries (and the even the porn industry). The economic model for free content just isn't there. Meantime, it's the merchandisers making all the money--and those who "monetize" the data we generate everytime we point and click...

What do you think?

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