Critical Linking: March 12, 2012


“Publishing shouldn’t have to choose between bricks and clicks.”

Well, you might want to, lest someone else choose for you.


“If Random House and the like can’t survive without setting a floor on prices, maybe it’s time for them to adjust their business models. After all, they’re not factory workers trying to unionize. They’re well-funded corporations, some of which are owned by even larger corporations. They can innovate, or at least try.”

Please, please try.


“Last week we also listened to a good friend, who is a published author and who told us about an aspiring author‘s manuscript that they had been given to read. They said the work was very good and a well constructed ‘page turner’, but that they were lost as to what to say to the writer. Five years ago they would have lined them up with an agent introduction and pushed them towards the traditional publishing route. Today, they feel that the rewards have changed dramatically and although the model still works for many, the odds on new authors making it are increasing and they believe, ‘its growing impossible for authors to make a living out of writing alone.’”

Not to be a buzzkill, but when exactly was this golden era when it was reasonable to expect to be able to make a living out of writing alone? Where do we want the bottleneck to be: getting published, or making a living?


“The resistance today by publishers to the onrushing digital future does not arise from fear of disruptive literacy, but from the understandable fear of their own obsolescence and the complexity of the digital transformation that awaits them, one in which much of their traditional infrastructure and perhaps they too will be redundant.”

Yes. What is good for books and what is good for the book business are not necessarily congruent, much as what is good for books is not necessarily the same as what is good for reading.

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