[FoRK] Kindle price slashed...

Ken Meltsner meltsner at alum.mit.edu
Thu Oct 8 07:35:23 PDT 2009

I  believe there are a couple of ways for authors to sell their books
directly and keep most of the revenue.  Bad news is that the books
available right now tend to be poorty written and nearly unedited.
Even the ones by good authors would have benefited from some editing.

Traditional publishing does "add value"; if nothing else, it filters
out quite a bit of the dreck.  Good publishers clean up the text and
(rarely these days, I think) have editors that work actively with
authors to improve their books.  I can think of at least one author
who had a true classic as a result of his editor's assistance, and a
later book that fell far short because no one pushed him during the
editing process.

Unbundling editorial services from the printing process is certainly
possible -- in fact, given the decline of editing at most publishing
houses, it already has -- but we need to convince authors that someone
should tamper with their deathless prose and that's really hard if
it's not a condition of sale.


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