Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

The Ethics of Publishing

Readers, Writers, Publishers… 


Image courtesy of Zsuzsanna Kilian ~

Each depends on the other two

Yet, Traditional Publishing has taken little real account of who they depend on and is experiencing no end of problems

Yesterday’s post featured a call for authors to stand up taller and demand long-overdue change in the publishing industry.

And, the Self-Publishing Phenomenon is learning to walk and may yet run rings around the Legacy Gatekeepers.

I’ve even written a post called, Are Readers Going To Be The New Gatekeepers?


Turning to an article on the Alliance of Independent Authors‘ blog—Opinion: Orna Ross asks “What is publishing for”?—we find this statement:

“Neglect of authors has never run higher in publishing, revealed in language like ‘slush pile’ and ‘list culling’. Free market ideologies run the show and supermarkets and bookstore chains dominate, deciding in advance which books will have the best chance of success, on purely commercial grounds; telling publishers what price to sell at, how many copies to print, what to put on the cover, what to call the books and even what to put inside them.”

And, lest self-publishing authors gloat, she also says:

“But this is not a trade-only phenomenon. Indie authors also talk too often in commercial, and not often enough in creative, terms. Constant checking of stats, a cyber flurry over the latest indie to make a killing on Kindle and, most worryingly at the moment, a  relentless pressure to work faster and longer, that is at odds with creative rhythms, and that is no guarantee of success.”

And, putting Readers right where they belong—as prime movers of the best promotion method in the world—she says [bolding by me]:

“An over-emphasis  on money is a  distortion of our business, of what we do and why we do it. The publishing business is a creative business. That means it’s changeable, mercurial, hard to pin down. The only thing that sells books for sure is word-of-mouth and what sets that off for a particular title is, to a large degree, a mystery.”

Reading the whole article would be educational for Readers, Writers, and Publishers—if they desire a dose of clear Reality :-)
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2 responses to “The Ethics of Publishing

  1. lynnbiederstadt February 13, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    You are a gift, AZ. Thoughtful, insightful and fair. And damned inventive on top of it….A treasure.


    • Alexander M Zoltai February 14, 2014 at 1:16 am

      Lynn, thanks for stopping by :-)


      O.K. — I’ll believe you and thank you for the encouragement :-)


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