My Response to “Book Publishing’s Real Nemesis”

17 Apr

On 4/16, the NYT published this article:

This was my response, published in the Comments section:

The title of Carr’s article and his arguments, focused on current corporate interests, overlook important cultural considerations. Publishing corporations may suffer from low profitability, but that is why they focus so intently on profit. We live in an age in which publishers are more concerned with marketability than quality, in which marketing and sales departments have an increasing say in which books get published. If a book doesn’t fit easily into a pre-existing niche, it is unlikely to be published. The publishing industry increasingly focuses on genre best-sellers, paring away choice. Independent publishers producing e-books enlarge readers’ choice. The motto of my publisher, Dirt e-books, is thus Books You Are Not Permitted To Read. My novel, Two-Headed Dog, now sells on Kindle for $3.95, well below the $9.99 benchmark. Unlike the corporate publishers, Dirt e-books’ interest is in making quality literature easily and affordably available to the masses. Publishers like Dirt e-books are the publishing equivalent of Occupy Wall Street. A sea change is underway in the publishing world, and it is to the good.


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