Thursday, May 01, 2008

I'm an Author, He's an Author, She's an Author...

Wouldn't you like to be an Author too?

Rachel Donadio's essay in the Sunday New York Times Book Review, You’re an Author? Me Too! explores this very phenomenon - or is it pestilence - of book "publishing." Beginning with what we all know by now - U.S.ers are reading less, yet, "In 2007, a whopping 400,000 books were published or distributed in the United States, up from 300,000 in 2006, according to the industry tracker Bowker, which attributed the sharp rise to the number of print-on-demand books and reprints of out-of-print titles."

And at the same time our nation is reading less, there are more writers in the U.S. than at any other time in our history, and credentialed MFA programs kicking out an exponentially growing number of these. Additionally, Donadio notes that for as little as $3.50 a copy, "authors" can have their books printed and distributed through Amazon, and Borders is no in the fray, offering print packages starting at $300, with the "premium package," which includes some actual editorial work, starting at $500.

While Donadio discusses the role of the writing programs as the "democratizer" of the talent pool, Gabriel Zaid, critic and author of "So Many Books: Reading and Publishing in the Age of Abundance," says: "Everyone now can afford to preach in the desert."

Good? Bad? Hard as writers, publishers - and readers - to be indifferent on this topic.

Read the full article here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Something else to think about is the increase in celebrity writers. Today it seems like every celebrity writes a book or two. Dan Wright talks about this further on WritersNewsWeekly.com