Interesting paragraph in a very interesting piece by Richard Curtis:
More significantly, by electing not to print a book at all, these so-called legacy publishers put themselves in danger of losing the very thing that defines them. What profiteth a publisher to gain the world and lose its soul? Today Random House is a completely different species from independent e-book publishers like Open Road. But by becoming a pure e-book publisher, the playing field is leveled, and the difference between Random House and Open Road becomes simply one of scale.
via For the First Time In History, Print Is Optional. Now What? | Publishing In the 21st Century.
You would be forgiven if you read this piece and thought afterwards that the only print books sold in bookshops were literary fiction and non-fiction and the bulk of them Booker prize winners. Of course we know this isn’t true and just as readers of digital books like their genre fiction, so too do print book readers.
I honestly struggle to see the point of such articles. Shock horror they seem to say, people read the same crap they read in print form in this new digital form:
There is a literary snobbishness at play here, clearly. Reading has always been a competitive sport. Why else would anyone have read Ulysses? Consider those boys who read ostentatious poetry to pull winsome girls; the girls who read Vanity Fair to let the poetical boys know that they are clever and minxy.
The reading public in private is lazy and smutty. E-readers hide the material. Erotica sells well. My own downmarket literary fetish is male-oriented historical fiction histfic. Swords and sails stuff. Im happier reading it on an e-reader, and keeping shelf space for books that proclaim my cleverness.
via Ebook sales are being driven by downmarket genre fiction | Media | The Guardian.