hal tweets ·11:28 AM

Ghostbuster zines from the Canzine Hollywood Piracy Zine Challenge are now online! http://t.co/RoAMEQTU

As Traditional Literature Declines, Peep Writing on the Rise :comments

Posted by Hal
Tags: production, Video sharing, Voyeurism

The first thing the media seems to cut back on when they hit hard times is book reviewing. Makes sense since publishers, always tight when it come to ad dollars, are particularly tight now. But this time the cut back isn’t going to be temporary.

The book ‘industry’ is in a freefall. I’m talking corporate for-profit selling of books here, the Random Houses and Barnes and Noble’s of the world. (My sense is that smaller niche and not-for-profit publishers are holding steady or in a slight upswing.) As a result, we’ve recently seen the Globe and Mail eliminate its stand alone books section and the news is that the Washington Post is doing the same. The Globe has folded coverage of books into Focus and though the claim is that there will be more readers because more people read Focus than Books, there are also fewer reviews and one less opportunity to earn that rare coveted spot people actually notice - the cover of the books section. The same thing will ultimately be true for the Washington Post. (Back to the Globe, read the Book Ninja prediction this would happen way back in August 2008)

So where does this leave us? Well, the bad news is that traditional widespread big book publishing is in trouble. The good news is that now more than ever, people desperately want to be writers. Or as a recent NY Times article on the rising tidal wave of self publishing put it, “The point may soon come when there are more people who want to write books than there are people who want to read them.”

As we shift to an interactive Peep culture, more and more people are abandoning non-Peep books. They are replacing that time with all our fave Peep activities - blogs, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook etc. In fact, they aren’t reading books at all. They are, instead, writing books and self publishing them. Mostly, they’re publishing memoirs or thinly veiled memoirs in the form of novels or horrible collections of poetry. In Peep culture we derive our entertainment from other people’s lives and not even the venerable publishing industry - particularly not the venerable publishing industry - is going to be excluded from this ongoing cultural shift.

 

Comments: -2-, Add yours…

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By jet on 2009 01 30

Hal,

what about the new dedicated books section on the G&M website? I don’t receive the paper version and never did read the book reviews before they were assembled in this easier-to-access-without-wading-through-the-arts-section tab. Now I check it many times per day.

And, maybe as things settle and we become more accustomed to the proliferation of twee messages a la twitter, we will learn to appreciate longer ones again – and then their combination in real live books.

But you’re right, things are-a-changin’.

By J Briggs on 2009 01 30

 

  

The Bloggist

Hey, I’m Hal Niedzviecki. I’m a writer/thinker who lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with my wife and daughter. Up till now I’ve always considered myself a private person. But at the same time I’m fascinated by people who effortlessly open themselves up to the whole world. So I’ve… more...

 

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Ghostbuster zines from the Canzine Hollywood Piracy Zine Challenge are now online! http://t.co/RoAMEQTU

Hal Niedzviecki :: ·11:28AM

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