Colin Robinson in the New York Times, "The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader
- People aren't reading novels any more BECAUSE ELECTRONICS.
- Professional book reviewers are on the decline.
- Publishers are cutting budgets to keep profits level. This is hard on writers. The midlist is dying.
- DEATH OF YOUR IMAGINARY LOCAL BOOKSTORE WHERE THEY RECOMMENDED BOOKS.
- Newspaper book review sections are smaller, book reviewers are paid less.
- The growth of Goodreads and Bookthing is phenomenal. (How do we reconcile this with point 1? Unclear.)
- "the range of collective knowledge in pools of this size is incontestable. But it derives from self-selecting volunteers whose authority is hard to gauge. "
- Readers recommending books to one another is bad because "another typical Internet characteristic: the “mirroring” of existing tastes at the expense of discovering anything new."
- Kindle self-publishing: "But to express discomfort at the attrition of expert opinion is not to defend the previous order’s prerogatives. Nor is it elitist to suggest that making the values and personnel of such professional hierarchies more representative is preferable to dispensing with them"
- Writers can't support themselves without a day job.
- Writing hobbyists, NaNoWriMo. Paragraph conclusion: "Indeed, to the extent that they expand the mind-boggling proliferation of new titles being published (more than 300,000 in 2012), they are adding to the problem." (Reconcile this with point 1? Show work.)
- Peroration (complete): "Faced with a dizzying array of choices and receiving little by way of expert help in making selections, book buyers today are deciding to play it safe, opting to join either the ever-larger audiences for blockbusters or the minuscule readerships of a vast range of specialist titles. In this bifurcation, the mid-list, publishing’s experimental laboratory, is being abandoned."
- Colin Robinson is the co-publisher of OR Books.
I was going to dissect, point-by-point, what self-indulgent rubbish this is, but I think it speaks for itself.