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Old 05-31-2011, 10:07 AM   #29
queentess
Reading is sexy
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There's so much wrong with this article...
Quote:
So publishers won’t be able to charge $10 or $12 for an entire book when people only want a chapter’s worth of information.
This may be true for nonfiction (though I doubt that too), but I don't want to read one chapter of a fiction book. This is a stupid argument.

Quote:
Amazon killed browsing. You go on, you find the book you wanted, you pay, and you leave. So instead of buying five books, you buy just one.
Wrong. Amazon makes suggestions to me, and because of this I've actually started reading more and more outside my favorite genres.

Quote:
Yet publishers seldom generate book ideas; instead they wait for literary agents to submit proposals. Houses decide which book to publish based on little more than a gut feeling that says, “I think we can make money selling this!”
I'm not going to pretend to know much about the publishing industry, but doesn't it make sense to let authors submit works they've loved and worked on, versus demanding a particular type of book be written? That sounds like a way to get a lot of terrible books churned out. And I don't think they make decisions about what to publish based on a "gut feeling", I think they do so based on market research. Maybe I'm wrong? That's basically how the film industry works.

Quote:
Yet the books that publishers choose are almost entirely of zero interest to actual book-buyers. After 9/11, there were a ton of books about 9/11, which nobody bought. [...] Who wants these books? Almost no one.
If no one wanted them, they wouldn't publish them. Someone IS buying these books, and they're flooding the market hoping to cash in on the interest of current topics.

Quote:
As a result, few trade books earn real money for the publisher (and certainly not for the author!). That’s because the publisher bears the entire risk of buying, editing, printing, and shipping copies of the book to bookstores all over the country on a 100% returnable basis.
Yeah, it's a risk. That's why they try to make good decisions on what will sell.

Author does briefly touch on the idea that "in the Internet era, you can’t make money putting books on trucks and hoping someone buys them". If he could have expanded this into out-dated business practices, I think he'd be right. As it is, this article is a failure.
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