Will Snooki Kill The Printed Book?
That just might happen.
According to this eye-opening article, celebrities like Snooki could eventually be the death of the paper book. It sounds like the publishing industry has figured out how to adapt, so books in paper form could go the way of the vinyl record.
I hate that, and don’t want to be believe it. But maybe I’m in denial.
Sarah Lacy over at Pando Daily had this to say:
When you see Snooki’s book on the New York Times Best Seller List, you know publishing is in trouble.
You can blame readers and say publishing is just giving the public what they want. But that’s only half the problem.
The rest is a lazy publishing industry that does far too little of the work that got them here: Discovering new authors and giving them a shot. Instead, they go for the lazy lay-up: Overpaying on celebrity memoirs and pop culture phenomenons with a built in audience.
With book publishers desperate for money, they take the easy way out–which is publishing a book “written” by Snooki and the like. One unnamed industry insider sent an email to Sara and explained how Amazon is set to take them all down:
We can’t pay $1 million for books anymore. Amazon could probably afford to lose $20 million/year in their publishing arm just to put the other publishers out of business. I think that’s what they’re trying to do–throw money around in an industry that doesn’t have any, until Amazon becomes not only the only place where you buy books, but the only place that publishes books, too.
So rather than getting a 30% of an ebook (with the other 70% being split between the publisher and author), they’ll be getting a 70% cut (with the other 30% going right to the author). Funny thing is that it’s actually better for authors.
I’ll be honest: I use Amazon for a lot of my book buying. We have indie bookstores in Nashville, actually Ann Patchett recently opened one. But, sometimes, when you work 40 hours a week, it’s just a matter of convenience. Other times, it’s simply difficult to find certain books from a list of 101, so it’s just easier to order all of them in one swoop.
On one hand, I’m glad to know authors actually fare better from Amazon sales. I’m more than happy to support the authors. But, on the other hand, I don’t want to be a part of killing the printed book.
Where do you stand on any of this?
(Image: Upper West Side Blog)