Sunday, 11 March 2012

Things change - make the most of it

Yesterday I read Scott Turow's extraordinary rant about Amazon's evil empire, amusingly entitled Grim News.

Grim for publishers, bookshops and readers that is, though he tells us he personally, as an established author, will still manage okay. (Gosh, that's a relief.) I don't recognize the world he describes, where publishers and bookshops guard our cultural heritage and encourage readers to make discoveries of new authors and genres. I agree with Joe Konrath and David Gaughran - click on the links to read their opinions.

Scott Turow, as a successful author, did well out of the old system, so it's natural he should be resistant to change (though he should certainly be less resistant to logical thought). What I find odd is that many unpublished authors share his blinkered views, though there has never been a better time to be a writer than the present. Self-publishing has never been easier, and, short of marrying into the royal family, is the fastest way to a traditional publishing contract. I feel certain that once the publishing industry adapts, it and we will benefit. Everything is changing, and change means new opportunities.

It's not a sign of intelligence to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. It's foolish to fight the current war with the weapons you used in the last. Let's all be grateful for our new options and make the most of them.


  1. Very interesting post. A time of change is always difficult, but I am excited that I may actually get to publish a book.

  2. Good luck with the book, Buttercup. Excited is always better than fearful :o)

  3. Have a look at this post. It sums it all up concisely and with a lot less vitriole than many of the others.

  4. Aha, already read it, Prue!

    I'm sure Big Publishing will adapt and survive, with luck in a better form than before.

  5. Honestly - he sounds like Chicken Little.

    "The Sky is Falling! Help! Help! The Sky is Falling."

    Amazon is a technology business - a market place that operates effectively in an industry that is barely functional.

    It doesn't make a good catch phrase "Amazon is a Business."

    So - 'The Sky is Falling.'

  6. I wonder if he is surprised by the derision his comments have engendered, or whether he thought everyone would shake/nod their heads sagely and agree with him?

  7. Lexi. I appreciate many of your blog posts, but this one especially. Change is the most difficult thing for many no matter how you disguise it or load it with flowery language or grim news. The fact that so many continue to do the same thing looking for a different result is curious. I heard Anne Richards talk about women in the marketplace and she said we need to "change our minds" so we can move on. Go Anne and Lexi

  8. Katherine, I'm not good at change myself, but nothing stays the same, and I know we have to adapt. I try to look on change as interesting, fun and challenging rather than threatening - and that's what it often turns out to be :o)