03/24/2011: "The Death of Print and the Rise of Really Bad Writing"
Having grown up in a newspaper family, I am saddened by the slow demise of not only newspapers but all print publications. Magazines are slowing fading as well.
According to Publisher's Weekly, more ebooks were sold in the U.S. than either hardcover or paperback books!
E-book sales jumped 115.8% to $69.6 million, while sales of mass market paperbacks fell 30.9% to $39 million. Hardcover books only sold $49.1 million for the month. The New York Times now has an ebook best seller list.
Now, I own a Kindle and I love it. I can carry around a ton of books and newspapers and personal documents. I can read them literally anytime, anywhere and the reading is surprisingly enjoyable for the most part.
Of course, in reading my fitness books I sometimes have issues with photos and there are times I much prefer the "real" paper book. I still prowl around my favorite local used book store, Book-a-holic, so I can exchange words with Jean and the crew and see what's available to read.
But I get my news early in the morning on my Kindle. No worrying about my damn neighbor stealing my Wall Street Journal anymore. No more worry about the carrier never being able to hit my porch. The news and my Starbucks freshly brewed coffee awaits my pleasure every morning and I love it.
I started writing professionally when I was just out of childhood. I sold my first article in 1967. I earned the princely sum of a penny per word and sold all rights. The former is all part of paying your dues to get a start. The latter is just plain dumb.
In those days, writing and getting published was real work. Not so today. Almost anyone can knock out a book and publish it themselves. Put it up on Amazon and bing, bang --- they're an author.
Now, let the record show, I'm glad everyone has an equal chance to become a published writer. I'm happy that those who otherwise could not let their talent shine can now do so without the burdens and hardships of years gone by.
It's the other side of the coin that I do not like.
I don't really miss the hard ol' days. But, being able to instantly publish, unfortunately, throws a good deal of garbage in our in-boxes and mail shoots and into our brains. Lots of trash out there and not enough really good literature or writing or thoughts.
For that, I'm awfully sorry.