James Patterson and the reactions of his controversial ad
WHO WILL SAFE OUR BOOKS?
"If there are no bookstores, no libraries, no serious publishers with passionate, dedicated, idealistic editors, what will happen to our literature? Who will discover and mentor new writers? Who will publish our important books? What will happen if there are no more books like these?
… “Why are there no impassioned editorials in influential newspapers or magazines? Who will save our books? Our libraries? Our bookstores?”
James Patterson, controversial ad in the NYT
— Sarah Weinman (@sarahw)
I do a lot of things to try to raise level of awareness of what’s going on in country right now. This is an unusual and different time for books, the most unusual in the history of this country. E-books are fine and dandy, but it’s all happening so quickly, and I don’t think anyone thought through the consequences of having many fewer bookstores, of libraries being shut down or limited, of publishers going out of business — possibly in the future, many publishers going out of business.
My solutions to this point are the other things i’m doing, and it’s a lot. In terms of the big picture, yeah, if I’m gonna see Obama tomorrow — if i could see the president, I’m not sure what I’d say — because he’d say what do you want me to do?
James Patterson. This time, interviewed by Salon.
BOOKS DON’T NEED SAVING. EBOOKS ARE THRIVING.
— Joanna Penn (@thecreativepenn)
I respect Patterson for his marketing genius. I also like many of his books. But I’m not finding much to agree with here.
"What will happen to our literature?"
Perhaps writers will write it? Aren’t they the ones who wrote all of those books on that list?
There are thousands of authors self-publishing. I’m sure some of them are writing great, important literature.
"Who will discover and mentor new writers?"
With ebooks, the readers are the ones who discover new writers. And those readers actually have a chance to discover more books than ever before, because many of them were never mentored by the establishment.
"Who will save our books? Our libraries? Our bookstores?”
Last I checked, books don’t need saving. Ebooks are thriving.
J.A. Konrath, A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing
SERIOUS PUBLISHERS? THEY’RE CALLED AUTHORS NOW.
Dude. Amazon. Biggest bookstore in the world. Growing like crazy.
Serious publishers? They’re called authors now. Nobody more serious than an indie author.
Who will publish important books? Indie authors. Who will publish serious books? Indie authors. Don’t need discovering. Don’t need mentoring. Don’t need babysitting. Don’t need pacifiers. Don’t need publishers.
What will happen to our literature? Publishers don’t create literature. Authors do. They’ll keep doing it.
Authors. Readers. Internet. Call it post-industrial publishing.
P.G., The Passive Voice
WE’D BE LOST IN VAST AMAZON-LIKE JUNGLE.
… ‘ the more we talked the more we came around to a general point: literary agents are probably now more important than ever — for several reasons.
For beginning writers it’s tempting to say, “Hey, why do I need an agent? Why pay someone 15 percent when I can self-publish, or e-publish and keep 70 percent of the royalties?” But the real question is, “Fifteen percent of what?” The days of huge advances are over unless you’re someone with a million Twitter followers.
Their largest service is a kind of Venturi effect (holding back bad writing, accelerating the good), and if that niche were to disappear we’d be lost in vast Amazon-like jungle of lesser books. Wait a minute — that’s already happened!
An agent’s job is to keep you from getting lost-artistically, contractually.
Will Weaver, Huff Post Books blog.
… “his recent ad … proposing a government bailout For failing bookstores and publishers is one of the most atrociously ludicrous ideas I’ve ever heard.
The publishing companies, to which I include Patterson among their ranks, are just like politicians; they hate the idea of regulations. They hate being told what they can and can’t do. … They hate when marketplaces evolve and the people at the bottom start to change the rules of the game.
But yet, as soon as they see things changing (which is always much much later than everyone else), they go running right to the government begging for help.
What’s besieging the industry is the fact that they refuse to evolve, refuse to embrace technological changes, refuse to listen to what the REAL consumers (the readers) are asking for
Just like when iTunes and cheap digital distribution were going to kill the music industry – which didn’t happen. Instead we have more amazing indie and small market bands than at any other time in the history of music.
Just like when piracy was going to kill the movie industry – which also didn’t happen. Now we have new film festivals popping up every year and brilliant small budget films that are being made with D-SLR’s.
Because we all know digital media and technology are the bad guy here. Yea, right.
August Wainwright blog.
NOW, WHO’S GOING TO WRITE THE EDITORIAL?
I love that James Patterson put this ad on the back of the NYTBR. Now, who’s going to write the editorial? twitter.com/ruth_franklin/…— Ruth Franklin (@ruth_franklin)
JAMES PATTERSON TO THE RESCUE!
James Patterson is worried about the future of books, and he’s doing something about it: bit.ly/14jkfxh— Melville House (@melvillehouse)
Patterson is certainly doing his part to promote literacy.
But Patterson believes this isn’t enough. And he says that he’s not the right person who should be speaking out.
So who’s going to step up? If not book publishing company CEOs, then maybe the government. … If not the government, then maybe the media, who Patterson says is running the same old story about the book business being in trouble.
Claire Kelley, Melville House.
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