15 December 2006

I'm back, sort of. Hopefully, this slight redesign of Scrivener's Error will meet the (few) objections I've received. And no, objections will not result in eliminating the fine print. It wouldn't be a blawg without some fine print, would it? In any event, a few items of dubious interest:
  • Publishing isn't well known for its compliance with commercial standards. For example, the industry says that an author has "sold" a book to a publisher, even though in most cases it's a license, not a sale. Similarly, the industry says that it has "sold" books to distributors and bookstores, when in fact (because they are fully returnable for full credit without demonstration of defect, and no money has changed hands) the books have only been consigned to the distributors and bookstores. And finally, when the books finally get into the consumer's hand, they do so a few numbers short of a full deck. And people wonder why profit margins in the publishing industry appear so low...
  • Then there's the question of what the publishing industry offers for sale. Too often, it's garbage, like celebrity memoirs. The same thought on why margins are so low comes back.
  • On the other hand, many of the "better" books don't get the attention they deserve, especially compared to some overrated books. It's not just a matter of taste, either. Here's an example: Name the last five winners of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. How many of them remain in print in their original editions? How many of them have you actually read, all the way through? Since this isn't exactly a populist blawg, I don't think anyone can claim that I'm trying to substitute popularity for value. Neither "literary" nor "liberal" is a shameful red letter.