Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Quickies: Establishments Everywhere Are Running Scared

     Establishments have a unifying characteristic: they want to remain Established. (“The aim of the High is to remain where they are.” – Orwell) Control of the entertainment media is essential to the hegemony of the sociocultural Establishment. The power of story in popularizing an idea eclipses every other form of communication. Stories are, in large measure, how the young are taught. To a large measure, such stories determine how adults think.

     Say what you will about Amazon, when it opened its doors to independent creators of fiction and music via CreateSpace (since folded into Kindle Direct Publishing), it allowed non-Establishment and anti-Establishment voices to find a substantial audience for the first time. And yes, I’m one of the beneficiaries.

     However, not everyone approves:

     BUYER BEWARE! Please realize that anyone can publish a book these days. The only way to protect yourself from wasting your time and money is to buy books from traditional publishers. Books published by the author are seldom a good bargain....Join me in urging Amazon not to dump self-published books in with real books. Thanks.

     The woman who penned the above attached it to a one-star review of an independently published SF novel. I have not read that novel...but has she? Somehow I doubt it. She left no review under her own name. To judge from the other material attached to her Amazon profile, she’s outrightly hostile to self-published writers.

     Why? Is someone paying her to emit such sentiments? If so, who? And to what end? If “traditionally published” fiction were so clearly superior to independently published work, why would self-pubbed writers be of any concern to the barons of Pub World?

     Are we about to suffer a plague of such defamations, simply because channels have been opened for us whom “traditional publishers” have scorned? Do they detest us so greatly? What interpretation would such a campaign support? Could it be anything but rampant fear among the potentates of Pub World? Are they so greatly threatened by low-priced competition not beholden to their prejudices and preconceptions about what will “sell?”

     You don’t have to be a gypsy fortune-teller to read these tea leaves.


HoundOfDoom said...

Looking @ the reviewers page, she seems to pen a lot of the same one star reviews. So considering the source, I'd not take her seriously. Looking @ the particular book, though, it seems to have gotten a enough 'meh' reviews to warn me off, regardless of that silly bint. So perhaps this particular hill is not the one to die on either.

Tracy Coyle said...

There are 581 books in my digital archive with Amazon purchased in the last 5 years. Less than 50 are from 'established publishing houses'. The balance are from indie authors that I have found or been recommended to me - as you were. And yep, I have read all of them (sometimes more than once) except the two I bought last night to get me through the weekend.

I have been disappointed with 1, ONE, SINGLE, author and even he was readable but a much lower grade level than I am used to.

The woman probably works in the marketing department of a publishing house tasked with denigrating indie's. She certainly is not a READER.

Paul Bonneau said...

Self interest drives everything:

Although contrary to this article, I do think there are people who occasionally at least, put principle before self interest. But then if you examine this tendency it might be discovered that this too boils down to self-interest, although of a more enlightened variety.

Francis W. Porretto said...

Paul: If narrowly defined self-interest were really the driver for everything, there would be no charity, no humility, no deference, no uncoerced obedience, and no self-restraint other than the "not while someone's watching" variety. Even Ayn Rand never went that far. She made a point of espousing enlightened self-interest, which is a more complex commodity than self-interest alone.

Apropos of which, if important moral principles, every one of which is a constraint on him who holds to it, were not compatible in the long term with enlightened self-interest, those who hold to them would soon be extinct. But this is too large a subject for the comment section.