→ New York Times Column on the “Slow Death of the American Author.”

Head of the Author’s Guild Scott Turow writes about eBooks, the recent Supreme Court decision regarding importation of international versions of foreign works, and how those working against authors in America trying to make a living.

My thoughts on Mr. Turow’s column:1

I think this is a market failure not a copyright law failure. The existing publisher-centric model seems destined to perish in the digital market. Authors who can take advantage of channels not involving the traditional publishers will thrive, while publishers and those who cling to that model will not.

I think the publishers took their last stab at relevance when they partnered with Apple to try and set standard eBook prices across the industry. Now that the DoJ has broken that up, I think it is only a matter of time before the publishers start to crumble. My guess is that the publishers will slowly start to merge with one another in hopes of staying afloat, but that, ultimately, they will fade away.

I would encourage authors like Mr. Turow to start exploring economic models outside of traditional book publishing. Building an audience without the aid of a publisher’s marketing arm and without places like Barnes & Noble will be difficult, but the returns will be there for those willing to put in the effort. If Mr. Turow and the Author’s Guild only strategy is to try and stand in the way of consumers’ access to content, they will doom themselves to the same fate as the Russian authors.


  1. Originally posted on a Facebook group taking about these types of issues. DISCLAIMER: This post may contain some discussion about legal issues, but (1) it is not legal advice, (2) does not establish an attorney-client relationship, and (3) is not advertising for legal services. The full disclaimer can be found on the Disclaimer Page

Κ