Rumours of publishing’s death etc etc etc

Apologies for lack of content here today; without going in to too much detail, I’ve spent much of the last 18 hours talking to unspecified Lovecraftian deities on the big white porcelain telephone, and as such blogging is somewhat off the agenda (along with most things that involve thinking clearly or moving around much).

But I thought I should at least pop in and mention Cory Doctorow’s latest Publisher’s Weekly piece, wherein he ruminates on what he’s learned from elaborately self-publishing his latest short fiction collection, With A Little Help.

With a Little Help has helped me realize something: whatever I do next, I don’t want to be in charge of all these moving parts. I can’t be both a Zen, let-it-all-happen-at-its-own-pace writer and an aggressive, deadline-pushing publisher. If I were realistically going to keep up this publishing stuff, I would need to outsource every task that requires the virtues inherent in agents, editors, sales, marketing, distribution and retail, especially that willingness to tithe a large portion of my working day to logistics, follow-ups, and calls.

Talks the talk, walks the walk, learns in public, shares the lessons. Could this be the same Doctorow who gets accused of advocating all artists give their work away for nothing, and of dismantling old business models with no thought to what will succeed them? I guess someone’s only hearing what they want to hear… and I look forward to the inevitable attempts to explain that it’s me. 🙂

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