Book Trailer The Noble Train

Monday, October 7, 2013

What is Wrong with Publishing

The Literary Festival shows completely what is wrong with publishing. Take a bunch of authors and put them at tables with their books and then open a room next to them and sell second hand books for a buck. The authors are selling their books full bump. Probably 15.95 or 10.95. The library is dumping out dog eared copies for a buck. Old bestsellers now out there for the price of a candy bar. The people who come into the literary festival ignore the authors and go straight for the bargains. The authors are self published. They paid to have their books sit on a table.

Now take the people who are coming to the literary festival. They are old. They are not into the Internet. So there are not many people. If book buyers are water there is a cofferdam right in front of the sidewalk leading to the Literary Festival. The water flows by and goes to the Internet to Amazon or Goodreads or the thousand other book sites. Only a few drops slop over the cofferdam and manage to go the festival. In essence the Literary Festival and its authors die from lack of water. No buyers.

And this is what is being played out in bookstores and the attendant old ways of selling books. People are still clinging to outmoded ways of selling books as if there was no such thing as the Internet. For authors this is horrible. Many are in a state of confusion. I understand why Jonathan Franzen is aghast at what is going on. The transition has been so mighty there is little left of the old modality. In fact there is nothing left.

So the authors sit at their tables at the festival. The few stragglers beat it into the room for the buck a book bargains. The rest of the world flows to the mighty river of the Internet to find their books and their authors who sit behind a different table. And a screen.
The Pitcher

Books by William Hazelgrove