The Business of Books by AndreSchiffrin?
This is one of those tracts about the decline of publishing and the vulgarisation of taste now that a handful of major publishers control the vast majority of the market.
It also makes a reasonable tag for identifying pages about publishers.
In the Industrial Age, the age of mass production, this would have been an issue of real concern. Now I feel itís only an issue, in that most people donít realise how "easy" it is to self publish.
A friend of mine in the US has self-published. Cost him about $4,000 (USD) plus his time & effort. He has sold about 500 (when I last spoke to him in July 04) out of his initial print run of 1,000. He is about to publish his second title and is working on his 3rd title, for the (northern) Spring 2005.
In Melbourne, last weekend (30/10/04), I learnt that an Australian friend has also self published. It's a fitness book, has its own web site. I think their inital print run was 500.
Why this change, it's the Information Age, computers....
The computer effect the publishing equation in 2 ways:
- The flexibility it bring to the physical production of books largely remove the Economies of Scale that were typical of the Industrial Age.
- The Publishing business is about Distribution. The creative aspect of book written is a minor component. The Internet is turning the distribution channels of the Industrial Age upside down. Just look a the way GenX? get their news & music. Sites like this one show the new ways people learn about new things.
"There is nothing permanent except change." -- Heraclitus?
The same thing has happened in the business of music, during the same period. Here is the
for an American PBS (Public Broadcasting Service, a private, non-profit media enterprise) Frontline program called TheWayTheMusicDied?
. The program was aired in Australia on SBS's (Special Braodcasting Service, Australia's 2nd public broadcaster) Cutting Edge
program (08:30 pm 07/09/04).
that is also a McGuffin