Friday, April 16, 2010

Wow, 2012, you've gone and marketed yourself in all the wrong ways...

Apparently someone has predicted the death of publishing as we know it to happen in 2012 (here via Beattie's Blog). Maybe they went and saw that John Cusack movie, the one where cataclysm's predicted by the Mayan calendar or some such, are going to destroy Earth. Wow 2012, you've gone and marketed yourself in all the wrong ways. All I could think when I read this was 'crap' -all my writing dreams founded on my love of the writing generations who'd gone before me - Tolkien, Lewis, Wilder, Hinton, and Le Guin - are based on a publishing model that is dying out. If only I'd started ten years earlier. Or been born in another time. If the minimum print run is no longer sustainable in competition with digital formats and publishers must transform or perish what will happen to the quality of the content. If everyone can do their own thing who will judge what is suitable/quality/acceptable/readable and how will readers be able to sift though everything available? I prefer not to be the only arbiter of the quality of my own work. Writers will surely still be required if novels (or whatever monika they come to be known by) are still read in whatever format but will they survive financially considering the majority barely scrape by now. I'm luckily not dependent on my royalties (I'd be the corpse in the corner if I was) but I know other great writers who are, who must be prudent and frugal now. I cannot deny that I wish things were different. I was born to be a writer. It is stamped on every gene in my body. I like the way books and writing careers used to be produced. As Gandalf says to Frodo when he laments the burden he is charged with, we cannot choose the times we live in, we can only do our best with what we have been given. I'll keep writing because I'm co-dependent with it, because the air I breathe is that sweet, slightly dusty stuff trapped between the pages, because my last thought before I fall asleep at night is about writing, as is the first thought when I wake up in the morning. Maybe I'll light a candle to St Jude.


Old Kitty said...

Oooh abit doom and gloom over at the Huffington Post!!

Well I only know from perusing writerly blogs that those who go the e-publishing way are having a hell of a time marketing themselves and getting their books sold.

I certainly agree that maybe these big publishing businesses ought to embrace these technological innovations (I thought they were already?)especially with the rise of Kindle etc.

I'm hoping though that people would exercise their consumer right and say "this book is crap don't download it!" LOL!

Mind you I also hope that people would be as discerning as to what they read (however they read it) and I'm hoping that the need for quality control will be as important as ever whatever form it takes!

I hope so!

Take care

Fifi Colston said...

the delivery of words may change but there is still a need for words- and well put together words at that. Its like when photoshop and other graphics programmes first arrived on the scene and everyone with no talent bought them and put together truly awful combinations of type and layouts. It didn't take long for the talented typographers, designers and illustrators to rise about the dross and for people to go back to them for good looking, visually communicating solutions.
The death of the book in the form we know it may well be true, but not the death of story. We just need to be adaptable in our outputting options.

maureen said...

and that sums it up nicely.
Well said, Fifi!