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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Are Publishers Predators?

I always thought publishers...and I mean the old-school publishers...were scholarly, sophisticated, intelligent people who made their living by discovering, mentoring and helping new talent get into print as well as managing known authors.

But, I am finding I was wrong!


When I started researching the publishing industry, not too awfully long ago, I began to understand the meaning of the phrase "putting the cart before the horse" and also the newer "the tail wagging the dog".

The crumbling publishing business model (always critically flawed!) took egregious advantage of the very talent off whom they made their money! I see the new technology empowering writers as almost a second coming!

That's why I read with interest Lenox Parker's blog post from his Eat My Book Blog titled The Legacy of Publishing’s Ownership of Work:

NOTE: Some strong language is used...

There are a couple of things here that you may think are unrelated but I’ll try to bridge the gap and make a coherent argument in support of my thesis. I contend that the history and very institution of publishing has lent itself to a culture of a lack of ownership by authors and artists, resulting in today’s hysterical clamoring on privacy issues.

You all have a better sense of the publishing industry since Gutenberg than I do, so there’s no need to retread. So just think about how difficult it is to turn that Titanic of a beast around in just a few short years. I’m no industry apologist–I think that’s been made clear–and I’m not saying that we should give it some time. I’m asking that we reconsider how we are framing the debate around the breakdown of the traditional publishing industry; the rise of the independent author; the risks and opportunities of technology to serve readers, established authors, and independent writers; and the implications of copyright, privacy, and ownership on all of the above. Here are some of the areas through which we have to change our perspective in order to offer thriving solutions:

Read the rest of the post here: http://alturl.com/rw8z
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