Archive for February, 2009

The other day I wrote a post presenting some of the problems that are going on in the publishing industry right now.

Basically, people are panicking because some dubious statistics are saying that people read less, and a lot of the big publishers are freaking out and either firing people or publishing a lot of books that look (pretty much) exactly the same.

The problem with this reaction is that I don’t want to read twelve books that sound almost exactly the same. I went to Target the other day and there was an entire shelf of knock-offs of Marley and Me.*

The thing is, I don’t know what I want to read. I walk into the bookstore and there are so many books that look good that I almost have an aneurysm trying to decide. Most of the time I end up buying something that a friend has read and recommended. I keep a list, actually, of books that people have recommended to me.

I’m tired of publishers trying to guess what people want to read. Most of the time they’re wrong, anyway. I think that what publishers need to do is stop worrying about making money and concentrate on publishing books that are written well. If that means more small publishing houses and fewer of the massive ones, then that’s what should happen.

But then, what do I know? I’m just a reader.




*Also, someone who commented on my last post reminded me about the incident of Harry Potter, which, according to publishers at the time, wasn’t supposed to be popular.


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