Friday, December 19, 2008

Publishing in Hard Times

I know that a great many people around the world already are and will soon be facing much, much more serious consequences than I can even dream of from the current global economic crisis. Even just looking close to home, I have at least one friend who has lost his job because of it, and here in Sudbury, layoffs in the mining sector -- pretty much the only place in town to get a non-poverty working-class job -- have begun and are likely to grow. For me, having a partner who has a professional job with a high level of built-in job security as well as her membership in a union with deep pockets puts me in a very different place in terms of what is to come than most people, even most people in a rich country like Canada.

That said, as someone who is desperately hoping that in the next year or two someone will publish the book I've been working on for what seems like forever, this is not happy news. There are a lot of mindblowing statistics in this article, in the context of an overall argument that we are witnessing fundamental changes in (and contractions of) book publishing that will never be reversed. One of the few consolations is the author's conclusion that small, independent operators -- that is, the sorts of folks who are more likely to publish the kinds of things I write anyway -- are better placed to adapt to these changes than the massive behemoths that have come to dominate most of the publishing industry in the last few decades.

No comments: