Scribbling For Nickels

I was up last night, unable/unwilling to go to sleep, when I came across this article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/28/weekinreview/28streitfeld.html?_r=1

Book publishing is falling apart?  That just seems surprising.

The article mentions that while many publishing houses have been able to rely on the steady sales of classics, this area has been on the decline for some time.  While it talks about the efficiency of a secondary market that trades in used books, it doesn’t mention that a lot of these books are available for free in an electronic format which must further cut into sales.

Anyway, as a guy who actively participates in this decline through http://www.paperbackswap.com, I feel a little guilty.  I don’t feel particularly bad for new and used bookstores, but I do worry about the effect on authors.  Now, ideally this would morph into some sort of system where you just pay authors directly for content.  That would actually be kind of cool.

Oh well.  My thoughts on the topic are fairly unsophisticated.  I’m sure my brighter counterparts can provide more insight on the topic.

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