Archive for December 31st, 2010

The New Publishing

The most famous book on cloning was published about two months after the sudden announcement that the sheep Dolly had been cloned. The book was written by a top supreme expert and was dedicated to the proposition that cloning was impossible.


The publication was technical and only a small number of copies were to be printed for the first and probably the only edition. The author probably expected to be on a few academic panels where he would summarize his book along with other academic authors.

Needless to say, the book was a major seller when it came out. I doubt people READ it, but it was something people wanted to own. The author became a very minor sensation on interviews world-wide.

It was like Coca-Cola when it switched to new Coke and then back to Classic Coke, a stupendous error that paid of astoundingly.

We all know WHY a book that had just been proven wrong was published anyway. But, like most things on BUGS, we need to THINK about this simple reality.

Book publishing, from final draft to the bookstore, has always been a process discussed in MONTHS. After you have rewritten portions of the book until you never want to look at the thing again, you send in a final draft, of which a copy is sent back to you.

Then you get the Galleys. The galleys are exactly what will go onto the printing press, they look different, though I don’t remember them from almost thirty years ago, the last time I did a book for a major publisher.

If you want to make any change in the galleys, you have to pay for it out of your own pocket beyond a low minimum of changes. This is a book you’re getting paid for.

The publicity has long since begun. You are doing interviews months before the book hits the presses.

The possibility of withdrawing a book from publication two months after all this cost has been incurred could only come up if it was libelous or a point of heresy to our established religion came up.

BoardAd is now preparing Why Johnny Can’t Think for publication on the web, while White Rabbit is planning a pod cast, whatever that is, of it.

I am one of those who bridges the generations. I published books under the old system, and this one is an entirely new experience. BoardAd is a bit puzzled, I think, when I show the old apologetic panic about some typo that needs correcting.

BoardAd is one who takes the new age for granted, “I’ll just change it. What’s the problem?”

Well BUGS, BoardAd, White Rabbit and the rest of you snotty-nosed young brats out there, my only communication besides the telephone used to be TELEGRAPH ham radio. My mind is still back in the Galley Days.

The New York-based publishing industry, like so many others of the Genius Conspiracy, is on its way out of business.

I know how us depressives hate good news, but there it is. Those who THINK about ALL the implications of this new age will be the ones who win.