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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Corporate Publishing Booming on the Backs of Slave Wage Authors

Corporate Publishing Profiting
On Authors' Slave Wages
Sad to say, but, the corporatized publishing industry has no heart left! It apparently donated it to make room for balance sheets, algorithms, marketing deception and other faceless, detached, formulaic 'analysis-crunchers' to determine the probable success of an author's work. These so-called new tech 'advances' have replaced human, heartfelt, intuitive relationships between authors, agents, editors and other blood and flesh homo sapiens that actually considered little things like writing style, grammar, flair, character development, intuition, plot creativity and twists, etc., etc., etc. NOT TO MENTION the nurturing of newbie talent that can only take place between two humans who breathe and understand raw talent, creativity and their fulfillment through guidance, learning and experience.

I hate to say this, but it would be neat if ALL writers (from all fields) took a stand and ONLY self-published from now on!

Or, at least, until the true creators (product producers) get their rightful share of the profits! 

Tonight we will investigate the heartless, robotic state of modern corporate publishing and how its success is tied to the slave wages of authors. 

Tonight's research article “A Lament for Modern Publishing” was published in The Irish Times and written by Fiona O’Connor, a former Hennessy Short Story Prize winner. She lectures at the University of Westminster and is artistic director of St John’s Mill Theatre Company, Beaufort, Co Kerry

Key excerpts:

‘Publishing is a corporatised, market-driven, bottom-line privileging of the blockbuster, maintained by writers’ low-wage drudgery; in this case it is writers who toil for poverty-line rates with no security and few rights. Marketing is king, and critics absorb the advertising code: do not offend.’

‘In 2014-15 the British and Irish publishing industry turnover was £4.6 billion, up from £3 billion in 2013. Against this apparent boom the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society warns that authors’ incomes have collapsed. The median income of established professional authors is £11,000, down 29 percent since 2005. But the typical median income of all writers is less than £4,000 and declining yearly. Output of books is rising steadily: 185,000 releases this year in the UK and Ireland. The writer’s share of this Benison is about 2.8 per cent – that’s 28 cents on a €10 book.’

‘The Big Five publishing giants – Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin/Random House and Simon & Schuster – point to the techno revolution, evidencing their struggle with even bigger monoliths such as Amazon as the problem, rather than their own exploitative tendencies. But it is in the nature of corporatism to externalise costs wherever possible. The costs of living as a writer get passed on – writers teach, edit, review, ghost-write, cab-drive, put out in myriad ways so that they may write the books that support the global corporate entity that is modern-day publishing.’

Read the rest of the research article and learn more about the vast difference between a seemingly buoyant industry and third-world income-streams for those generating the product – this is deeply appalling, actually.

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Research article: http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/a-lament-for-modern-publishing-1.2292101
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