Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Barry Eisler Continues to Shill for Amazon

This time, it starts even before his first sentence proper, when he claims that "legacy publishers" -- he means specifically "the Big Six" US trade houses, but he's writing in The Guardian for a UK audience, and conveniently ignores many houses of similar or larger size (one of which is providing the computer on which I'm typing at this very moment).

I'm sorry, the stupid has infected me, and that sentence is a complete loss. I'll try again.

Eisler is sad that the mean ol' legacy publishers are trying to do things like "windowing" -- not publishing a work simultaneously in all formats and pricepoints, which most of us would simply call "publishing" -- and setting prices for their own goods. Eisler wishes, apparently, that they'd just stop doing that, and let nice Mr. Bezos handle all of the fiddly details -- his ideal world would not be a monopoly, but letting a bunch of publishers make their own decisions (even when those decisions go against the Will of Bezos) would be a monopoly.

It's clear that dear l'il Barry doesn't actually know what a "monopoly" is, or he wouldn't try to argue that six competitive companies embedded in a larger, and even more competitive, landscape qualify.

(There isn't much of his usual Lake Wobegone-esque "all self-publishers are creatively freed millionaires in control of their own destinies" bumf, but that undertone, of course, is the only reason anyone takes Eisler the least bit seriously at any time.)

Tell me, are his books this dull, poorly thought out and tedious? I have a dim view of the average level of writing in thrillers to begin with, but I'm afraid Eisler is driving that to new depths.

1 comment:

jmnlman said...

I read a review copy of one of his books. Come to think of it may have been the last he sold to a traditional publisher. . It was atrocious even by the relatively low bar of" macho manly thriller" standards.

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