viernes, 18 de julio de 2014

Salad dressing

Apparently, that's what readers, and indies, are, in the views of the establishment. And, by establishment I mean publishers, editors, booksellers and anything in a similar vein.

A Spanish editor was griping about the current status of publishing. Link in Spanish, sorry. He makes some brief points, some of which I agree, some of which... depends. Some of which is blind.

We debate around Amazon and Hachette in a round that looks like it might shape the publishing world's future. And the feeling is that, at most, it's about Amazon and publishers. I'm afraid it's not like that.

It... depends. He makes the classical mistake of equating Hachette (and the other Big 4) with the publishing world. Sorry, that train is gone.

While US writers rail against Amazon's offer on rights, which sounds almost like corruption

Er... Amazon didn't make an offer on rights, but owed payments. And "sounds like corruption"... I might agree, but I think my "whose" and his don't match as much as I first tought.

Following the last quote...

our writers keep their silence [...] That's a new show of how publishers, writers, agents, libraries, booksellers and book institutions row each to its side looking for individual salvation

As I said in my first post, I'm a reader. Seen me considered anywhere, in there? You won't find "lector" (for 'reader') in the original Spanish, either. Not in the whole article.

I recall 9/11 (yes, that 9/11, not any of the ones in the Spanish speaking world) following the events though a nerdish news aggregator. Everything else was off. People were shocked, later, and still are, that Newspapers were being discarded, put into the same cathegory fancy leatherbounds were. Showy, useless.

We have people going into music who were vetted away by the critics and gateguardians (Lindsey Stirling, anyone?), people who set up their own crowdfunding (the old public subscription with better reach, nothing new), or publish through amazon or smashwords or...

And while Hachette drags its feet as it becomes less and less relevant to Amazon (and the rest of us), the Spanish publishing industry keeps ranting about Culture, pushing for penalties against those who push the boundaries of mandatory agency pricing, while those who can discover that some books, even translated, are far cheaper imported. Pushing for mandatory reading lists in high school, and making students buy the book (as opposed to library lending; I wish I was joking). Money keeps flowing to the same people, time and again, while their lackeys push and push and push.

Fourty years ago, it was dangerous to even try anything else. Five years ago, it might have worked. These days? The Spanish equivalent of "MAD" lost all its biggest names three weeks ago after pushing for preventive censure. A hasty indie edition by those writers sold the equivalent numbers (and over twice the average price for the e-magazine, in a pay-as-you-wish scheme) in about 12 hours.

Frankly, the establishment can kiss my ass. I want to read. You may not think me worthwhile, but some writers out there do. And they'll get my money. Mine and, I'd bet, some other people who're quite fed up with this. And you might keep content because "indies only win in some genres", but it's a short margin in the rest of them (and might be reversed by autumn) and, frankly "Literature", besides the classics (genres themselves, once upon), is a negligible market. Do I have data? Author reports; check thelink in my last post.

Take care.

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