Monday, June 02, 2008

The Stupidity, It Stings

Someone named Henry Blodget thinks he knows exactly what's wrong with the publishing business, and how to fix it.

Sadly, he doesn't seem to realize that paperbacks exist, which rather blows a hole in his little argument. (It's all based on his assumptions that $25 is the average price for a book, and that lack of money is the reason for "low" sales of books.)

Why don't these dumb people ever try to fix the rag trade? Why do they always pick on poor l'il book publishing?

If I were to start listing all the things wrong with Blodget's proposal -- let's throw in publishers ceding monopoly power to Amazon and the hefty price of the Kindle itself, just for starters -- I'd be here all day. So I'll leave it at that. Oh, just one more: like everyone else who comes from outside with grandiose schemes, he's utterly fixated on consumer fiction, a sizable but minority slice of the publishing pie.

Books could sell somewhat better than they do, yes. But books for consumers are not going to suddenly take a massive leap upward, no matter what kind of shiny thing is involved.

[link via my colleague Joe Wikert]

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