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Gaat het beroep schrijver verloren?

Op IPWachtdog staat een verslag van een lezing van Scott Turow van 11 december 2012, gehouden bij de Amerikaanse Congresbibliotheek. Het verslag is van Gene Quin, oprichter van de weblog, die niet nalaat commentaar te geven.

Turow is niet alleen voorzitter van de Amerikaanse Author's Guild, hij is ook de uitvinder van de legal thriller. Zijn roman Presumed Innocent is 100.000-en keren over de toonbank gegaan. Quin haalt een aantal interessante uitspraken van Turow aan.

Concentration is not good for authors in many ways because it reduces competition, Turow explained. “Major publishers have all locked-arms on a new royalty rate for e-books, which is roughly half of what authors would receive on the traditional sale of books.”.

Unfortunately it seems this type of downstream squeezing is the new normal. But how are we going to get authors to create the content that we want at the levels we want if they are not going to be able to enjoy the fruits of their endeavors? Again, if you are honest, realize there are only 24 hours in the day and are competent at basic math you have to appreciate that squeezing content creators is little different than stripping rights altogether. Squeezing the artists will mean less art. Sure, the top tier authors will be fine, but what about the far more numerous authors who make a living but will never enjoy mega-success?

On the panel that wrapped up the event Turow pointed out a stark reality. He said that those who are sounding the alarm on the plight of the author given the new reality of eBooks and wanton copyright infringement are not luddites. He said: “We are not against eBooks and we are not against Amazon.com.” Turow went on to explain that he thinks Amazon.com does a number of things very well, but that the reality of the marketplace for books is that frequent readers are the most educated members of society, but they are also the ones who are most likely to buy online. “I don’t have a problem with digitization of works as long as the authors are paid,” Turow said.

As I see it the problem is that eBooks dominate and one company dominates online sales of all kind, which puts downward pressure on content creators. It also makes it tougher for new authors to break through. Thus, the new reality of the publishing industry may well push us to a reality where writing is more of a hobby and less of a profession. That would be truly unfortunate.

Lees hier het bericht.

BRON: IPWatchdog


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