Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

The Corporations and The Writer ~ Who’s Winning?


My job, besides being the best writer I can possibly be, is to blog five days a week about Reading, Writing, and Publishing.

The Corporation and The Writer

Image Courtesy of ilker ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/ilco

Much of the news these days in those three arenas revolves around the issue of who’s more important—the Reader, the Writer, or the Publisher—and, mostly due to Amazon, where the Distributor fits into the Importance Curve.

A recent article by an author, in Forbes business magazine, drew a sharp image of the relative importance of the Publisher vs. the Distributor, by saying:

“Amazon believes it has figured out how to keep book business vibrant in such changing times. I’m starting to think that the old guard’s ferocity in the current Hachette-Amazon tussle reflects anxieties — perhaps even outright terror — about what to do next.”

I believe the Reader is the Most Important factor in all of this frenzy—the Reader—not a corporation.

Writers aren’t corporations either, even though many “experts” are screaming that the writer Must act like a business, even if they self-publish.

Whether anyone likes it or not, the current overriding goal of nearly all corporations is raising their bottom-lines.

And, no matter what the corporations’ public relations people say, they will sacrifice the needs of the Reader and the Writer if it raises the bottom-line.

Even Amazon, seeming like a god-send to self-published authors, has taken actions that have shaken the limbs of many trusting writers; though they do seem to know how to deliver the goods…

Still, we have authors like Claire Cook writing articles like, Why I Left My Mighty Agency and New York Publishers (for now).

And, to keep this whole discussion about corporations and the writer within the bounds of reality, please refer to my past post, What About All The Authors Whose Books Don’t Sell Very Many Copies?—and, do remember, even books merchandised by corporate publishers have not sold very many copies…

So, to lead you toward some possible conclusions about the Writer vs. the Corporation and where that leaves the Reader, I’ll point you toward an article by Joe Konrath: Collective Narcissism.

Here are just a few excerpts:

“You have to be somewhat narcissistic to believe that what you write will be so desired by readers that they’ll pay you for it.”

“There is no class warfare between writers. Those with legacy deals have no power over those who choose to self-publish. Those who self-publish have no equivalent of the Authors Guild. We aren’t a unified force like the Tea Party. We’re just a bunch of individuals with similar goals.”

“I admit to having some narcissistic tendencies, but the indie revolution isn’t collective narcissism. It’s a bunch of individuals sharing information. But the legacy publishing world is a textbook example of collective narcissism.”

“Legacy folks will probably continue to resist change until the very end. And folks like me will continue to offer an alternate viewpoint.”

I heartily encourage any writer who wants to sell a lot of books, whether they just want to make a lot of money or because they want a lot of readers to benefit from their books, to read that article by Joe…
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One response to “The Corporations and The Writer ~ Who’s Winning?

  1. Pingback: Almost Against My Will ~ Yet Another Look At The Amazon–Hachette Dispute… | Notes from An Alien

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