"That being said, for how long will we need editors? Google's new editing software in google docs will consider context, e.g., "Can we meat for dinner?" will throw an error."
Are you serious? When we get to the point that computers can understand natural language, we'll have a lot more relevant issues than whether publishers should still exist.
(and a good counterexample, Google Docs considers "all right" to be an error).
"writers won't submit their book to a publisher in the hopes that they pick it to publish, instead, writers will hire one or more people to fill the roles they need filled, and, well, press "Publish"."
And that might be a salient point, but it's not the one the article made. In that scenario, the writer has just become the publisher. It doesn't make the publisher's job any less necessary.
He acknowledged it incorrectly by claiming a publisher is something which it is not. Writers go to publishers for marketing, editing, etc. That's what a publisher is. To claim anything else is simply redefining terms.
And everything a publisher offers is still highly relevant. Marketing. Editing. Art. A writer can do that himself, and that's fine, but that just means the writer has become the publisher. And a lot of writers have no interest in being publishers.
But Mike's the one playing in semantics here. "Publishers aren't required anymore, if we define publishing to mean everything other than marketing, editing, art commission, etc. You know, all the things a publisher actually does."
He's redefined "publisher" to mean something it doesn't mean, and then claimed that non-existent entity isn't necessary anymore.
I agree with everything except "stand some chance of being seen." I've seen no evidence that self-publishers now are any more successful than they were in the print days -- most self-published books still sell less than 50 copies. I agree it's less of an investment now, so it's not like you lose a whole lot when you fail. But again, pretending like just creating makes you successful is provably false.
Re: Re: Re: Re: This article is extraordinarily silly
Hm. I believe you're the one lashing out. I thought my first post was fairly level-headed. My second was a trollish response to a trollish reponse.
"making you less and less relevant"
Are you under the impression that I'm a publisher? Definitely not the case.
"Your cover art example is especially funny since this is typically something that the author has no control over and quite often finds objectionable."
"Quite often" is severely stretching it, but the point of cover art is to sell the book. In any case, I don't see how that contradicts my point. Cover art is part of "publishing" regardless of whether or not it's done well.
"A marketer is not a publisher. He is hired by the publisher."
Actually, many (most, perhaps) big publishers have an in-house marketing team, cover artists, editors, etc. That's all part of the publisher's duties. Some may choose to hire out, some may choose to keep those roles on staff. But either way, editing, marketing, art, at the end of the day it's all part of the publisher's job.
Publishing in the modern era has never been simple defined as "making available."
Thank you for that well-sourced, logical takedown of my post. Let it never be said that only the "gatekeeper" supporters can be unintelligent, anonymous trolls. But really, carry on with your unedited, no-cover, no-publicity Kindle book that's selling ten thousand copies a day.
"Now, please tell me why the "publish" button on my Wordpress installation isn't publishing anything, even though my post is published as soon as I press that button. That should be entertaining."
Sure. Self-publishing has existed for a long time before e-publishing. Printers will print whatever you want them to, a marketer will market whatever you ask of them, so in that sense, there have never been gatekeepers. Sure, it's a bit easier now, but that doesn't mean anything, philosophically.
The fact of the matter is that "publishing" has never simply meant "making available to the public." Never.
No they aren't. Those publishers still exist -- they're just being outsourced to the artists themselves in many cases. A successful self-published writer still requires a publisher to hire an editor, a cover artist, put together a marketing plan, etc. In effect, he's just hired himself to be the publisher.
Again, that's a distinct job from being an artist.
Anyone who thinks a publisher is a glorified printer has absolutely no idea what the realities of publishing are. A publisher is an editor. A publisher is a marketer. A publisher is a cover artist.
Can a writer do all those things? Yeah, sure, but they take a significant amount of time and/or money. To pretend otherwise is simply ignorant. Most of the people who think publishers are just horrible gatekeepers with nothing to offer are the ones with shoddy, terribly produced Kindle books that no one but their mothers have ever heard of. The people who are successful at self-publishing are the ones who realize publishing is a distinct job -- it's just one they're willing to work at themselves, which is fine.
This is utterly false, and it's dangerous you're spreading this lie. Asking questions like "what is your religion" are absolutely illegal, regardless of whether hiring decisions are based on that. You're incorrect.
I've not heard of Turow, but Judy Blume is the VP of the Guild, and Ursula Le Guin is a prominent member as well. While I don't think Turow is *officially* speaking in his capacity as Author's Guild President, he's obviously trying to leverage what authority (pun intended) he has in that regard.
You can be an incredible writer and a terrible salesperson/marketer. And you can be a terrible writer and a wonderful salesperson (see: JA Konrath).
As a writer, I'm incredibly concerned with the whole "self-publishing, rah rah" bullshit for many reasons -- Despite the successes of people like Konrath, who already had audiences, and Hocking, who is a far outlier, most [90%] people sell less than 100 copies of their books; in addition, I'm also not interested in being a publisher. I'd rather be a writer.
But that said, the Author's Guild is fucking terrible. They've been terrible time and time again, and I enjoyed this takedown of their latest misguided screed (for the most part).
I'm confused why this matters. Is it really likely that a majority of shareholders would vote for neutrality? Would it require more than a simple majority? If "AT&T" didn't support neutrality, doesn't that imply that most of the shareholders probably don't support it either? I realize shareholders don't have power over every little thing, but CEOs/Presidents/Whathaveyou have a *strong* incentive to follow what they want.
One of the major reasons so many Republicans dropped ship is because of Obama (the Democrat, remember?)'s opposition to it. Now that SOPA doesn't have a chance of passing in it's current form, there's not really an upside for the Republicans to pass it. They can save face with their base by saying "See, we heard you!" and with their Big Business partners by saying "Hey, blame that socialist commie in the White House."
I don't get why this is a bad thing. Aren't our elected officials supposed to represent their constituents? It always gives me a nice chuckle when people say "Well, he's only vetoing that because his voters want him to!" That's how our system was designed to work.
But don't let that stop you from some good ol' Obama-hatin'!