Publishing Chain; Vanishing Links

“Technology has made virtually anything possible,” says Neill Denny, editor-in-chief of the publishing industry magazine The Bookseller. “If you look at it conceptually – there’s a five-link chain between the person who writes and the person who reads. You’ve got Author-Agent- Publisher-Retailer-Reader. Theoretically, the three middle bits could all now vanish and the author could write online directly to the reader.”

However, he continues, “A more likely possibility is that just one of the three central links will vanish on-line. It could be that Amazon, the retailer, becomes the publisher. Or that the agent becomes the publisher, or the publisher becomes the retailer, and you go to a publisher’s site to buy the book. One of those links will certainly disappear on-line. We just don’t know which.” (The Independent)

John Walsh’s article “E-books: the end of the world as we know it” offers no new insights, but a handy summary. More intriguing though are the comments which are worth a wade through. A few flaring tempers, a few snarky jabs, and plenty of voiced growing pains as we tramp through the clumsy not-altogether-painless publishing revolution.

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