M is for Publishing
Misunderstanding. Misinformation. Monopoly. Money. Marketplace. Monopsony. WTF?
Does anyone else feel like they are at a never ending tennis match watching the ball bounce back and forth? My blog roll and inbox is full of news on the publishing industry. This is not unusual since I work in the publishing industry, but lately all anyone is talking about is this topic of agency pricing. Everyone has an opinion and often the opinions are colored by one's association with the publishing industry.
What I mean, is that those who are attached to the Big 6 are touting the importance of traditional publishing. Those who self-publish are touting the emergence of a new business model which is better than the outdated practice of legacy publishers. Somewhere in the middle, are a large number of small publishers who have their businesses straddling both of these worlds.
The DoJ is investigating agency model pricing. You can read the court filing here.
Where does all of this leave consumers? Booksellers? Libraries? Authors? All of the ancillary people who do work related to the publishing industry?
Someone is going to lose in this fight. Probably a lot of someones.
At the end of the day though, without authors and readers there is no publishing industry. Period. Whether traditionally, self, or small published there must be books to sell and there must be consumers to purchase those books. Authors need to keep writing and writing well. Readers need to keep consuming and excersing their discerning tastes.
I am tired of being angry about the publishing industry. I just want to write and publish. I don't live in a magically romantic bubble where I have patrons to support my artistic endeavors. I have kids, cats, and a dog who all need food and shelter. I write because I am compelled to do so. I write because I am talented at it. I write because readers enjoy reading my stories. I write because I enjoy entertaining others.