Posted on 2013-Jun-13
Andrew Franklin, the managing director of Profile Books, must have had a bad day in prior to making a speech at the Writing in a Digital Age. He emits fireballs against the majority of self-published books—branding the majority of them as “terrible” and “unutterably rubbish”—and further adds that “they do not enhance anything in this world.” The Guardian seems the catch the reaction head on where it leads to the collision between the traditionally published treasurers and self-published authors.
War of Words
Commenters seem to be dividing into two classical schools of thought who favor modern publishing business model and disagree with flexible pricing practices. Northumbriana said sales dwindled as soon as her friends ceased the free giveaway period on Kindle Store. Immediately, JamesMcCreet shares his own experience of uploading his eBook and changing the price. He did not have the sour moment like his fellow pointed it out in terms of sales. He also rationalizes that people are willing to buy whatever is worth for their investment.
Reader’s Voice of Reason
For the sake of making profit, The Troublemaker started a new debate referring the marketplace of self-publishing as “higgledy piggledy.” Then the backlash flooded in from an independent publisher and a dedicated reader how much self-published works mean to them. For the publisher, alloynymbooks, highlighted that there had been quality indie books reviewed by The Guardian itself and so raised the question how Franklin’s exposure to “quality” indie books is. From the perspective of a reader, solip1, enthused how the Kindle had been her ‘library’ and shopping for new books is a natural thing for her to do as opposed to paying for print books. Affordable prices make the book more likely to be bought. Although there are some fruits in the basket, she current enjoys picking up for a wider selection for her ‘broad’ tastes.
Parasites in the Heat of a New Argument
That should bring us to the blog from TeleRead that openly broadcasts Franklin’s bitter claim that eBooks are “Parasites on the back of real books.” The writer of the article enlightens the fact that with self-publishing brings Hugh Howey’s Wool series that has become a living legend in itself. To make such a strong accusation against eBooks in general stirs up the thought-provoking comments. The writer also makes a valid point about creative independence has been damaged in this process. Painting the self-publishing and eBook in a bad light is self-destructive. How can authors ever trust the publisher again when they self-proclaim that they do not welcome money-making channels?
Surely the digital publishing community is not pleased with this kind of criticism. Sean Yeager Adventures compares the accuser to a new dinosaur species that would become extinct. Michael N. Marcus concisely describes the four adjectives that all carry negative connotation. And, finally, the writer himself, Paul Mackintosh, pities other independent communities that might be affected by his remark. Carmen Webster buxton ends the comment with his own speculation about how well self-publishing must have been to be considered a threat by an insider. Carmen exemplifies an obsolete quote from Steve Jobs who had misjudged the Kindle’s success. Perhaps, Franklin should have read Bowker’s finding and this blog before making these assumptions.
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