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The wolf is falling!

(get it? get it?)

Anyway, this is just depressing. So many details of it...

http://nymag.com/news/media/50279/

THE END: The book business as we know it will not be living happily ever after. With sales stagnating, CEO heads rolling, big-name authors playing musical chairs, and Amazon looming as the new boogeyman, publishing might have to look for its future outside the corporate world.


Brilliant article, and I'm just halfway through it.

Comments

fenmere
Sep. 25th, 2008 12:00 am (UTC)
Print on demand books are not going up in price much, while mass published books are. I'm not seeing much difference in price between my heavily marked up poetry and comic books published through Lulu.com and those found on bookstore shelfs. Of course, my books have way less marketing and way fewer middlemen between them and their readers, but still...

It also reminds me of Larry Niven's description of the future of the book market in Ring World. As humanity's population grew and publishing got cheaper, the market became super saturated. Being an author meant nearly nothing.
kaolinfire
Sep. 25th, 2008 12:05 am (UTC)
If GUD were POD, it would be twice as costly. :/ My mind dances with thoughts that there will be a true ebook revolution (where eReaders will actually widen the class of readers), but ... I vacillate between optimistic pessimism and pessimistic optimism.

Being an author really does seem to count for nothing, outside a very small slice of people. I don't know if it's just POD, or teh intartubes, ... the ease of vanity press ... but ... yeah. The term-as-title has certainly been subverted.
vonandmoggy
Sep. 27th, 2008 12:27 am (UTC)
"If GUD were POD, it would be twice as costly."

Really? I've been extremely happy with Lightning Source and I find their pricing and distribution simply incredible. Far superior to Lulu.com, for instance. So much better.

I suspect I need to do a post on this, but time has been an issue for a proper in-depth post.

On book publishing:

It's not all doom and gloom in the book world and I agree with much of the opinion on the Book Square rebuttal, too. I did feel that the New York Magazine piece was too narrowly focused on literary publishing.

Books are fine. Books are just fine. And books aren't going anywhere. The publishing world has a number of practices and their usage has brought them to a crisis point. I have very little sympathy. It's remarkable to me that Proctor and Gamble can work in an innovative way (i.e.: automatic computerized ordering) with Walmart (both scum bag companies) and yet publishers can't do the same with their retailer partners. Book publishing, like the music industry, is in a time of re-adjustment. It'll take time but it will pass; what results will be new ways of selling books. At least I hope so.

People reading books just ain't going anywhere. And be careful with how you interpret what you're seeing - while someone on a bus or train may not have a bound book in hand, they could be listening to an audio book on their Ipod. There's no way to know unless you actually ask them. Books come in many forms and those forms are incredibly dynamic. The pleasure of reading, in all of its forms, will be around for many more moons to come.

Von
kaolinfire
Sep. 30th, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC)
getting a quote from LS just to see. Lulu says $8.85 base cost for 216 pages, A5 size (which is the closest they have to what we publish).

Doom! Gloom! :)

I don't see a lot of people doing things other than watching movies or playing video games, but my mood (and thus vision) is admittedly colored by a lot of things, not least of which is, admittedly, a fair bit of anxiety and angst. :)
vonandmoggy
Oct. 1st, 2008 01:26 am (UTC)
My cost price from LSI for Li'l Kids is $3.25 US approximately. Online retailers are getting 20% off the cover price ($13.95 US). If you do the math, you'll find that my per copy revenue is extremely good. Now, that cost price doesn't include the upfront fee, which if memory serves was about $140.00 in total. Still, it's far better than Lulu and LSI offers vastly superior distribution options.

I need to do a proper post on this, but one very good resource is Aaron Shepard's Aiming at Amazon.

Von

kaolinfire
Oct. 2nd, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
Well, apparently I have to have an ISBN for LSI (they don't do magazines, so I'm going to do a little experiment with a friend's "spare" ... hoo boy.) Issue 3 is going to be a "book"!

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