Print Publishing Is In Self-Destruct Mode: eBook S.O.S.

How fiction lost the plot
The latest book of the year shortlist can’t disguise the prejudices that threaten literature

These vicious economic predictions have come into publishing because of a collapse in the market for fiction that prizes prose over plot. At the Christmas parties, many publishers were talking guiltily about new books by authors you might have heard of – winner of a Whitbread 20 years ago, writer of that book that became that film – that they have been forced to turn down because marketing was alarmed. This has happened largely because of a shift in the priorities of libraries, which used to be a guaranteed haven for several thousand copies of hardbacks that take a bit of brain work, but which are now rapidly ceding shelf-space to Citizens Advice Bureau leaflets or DVDs. And pressure on leisure time has made both producers and consumers of entertainment reluctant to sample a product that does not have some advance buzz.

It’s not just “literature,” so-called. The writers I’m seeing under threat do exciting, interesting stories that would be absolute naturals for visual adaptations (god knows those writers could use the fat monies such spinoffs could bring).

My advice for any writer who succeeds in being the first ginormous seller in e — tell the print publishers to go to hell when they come a-whoring for the paper rights!


If you stand with e, stay with e.

Explore posts in the same categories: Books - Other, eBooks

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