The Bookseller, UK publishing’s trade newspaper, has published an online report (here) from the London International Book Fair, just concluded, on a debate that was held between the forces of Light and Dark — sorry, lost my head, between new media and the dinosaurs, erm, publishers.
The blogger mostly comes down on the side of the Brave New World. S/he, however, somewhat sabotages his/her case by the following:
Franklin however reminded us of all that some regard as arrogant, old world and out of synch with today’s changing market. He lead with one could best describe as publishers know best and all else is drose. He went on to crusade against self publishing as if it was the devil and even made the claim that , ‘Free is too much to pay for the vast majority of self-published books,’ but quickly added as any speaker would having stuck the knife in, that “It’s too much to pay for some of the books that come from publishers.”
Now, without wanting to be more of a pain in the butt than I normally am, may I point out:
- For ‘he lead’, read ‘he led’
- For ‘with one could best’, read ‘with what one could best’
- For ‘drose’, read ‘dross’
- For ‘self publishing’, read ‘self-publishing’
- For ‘as if it was the devil’, read ‘as if it were the devil’
- For ‘claim that ,’ read ‘claim that,’
- Use all double or all single quotes
- And finally, I would have broken that last sentence up into two.
I could go on and do this to the rest of the post, but kindness (and time) intervenes. My point in even doing this is not malice. I could have written the sentences above too. Because this blog, and many blogs, are reminders that what publishing adds in value is invisible, until it is not there. It adds extra eyes, to prevent us, the authors, from making all the howlers above. It adds people who have spent their lives reading, who want to make us, the authors, look good.
Publishers, although I have my doubts about many (and I am well aware many feel the same about me), are there for a reason. Any single author on his or her own has lived with his or her book for far too long to be able to see its flaws, both big and small.
So, publishers may not survive in the form they have existed in for so long. But please, let’s keep the expertise. We need it.