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View Diary: e-books: who owns my digital library? (184 comments)

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  •  A book is a book (2+ / 0-)

    Sure, there are a lot of bad books out there that wouldn't have been accepted by a publisher. But this isn't killing literature. The really bad stuff remains read by few. There are also good books that publishers pass on.

    I'd rather have more freedom than less, and some bad books are the price for freedom. I trust readers. If readers like a book, who am I to tell them they are wrong? There's a lot of good music that the record companies pass on, there's a lot of good art that galleries pass on. So why should books be any different?

    There are plenty of doorstoppers being published, and there are novellas and short stories. That the e-book allows a wider range of book lengths is good. People should check the length of the book before they buy.

    E-books are not killing bookstores. The real enemy of bookstores were the big box bookstores.

    The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

    by A Citizen on Wed May 08, 2013 at 07:14:24 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  true in some ways, but it creates a din (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bill W, Susan from 29

      The main problem with everybody having access to being published is it creates a bad signal-to-noise ratio that, eventually, drowns everything out.  It's like taking down the firewall on your computer -- there's no protection against harmful garbage getting in.  And it eventually lowers the standards.  I'm seeing that showing up in writing already.  I've also seen some established authors putting out junk that got passed up by publishers just because it costs nothing to do it.  When we remove editorial standards, eventually everything suffers.  We're in the opening stages of it now, but I think it's going to have a long-term detrimental effect.  I hope I'm wrong about that, though.

      And, as CatteNappe said above, I'm sure there are some nuggets of good stuff getting through... but they're going to get harder and harder to find as people start "publishing" their fan-fic and Dale M. Courtney "Moon People" type books (check that out on Amazon, it's hilarious-yet-depressing).   For every good self-published writer, readers will have to wade through a thousand talentless hacks, and will eventually get worn out with it.  And people will stop wanting to read as much when they have to deal with so many terrible books.  Like I said, this isn't just an e-book problem, though... print-on-demand and vanity presses have opened some doors that (in my opinion) should've stayed shut.  I'm certain there's good self-published stuff out there... but, I'll admit, I haven't really seen any yet, and I read a lot of stuff.   I've even got a cousin who self-publishes nice hardbacks, and his stuff is awful.  I'm glad he has a hobby, but, yee-ikes.

      A big thing I forgot to mention in my initial list is... piracy.  A lot of Kindle books are already showing up on bit-torrent sites and there's almost no way to stop that.  Book piracy will do to the publishing industry what illegal downloading has done to the music industry... but worse, since bands can still survive by playing live.  Authors have nothing but their written works, which take a long time to create... and then get stolen.  I'm not sure how much they're going to be able to do to stop that, either.  And we do have a generation that seems to think everything should cost nothing.  It's going to be harder for anyone to make a living as a writer, and then everybody will lose.

      "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

      by Front Toward Enemy on Thu May 09, 2013 at 07:50:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  re: piracy (2+ / 0-)
        It's going to be harder for anyone to make a living as a writer, and then everybody will lose.
        I wouldn't be surprised to hear someone chime in that it will actually make things better, that instead of writing for mega-corporate publishing houses, writers will instead become wandering story-tellers, regaling eager audiences with their spellbinding tales in exchange for a bowl of soup or a couch to sleep on.  It will make the art much more pure and true.

        I've actually heard people make a similar argument regarding the eventual collapse of the music recording business.

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