Wednesday, April 24, 2013

James Patterson Hopes to Start a Dialogue on Who Will Save Our Books, Bookstores, and Libraries

Patterson Sees Ads as a Wake Up Call. Publishers Weekly, 4/24/2013)

Cover ad paid for by James Patterson

In response.

Barbara Markwell, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, says check with your school and public libraries.  There is a place for all formats of books. However, one of the big issues is the growing loss of librarians. As funding is reduced and eliminated for all kinds of libraries, there are fewer employed librarians. One thing librarians do is encourage READING. They guide students and adults to reading material. Check with your local schools, do they have full time librarians? Check with your public library, are their hours cut, their book budgets reduced? Teachers teach students to read - librarians lead people to great books.

Marla Miller expresses some skepticism.   But classics in jeopardy? I don't get his message. Children's literature and libraries are surviving-no one's out to get them, Mr. Patterson.

Phyllis Lamken describes a trend that developed well before Amazon's ascendancy.  . Second, part of the problem is size of the publishing companies. In the past 40 years we have gone from 30 publishers to 6 publishers. And while the big authors like Patterson can get published, more and more mid-lists authors have a hard time getting publisher, despite decent sales. When there were more smaller publishers, the publishers were thrilled with the sales of their mid-list authors. Today, unless you are a huge success, you are going to have a hard time getting in print. Successful series are not only available in e-format, because their sales weren't large enough. Lower the costs of print books. Instead the publishers want to focus on increasing the price of e-books.

The pot has been stirred.  How long will it roil?

Hat tip to Mark Arend.  (I'm ashamed to admit that I recycled Sunday's New York Times Book Review without even taking a glance at it.)

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