Sunday, May 30, 2010

Garison Keilor declares publishing dead.

I read a very disturbing article by Garrison Keillor (of Minnesota fame) who has decided that the future of authors, those tortured souls that we are, will no longer be in the hands of agents, editors and publishers.

See: Garrison Keillor for his essay.

Apparently everything is going to Kindle, Amazon, and EPUB books.  Our children can no longer turn a paper page and only absorb literature through plasma screen radiation.  If the Chi'coms ever drop the big EMP (electromagnetic pulse for those in Loma Linda) and we lose the internet, our children will be immediately struck dumb.  May be too late for that, but don't get me started.

He cries about why a person would buy a $30 book, if it is free on the internet.  He bemoans the purity of the craft if anyone can self-publish without an editor to throw out the junk.  OMG, we even arrogantly blog!

Gotta tell ya, Garrison- you're right and you're wrong.

I buy books because I want to feel the paper in my fingers, fold over the corner and fall asleep on the couch with an open paperback on my chest.  I want to give that lump of sawdust to a friend to enjoy- I don't want to txt him.  I can't turn a page on my computer, nor do I want to read the spam and advertising that comes with free electronic books I have to spend hours surfing for.  I like walking through the book store, smelling the Starbooks coffee, and seeing who else killed the forest to make a book.  Trees regrow/recycle, mercury in circuit board kills.

Friends in one of my readers groups have self-published.  Their work is excellent and I've enjoyed reading the paper product.  I loaned their efforts to someone else- networking for the baby-boomer.   Maybe an agent or a publisher wouldn't have taken their manuscript, but that doesn't mean it's crap.  It means that in our economy we have limited resources to publish all of the millions of new authors- nor should we.

Self publishing is American enterprise.  Write a book.  Publish it.  Sell it.  Get rich and famous.  Or fail.  No company back-up, no bail-out, no guarantee.  You work, you sweat, you worry, you market, you sell, you push, you win.  Or fail.

You blog or self publish junk and I agree with Garrison- three sentences of nonsense and I'll change channels.  Excite me with you work and I'll sell for you.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you James. Books are to be treasured, shared, re-read, dog-eared and curled up with. I'll be taking my grandchildren to the library to get a stack of books they can barely carry just like I did with my children.

    Besides, what would happen to a kindle when I dozed off in the bathtub and dropped it.