Wednesday, August 24, 2011

are books dead?

If you haven't had the chance to read this article, "Are books dead, and can authors survive," you need to take a few minutes to read it. It's really long, but try to make it through. It's thought-provoking and definitely something we need to talk about more as authors.

This has been on my mind quite a bit lately as I've watched the publishing industry struggle. Will authors eventually end up like sweat-shop workers, putting in long, hard hours for little to no pay? By choice? In the future, I assume artists will still be paid for the sculptures and paintings they create. Musicians lose money on pirated downloads, but can still make money performing live. But what about authors?

I liked the final paragraph of the article:

"I ask you to take the long view, to look a generation beyond where we are now, and to express concern for the future of the book. I ask you to vote that the end of "the book" as written by professional writers, is imminent; and not to be placated with short-term projections and enthusiasms intended to reduce fear in a confused market. I ask you to leave this place troubled, and to ask yourself and as many others as you can, what you can do if you truly value the work of the people formerly known as writers."


  1. I read the entire article. It's not something that new and aspiring (or even veteran) authors want to hear. But we have to face reality.

    At the end of the day, I don't worry about the money. I didn't start writing for the money and I hope I never do. It's nice to be able to live on what you love, but there aren't many authors who can do that. They do it because they love it. The goal is to write the very best books possible and have as many people read them as possible. Do I hope money follow that? Yes, of course. Will I stop if it doesn't? I guess it depends on my circumstances. But as long as circumstances will allow, I will write.

  2. Keep books alive! We miss you guys!

  3. Thanks Rockin' Rowes :)
    and Liesl,I agree that even if nobody ever even reads my stories, and they sit on my computer forever, I'll probably keep writing them. But it's still a shame we missed that lovely day of large advances ;-)