Tips for book-industry outsiders who think the publishing business is easy to change

15 Feb 2013 1:44 PM | Digital Rights Committee (Administrator)

Emily Williams, a long-time publishing insider, wrote a lovely rant this week: Three Helpful Tips for Self-Appointed Technophile Gadflies of the Book Industry


1. Bother to understand the industry you’re criticizing, and not just by reading the blog posts and Twitter feeds of people who reinforce your preconceptions. Consider the possibility that some of publishing’s idiosyncrasies might be a necessary condition of working in a mature, low margin, creative industry rather than hopeless woolheadedness on the part of everyone who gets paid by a publishing house. To inform your opinion, try reading a book. It’s hard to do better than Merchants of Culture by John B. Thompson…..


2. If you have thoughts to share about how the book business’s “gatekeeping” or care and feeding of writers can be improved, focus on the books you love rather than the books you despise.  …

3. Understand that culture and creative expression do not often marry well to scale and replicability.

These tips are worth reading in their full form here; I’d highly recommend it.

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