Wednesday, May 25, 2011

For the Readers

Rachelle Gardner posted something very interesting yesterday. Instead of looking at the changes in the publishing industry from a writer's perspective, she asked what effect it would have on readers. She concludes that the recent rise in self-publishing benefits authors more than readers, since readers have to wade through even bigger piles of books to find the ones they want to read. She asked what everyone involved in the publishing industry (from writers and editors to agents and booksellers) could do to best serve the interests of readers. You can read the post and the comments (one of them is mine) here.

Although I'm a writer, I'm also a reader. (I think you have to be a reader first before you can be a writer.) Have changes in the publishing industry affected you as a reader? If so, how? What sorts of changes would you like to see that would improve your reading experience?


mooderino said...

Thanks for the link, interesting article (and too many comments!). I think she's approaching it from a very pro-publishers viewpoint. Like they have the reader's best interests at heart.


The Golden Eagle said...

I don't read e-books--almost all of my reading material comes from the library. So the recent changes in electronic self-publishing haven't really affected my reading.

Rogue Mutt said...

Is there any other industry that whines so much about customers having a better selection to choose from? It'd be like claiming that iTunes gives people too many songs or Netflix too many movies. Oh, the humanity!

Sarah McCabe said...

I think she's got it backwards. More books is always better! As long as there are always tools for finding what you want, like sampling and reviews, (and there's no reason there won't always be) "wading through" the piles of books is really not a problem.

These changes are actually empowering readers. Instead of publishers being the gatekeepers and keeping certain kinds of stories out of readers hands, readers are now their own gatekeepers. Readers alone decide if a book will succeed or fail in self publishing.

As a reader, I think these changes are fantastic.

Cherie Reich said...

I read her article and I found it very interesting. Personally, I want great stories that are also well-written. If the writer/editor in me comes out where I'm changing the sentences I'm reading, then it's harder to get into the story. I've had problems with this from all types of publications (big six to self-published). I love to read, but I don't like being distracted by the mechanics of it.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

mood--It seems to me that the recent changes in the publishing industry are very polarizing. I find it hard to find articles that aren't obviously biased one way or another. It's best to read widely so you can see all sides of the story.

Golden Eagle--Do you know that libraries can lend out e-books now? Even if you don't have a reader, you could still read them on your computer.

Rogue and Sarah--I agree that more books are better, even if I'll never be able to read them all!

Cherie--I'm also distracted by typos and grammar mistakes when I read. I wonder if non-writers notice these things the way we do. But I agree the problems are widespread.

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Thanks for passing on the link. She raises a great point. It is about the readers. :)

Su said...

I can't say that the changes have affected me much. I still do the same as I always have-- I start a book if it appeals to me, and either finish it if it holds my interest or put it aside if it doesn't.

Although I've seen quite a few articles lately talking about how there's too much to read. To be fair, I think most of those articles come from book critics, and I guess it's kind of their job to be down on that sort of thing. ? I haven't read Rachelle's post; I just skipped straight to answering your question.

I think the e-reader + library combination is fabulous. Cost them less (presumably), so they have more material available. Brilliant.

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