“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die.”
It’s sad about the snake and one is tempted to write something touching, a sort of eulogy, even though it’s just a metaphor. But here it’s a metaphor for a world that is both physically and metaphysically close to all authors. It’s a metaphor for the world of publishing.
Averse to “business,” I blithely write books and blogs about all the strange things that interest me. But the business of publishing is a field of bloodthirsty battles right now, strewn with the smoking ordnance launched by both sides – traditional publishing and independent author publishing.
Educated as a sociologist and published in both venues, I can only take the long sociologist’s view while happily typing stories into an electronic reality that pays my rent while eroding the reality that used to pay my rent. I can’t take sides, but there are sides.
Recently somebody wrote a scathing 4-part article in the Boston Phoenix (normally a young, savvy, cutting-edge local paper, so the article is odd) slamming independent author publishing as a “dead-end.” Of course it isn’t a dead end or any kind of end; it’s new; it’s a beginning. My friend Lou wrote a careful, thorough and compelling response to the article and to one of its supporters that is so direct and clear that no more need be said.
This morning I read a post by Anderson Porter about a four-piece article written a few weeks in the Boston Phoenix by Eugenia Williamson, entitled The dead end of DIY publishing. I had read the Williams piece earlier, and the more than fifty comments, which in my opinion had done a more than adequate job of pointing out its problems. But when Anderson seemed to accept much of her analysis, and labeled the comments as “the usual pitchfork-waving, spittoon-dinging dismissals, I found myself spending the rest of the morning writing a reply. When I finished, I thought I ought to expand a bit, and post what I had to say as a blog, thereby at least justifying a morning lost to writing on my next book. So here goes: (Click here to see Lou’s post entire.)