We seem to think the current machinations of the publishing industry are new. But check out the Entry for Publishing in the 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. It’s all there:
- The toil of the educated literary assistant (reader) to the big bad publisher and his internal struggle to recommend good books against what will sell
- A market flooded with bad books like "crackers at Christmas"
- The position of authors to sign contracts with less than favorable terms and the representation of an author's guild (Society of Authors)
- The representation by the literary agent for the poor author who knows nothing about business
- The introduction of cheap editions (ebooks, anyone?) that undercut the price, profit and royalty of better quality ones
- The price fixing, net pricing, discount wars and remainders
- The concern that reading will be supplanted by other pastimes
- The Book Club Effect and more
If it’s all too much to bear, head over to the Public House (entry to the left).