Bloggers of the world unite: you are the future of literature!
In his 2011 letter to shareholders, the Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, wrote: “I see the elimination of gatekeepers everywhere. Even well-meaning gatekeepers slow innovation. When a platform is self-service, even the improbable ideas can get tried, because there’s no expert gatekeeper ready to say ‘that will never work!’ And guess what – many of those improbable ideas do work, and society is the beneficiary of that diversity.”
One target here is obvious. Traditional publishing is often seen as a kind of elite club: literary agents have their lists of clients and may, in some circumstances, have a vested interest in preventing others, however talented, coming in.
Arguably, though, the gatekeeper has not been eliminated in e-publishing. Rather, his or her job has fallen on the customer’s shoulders. The trouble is, as everyone knows, this has led to the proliferation of fake reviews, which undermines everyone’s confidence in the system.
Does this mean the whole edifice is about to collapse? There are some who think so. In January 2012, the British novelist, Ewan Morrison, wrote an article called “The Self E-publishing Bubble”. It argued that digital self-publishing is faithfully following the path first charted by the US economist, Hyman Minsky, in 1992. In short, it is a bubble and it will inevitably burst.
So who can save it? Only, I think, new gatekeepers. If customers cannot distinguish the true gold from the fool’s variety at a glance, they will return with a vengeance to traditional publishers, and people like Ewan Morrison will be proved right.
Enter the humble book blogger. At the present time, he /she alone has the power to keep the gate, because he/ she alone has a reputation to uphold based on honesty.
The future of literature lies with us amateurs, authors and bloggers alike: self-publishing authors need to take the risks that traditional publishers daren’t, and bloggers need to pan the perpetual stream of new works in order to discover the little blobs of shiny metal.
But we must work together. Nothing is more depressing than those bloggers who just won’t review self-published books. Or those authors who only want a book-plug and who won’t write guest blog posts or say thank you or help keep that traffic coming by tweeting or liking or whatever the heck else is necessary.
Book bloggers of the world unite: you are the future of literature.
When someone starts assassinating paparazzi in three countries, MI7 sits up. Apparently, the killer is none other than Dmitri Vassyli Kramski, retired SVR field-operative and former Kremlin protégé. True, the Cold War is long finished, but everyone knows Vladimir Putin is as unhappy for Russia to play second fiddle on the international stage as even the most strident of his Communist predecessors. In 2010 therefore, East-West relations remain as tortuous as ever.
Kramski’s trail leads deep into London’s émigré community, forcing his pursuers into conflict with an unknown organisation bent on protecting him. Bit by bit, he begins to look less like a professional assassin and more like someone plotting to scupper the foundations of Western democracy itself. To compound matters, the Russians are as baffled by him as anyone.
Genre – Espionage Thriller
Rating – PG
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