Six months ago, when I first opened up shop here at Ditchwalk, there was a riot brewing in the publishing marketplace. For all the back-and-forth about self-publishing versus traditional publishing, however, the rhetorical clash that eventually broke out last fall was never really an us-against-them-whoever-they-are revolution. Or if it was, it was only that for a few short weeks, until the industry forces manning the status-quo battlements got their mind around the fact that the internet wasn’t going to go away no matter how many ruby-slippered heel clicks they threw at the damned thing.
What really drove the chaos last fall is what drives chaos in any business. Suddenly, with only a fleeting decade’s warning, the book business didn’t now how to make a stable profit. The internet was the obvious scapegoat, at least until the recession took hold, at which point big names in the publishing business reassured the rabble that everything would be fine as soon as the recession was over.
Now, when a pricing plague strikes your village and the experts fail to stop the spread, and Aunt Sadie’s home recipes don’t work, and your prayers don’t save the people you love, there’s a natural tendency to latch on to anyone who comes by with a possible solution. Fortunately, the one thing you can always count on in such situations is that someone will come by. [ Read more ]