I had some thoughts crystallize themselves over the last few days, as I’ve poured over page after page of Unusual Events, tucking sentences here and trimming typos there. Thoughts that stemmed from a conversation with a family member of the weekend, and then pulled themselves together around a single, central point as Monday morning Penguin made what was probably another (I say because I don’t follow this that closely) announcement about e-books ruining the industry, this time laying the upcoming loss of 255 warehouse jobs on the humble electronic manuscript.
Yes, they’re still beating that tired, old horse. Probably will for a time to come to.
The thing is, though, that in a way they’re not wrong. At least, to say that e-books are part of the cause. Now, are they part of the blame? Well, no. There I say no. But in mixing my last few weeks of Alpha and Beta editing with the aforementioned conversation I had over the weekend and then seeing Penguin’s announcement, everything sort of came together for me in a crystal clarity.
Right, too many words. I’ll just get right to it: Yes, e-books have changed the industry. Forever changed it, mind. They’re not going away anytime soon.
But they’re also not the cause of the troubles so many of the big publishers are facing right now. They are a part of the cause, certainly, but as I said, they cannot take the blame. No, that blame rests solely elsewhere.
With the publishers themselves.